The Dangers of Co-Signing
By Michelle Black
We've all been there before. A friend or family member asks you to co-sign for a car loan, a home loan, or some other type of financing and you feel obligated to help your loved one out. You might think that being a co-signer is not really that big of a deal since you are not the primary borrower on the account. However, the truth is that co-signing for someone else really is a big deal and not only is it a big deal, it can be detrimental to your credit as well.
When you co-sign for someone else's loan you are legally responsible for the account just like you would be if you received the loan for yourself. Co-signing makes you a joint account holder. Plus, although you are not in control of making the monthly payments, the credit history for the account will affect your credit scores every single month. If your loved one makes even 1 late payment on the account, your credit score could drop - in some cases up to 100 points or more.
The HOPE4USA team strongly recommends that our clients never, ever, ever co-sign for a friend or family member, not even for a child. Spouses are the only people you should ever consider co-signing for and then ONLY IF one of you cannot qualify for the loan based upon your income alone (i.e. a mortgage loan). We know that can be very hard to say "no" to a loved one, but if you make up your mind ahead of time that you will never co-sign it can help to make the situation a little easier when and if it presents itself.
Remember, you can refer your friends or family members to the HOPE Program if they are facing credit issues. Our caring staff will be happy to help the people you care about establish the healthy credit they need to qualify for future financing on their own. Call 704-499-9696 for more information on the amazing services offered by the HOPE Program.
Michelle Black is an author and leading credit expert with nearly a decade and a half of experience, a recognized credit expert on talk shows and podcasts nationwide, and a regularly featured speaker at seminars across the country. She is an expert on improving credit scores, budgeting, and identity theft. You can connect with Michelle on the HOPE4USA Facebook page by clicking here.