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I am a foreigner to USA and would like to pursue masters in CS in USA. But based on the current state of USD, I won't be able to pay the costs of tuition on my own. So, I will be taking a loan from international student loan lenders.

The thing is, they mostly require US citizen or US PR cosigners, which I don't know any. I have found online that there are websites which offer to find a cosigner for people who have bad credit scores or can't find anyone to cosign their agreements. example site 1 example site 2

I am very sceptical about their services, and mostly think that they are scam, but I don't have much choice left to find a cosigner elsewhere. Just wanted to ask, have you ever heard of these services, and do you believe they are real ?

(Sorry if this is out of context, this is my first question here.)

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    Did you try for financial aid from the college itself ? Scholarships from the college ? – DumbCoder Jun 24 at 11:52
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    "1 USD is 5.8 Turkish liras, which means I would pay almost 6 times the tuition" It doesn't mean that at all. There is no fundamental reason why one US dollar and one Turkish lira should be able to buy the same things, and the exchange rate is essentially the formalization of that. – David Richerby Jun 24 at 18:13
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    Looking at it from the other side, I cannot think of any good reason whatsoever to ever co-sign something for someone I've never met. Co-signing is not a formality, it is an agreement that the lender has legal recourse to go after all of the signers if payments are not made. – MonkeyZeus Jun 24 at 18:15
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    @QnARails, double-check the cost-of-living in Turkey vs. USA. Just because the lira is 1/6 of a $ doesn't mean that it's 6 times more expensive. Compare, say, the price of a loaf of bread (or a Big Mac, or private university tuition, etc.) in both Turkish liras and USD. If the bread costs 6 liras and 1 USD, then the conversion rate isn't against you. According to this chart (data.oecd.org/chart/5BNO), it looks like the lira has more purchasing power than the dollar at the moment. (Or, if I'm reading it wrong, then it's only a 50% difference, not a 6-fold difference.) – PotatoEngineer Jun 24 at 18:16
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    @QnARails You'd be paying the same... 1 USD has the same value as 5.8 Turkish liras. Go read up on how currency works. – Apologize and reinstate Monica Jun 24 at 19:36
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I've never heard of those services before, but from looking at one of the websites they don't have ANY kind of Ts and Cs, legal disclaimers, etc. which I feel certain they would need if they were legit. They ask you to pay $48 just to be a member on their site with nothing at all about how likely you are to actually find a cosigner through them, and not even a registered company address. All their "case studies" are simply people who needed to find a cosigner with nothing about what happened or how it worked out. There's no link to sign up for people who want to be a cosigner, rather than find a cosigner.

There are no reviews of these companies online and a couple of questions on Quora from people saying "are they for real" with no useful answers.

Based on all the above, I would say that the likelihood of success through this route is very, very low.

  • thats what I also believe deep down, but I just wanted it to be so real :) I kept ignoring those thought. – QnARails Jun 24 at 12:44
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    @QnARails and that's exactly what they rely on to keep making money :-( – Vicky Jun 24 at 13:33
  • Which, to be honest, makes them just plain lazy. I mean, it's their website - they could put whatever crazy lies they want. Couldn't they at least put up some bogus testimonials? – Kevin Jun 24 at 18:10
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    @Kevin They probably could; but they might choose to avoid it for the same reason that scammers always say they are from Nigeria. The ones who don't know any better make the easiest targets. – JMac Jun 24 at 18:37
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    @Kevin Deception is a criminal offence in some countries (no idea about US law). Posting a deliberate lie about the process is evidence of deception. Silence is not! – alephzero Jun 24 at 20:05
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To expand upon MonkeyZeus's comment:

Co-signing is not a formality, it is an agreement that the lender has legal recourse to go after all of the signers if payments are not made.

Cosigning is not simply offering a character reference for the primary borrower. Cosigning is signing a contract with the lender that the cosigner will be fully responsible for the loan if the primary borrower defaults.

In some sense, cosigning is almost as if the cosigner loaned the money to the primary borrower directly. If the loan amount is $10k, and the primary borrower never pays a single payment, the cosigner is negative $10k(*), and the borrower is up $10k.

Therefore, there is absolutely no way that anyone would cosign for a stranger over the internet. Therefore, any money you gave to the site would be completely wasted. (And that's the best case scenario - worst case, it's a lead-in to a bigger scam of some kind.)

(*) It's actually worse than lending directly in many ways. For instance the lender is under no obligation to inform you when the borrower falls behind. So by the time you find out that the loan has defaulted, your credit could be trashed and penalties and interest racked up.

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    In a lot of cases co-signing has nothing to do with a primary and secondary relationship. Co-signing just means also-signing. All co-signers are responsible under the contract, it has nothing to do with one signer defaulting. I agree with you, this question has nothing to do with the service is legit, even if it is a genuine attempt to offer this service, you should run because no reasonable person would accept the liability of a strangers car (or whatever) loan. – quid Jun 26 at 17:53
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    @quid I definitely left out some aspects to simplify the explanation Co-signing is almost strictly worse than just lending directly. For instance the lender is under no obligation to inform you when the borrower falls behind. So by the time you find out that the loan has defaulted, your credit could be trashed and penalties and interest racked up. – stannius Jun 26 at 18:42
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    Exactly! It's the signer's responsibility to understand the status of the loan. It's ridiculous to think a stranger would do this. – quid Jun 26 at 18:48
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My kids have asked me once or twice to cosign for something, and the answer is an absolute NO. Under no circumstances will I ever cosign for anyone. If you followed this site, there are plenty of questions from people who made the mistake of co-signing and suffering the consequences.

Legally, there is no such thing as "co-signing". In reality, it means that two people are signing that they are responsible for repaying a loan, instead of the usual one. Each of them is fully responsible for the loan being repaid, and if there is a problem, the bank will go after the one that has more money.

Since I wouldn't even co-sign for my kids, you can be 100% assured that no stranger will co-sign for your debt, ever, not in a million years.

So why do these websites offer this service, when they fully well know that they will never, ever provide any help to you? Because you pay a fee to become a member. And that fee is the only thing they are interested in. They take the fee ($48 I heard), they will be $48 richer, you will be $48 poorer, and you'll never get a co-signer from them.

There's a possibility that if you join they might try to really scam you. I think this is less likely, since they are getting $48 easily without doing anything illegal, and scamming people is not a good idea if you can be found and your business ripping of people in a legal way could be affected.

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