What’s the purpose of a cosigner in NYC?

Discover cosigner details and how it makes a loan or rental application more attractive.

Editorial Team

By Editorial Team

a man sitting a wooden table pointing at a piece of paper on a clipboard.

After what feels like months of searching, you’ve finally found a great apartment to rent in New York City. It’s in a good location, looks pretty decent, and has all the amenities you think you’ll need. It might not be the perfect place, but you decide to take it because you’ve had enough apartment hunting.

Of course, since you’ve done your homework, you already have your paperwork prepared. You didn’t want to risk losing the apartment because it took you three days to get your papers in order! You call your real estate agent and tell them that you’ve decided to take the apartment.

Then it all comes to a screeching halt as your agent informs you of the minimum qualifying criteria. You don’t meet any of them. That’s when your agent tells you that to proceed you will need a cosigner in NYC.

What is a cosigner?

A cosigner in NYC is someone who will guarantee to pay the lease in your place if you are unable to.

couple smiling and holding a paper while another woman points at it with a pen

It doesn’t have to be someone you’re related to, but most landlords will require the lease guarantor to live relatively close by. This is because they want to be able to easily collect the money from the cosigner if the need arises.

Why do you need a cosigner?

Living in New York City is not cheap, and rents reflect this. Even so, a lot of people want to live there, which is why it’s a landlord’s market. In other words, most landlords won’t have too much difficulty finding tenants. Coupled with the high rents, landlords tend to be extremely strict in terms of the criteria you have to meet to qualify for a rental in New York City. Compared to other U.S. cities like San Francisco, New York is much stricter when it comes to a lease guarantor.

It’s not unusual for a landlord to require you to have a high credit score, a salary that is between 40 and 45 times the monthly rent, and that you have at least a 12-month history at your place of employment. Obviously, this can make it extremely complicated for young adults, new hires, or foreigners to rent an apartment in New York City.

The only way to get around these qualification requirements is to have a cosigner in NYC to guarantee they will cover the payment of the rent in your stead.

How do you know if you need a cosigner in NYC?

The first step is to determine the landlord’s requirements, as they can differ quite significantly depending on the property itself, its location, and more.

However, you can still get a good idea of whether or not you’ll need a cosigner in advance through the financial test.

So, look at the rent being charged for the apartment and multiply it by 45. Do you earn at least that much? 

For example, if the apartment costs $2,500 per month, then you need to make between $100,000 and $112,500 per year. If you make less than this, you’ll likely need a cosigner in NYC.

Also, consider your situation in terms of credit history and employment.

If you have no credit history or a poor credit score, then you are unlikely to find a landlord willing to hand over the keys. It doesn’t matter if you’ve just graduated from college or if you are a foreigner who has just arrived. No credit history means no apartment.

If you aren’t employed and don’t have any rental history, it can be just as difficult to find a place to rent.

Even if you don’t have a regular income because you are retired, it doesn’t matter. You’ll still be considered too much liability without a cosigner.

Who can you ask to be your cosigner?

Finding someone to cosign your lease is never easy because you are asking that person to reveal private financial information.

Also, you’re asking them to take on the financial responsibility of paying the lease if you don’t stick to the terms.

In other words, it’s going to have to be someone who is very close to you, like a family member or a good friend, or someone who will benefit significantly from your move to New York City, like an employer.

Keep in mind, though, that not just any cosigner will do.

For example, landlords often only accept cosigners in NYC or in the surrounding Tri-state area. This is to make sure that the person can sign an original copy of the lease but also to make it easier for the landlord to recoup their money if necessary.

Whereas other qualification requirements might differ, you will generally find that lease guarantors have to earn between 80 to 100 times the monthly cost of the apartment. For that same $2,500 apartment, your cosigner has to earn at least $200,000 per year.

What if you don’t have anyone who can be your cosigner in NYC?

If you’re moving to New York City from abroad, or from anywhere in the United States that is not the Tri-state area, you might not have anyone who can act as your cosigner.

However, this doesn’t mean that you have to give up. There are other options.

First of all, make sure to speak to your employer.

So if you’re moving for a job, they might be willing to act as your cosigner in NYC to make the transition easier.

beautifully designed and furnished apartment in NYC managed by Blueground

Another option is to obtain the services of a company that will act as your lease guarantor for a fee.

For example, companies such as Insurent and TheGuarantors charge anywhere between 80% and 120% of one month’s rent – sometimes even more.

But it’s better than having no option at all.

So, now that you know how a cosigner in NYC can help you qualify for the apartment of your dreams, it’s time to get back to the hunt.

If you’re still having trouble finding the right apartment – or simply don’t have months to spend on an apartment hunt – Blueground offers high-quality apartments in some of the best sought-after neighborhoods. In place of a cosigner or lease guarantor, a security deposit is simply requested for your stay which will be refunded after you move out.

All of the apartments are beautifully furnished, fully equipped, and serviced, making them the perfect option for someone relocating to New York City.

Editorial Team

Editorial Team

The Blueground editorial team covers the best things to see, do, and experience in our cities around the world.