Guest Post : US Co-signer : From an American's perspective

As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, I was searching for US cosigner and was finding some hard facts from the process. It is very difficult task to find yourself a cosigner unless you have a close relative/friend who is ready to be your cosigner. I realized that the American mindset regarding finances is something I need to understand and that would give me a clear picture of why it is to so hard to find a Co-Signer. So I asked my dear friend and admissions consultant Grayson Leverenz to share her thoughts about this. Specifically I asked her to give the American's angle of this issue. She was kind enough to readily agree to help me on this topic. I am posting her thoughts as a guest post so that it will help my readers who are in the same boat. Hope you enjoy reading this post and benefit from it just the way I did. I would like to say my heartfelt thanks to Grayson Leverenz for this post.

How to Find a Co-Signer


By: Grayson Leverenz 

Now that the application process is over for most future members of the Class of 2012, it’s time to focus on funding your MBA in the USA. Limited options for no co-signer loans have a lot of international students seeking co-signers with US residency to help fulfill their MBA dreams. Finding a co-signer is hard. There’s no other way to say it.

Americans love to take risks when we are in control. We will gamble significant sums of money if we have control of the outcome. The perfect example is we have no problem taking out loans for our own education; we’re confident we’re going to succeed and be able to pay them back. The tricky part in American culture is that we’re not so trusting when someone else is in control. That’s the cultural reason why it’s so hard to find an American co-signer.

Now that you know why it’s so hard, let’s talk about what you can do.

1. Explore local options first.
If you plan to use your MBA in the USA to return to your home country and help improve the world through business, your community may be willing to support you. Talk to your local bank about loans. HSBC India has loans for Indian students; other options may exist as well.

2. Approach potential co-signers as if you were an entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurs take business plans to meet venture capitalists. You can do the same thing when approaching co-signers. Spend some time writing a business plan for your education. Map out your goals for your studies, your internship, and your post-graduation employment. Highlight your motivation to succeed, and how you plan to be accountable for your loans. Trust is the key component to getting someone to co-sign your loan, and walking in with a business plan is an impressive way to introduce yourself to co-signers.

3. Start with friends and family that have legal residency in your target country.
We talked about trust being crucial to finding a co-signer; logically, people that know you will trust you more than people that don’t. Tap into your network of friends and family to identify people that can help. Share your business plan with them, and find out if they can help.

3. Contact alumni that have been well established for 20+ years to build relationships and ask about co-signing.
The key here is finding people that are well established. Recent graduates have loans of their own, often in excess of $100K. While they may really want to help, the risk would most likely be too much to take on. However, if you’re approaching well established alumni, they will be at a point where they’re more financially stable. They may also be looking to mentor young minds. That would be a double win to find a co-signer and a mentor!

4. Be bold and contact business superstars.
There is a saying in the US that the most beautiful girl never gets asked out because guys are afraid. The same thing happens in business. There are people in business who seem untouchable. Who are the superstars in your industry? Pick a few and reach out to them with an email. Take a mentor approach with these leaders. Finding a mentor is a win by itself, but with the right relationship in place, they might just turn into a co-signer.

Good luck!

Grayson Leverenz founded MBA in the USA to help international students learn, succeed, and have fun during their MBA. You can read more on her blog. You can also follow her on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.  

5 comments:

H A R I said...

A very helpful post indeed especially for people worried about funding their MBA.

Achilles said...

I love the way you presented.... neat...

Madhurya Prakash said...

Thanks Achilles

toneyahuja said...

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Thanks

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