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If you are in the market for a personal loan but the lender told you that you need a co-signer, you should ask yourself if you really should be taking out this loan. If a reputable lender won't give you a loan unless you have a co-signer, that's a sign that you may be in over your head. Will the bank loan you a smaller amount without a co-signer? If so, consider this alternative. Unless you absolutely cannot afford to wait, you should consider putting off your purchase until you can either pay cash for it or can get the credit on your own. If you need a co-signer because you don't have a credit record on which the lender can base a decision, find out what specific actions the lender would consider as positive steps toward building your credit—and then do them.