Difference between Co-Owner, Co-Borrower, Co-Applicant, and Co-Signer


In a home loan, a co-owner refers to any individual, who along with the primary borrower, plays a critical role in accepting responsibility for repaying the debt in case the primary borrower fails to pay. A co-borrower applies for a loan along with the primary borrower and both bear the legal responsibility of repayment.


A Co-owner is an individual that has a legal share in the property along with the primary borrower. Most of the banks and financial institutions or housing finance companies insist on the co-owners to become co-borrowers along with the main borrower. Hence, all co-owners are necessarily co-applicants in the home loan application, along with the main borrower, but all the co-applicants may not be the co-owners of the property.

When applying for a home loan as a co-borrower and co-owner, remember:

  • They cannot be a minor.
  • They must be a married couple or can be an immediate relative.
  • They must have a consistent source of income.
  • On death or payment default by the primary borrower, the co-borrower and co-owner become responsible for the repayment of the home loan.


A co-applicant refers to a person who applies along with the primary loan applicant. This is done so that their income can be used to supplement the borrower’s income and increase his/her eligibility for a loan. A co-applicant is equally liable for loan repayment in the case of non-payment or the event of the death of the primary borrower. Only a few specified relations can be added as co-applicants in a home loan i.e. Brother-brother, father-son, mother-son, husband-wife, etc. 


A co-signer signs the home loan application along with the primary borrower, mainly when the main borrower does not have a good credit score. A co-signer neither has any right, title, or interest in the property for which the loan is being used for nor he/she is entitled to the right to use the loan amount. A co-signer helps the applicant to get approved for a loan easily.