Creditor reporting account as “Joint” rather than as “Cosigner”

Dear Experian,

How should a loan I cosigned for my daughter be listed on my report? The creditor listed it as “Joint” but the credit union told me they put me in their system as the primary borrower, which is wrong. My daughter is the primary borrower.



Dear SJH,

Your creditor apparently processed the account as joint rather than signer and cosigner.

If it is important to you, you will need to speak to the lender about why it was reported as joint and whether you can have it changed.

They may have set up the account as joint because your daughter did not qualify to be the primary signer. Normally, the signer is responsible for making the payment and, if not paid, the cosigner becomes responsible.

In either case, you will both have full responsibility for the debt, and from a credit reporting and credit scoring standpoint, it is irrelevant whether your association is joint or cosigner.

So, the most important thing for you to do is make sure there is a clear understanding of who will make the payment and that you have a way to verify that the payment is made on time every month.

Thanks for asking.

- The “Ask Experian” team

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