Co-Signing a Loan – Should you do it if someone asks?
March 5, 2016
Everything You Need to Know about Co-signing a Loan
Co-signing a loan may be a requirement by the lender when giving loan. This is the act agreeing to pay the debt if the borrower fails. Individuals with good credit score are often asked by their friend or a family member to co-sign. Although, you are willing to help; you must also be aware of its multifarious aspects. This article will focus on both the faces of co- signing the loan and help you make an informed decision.
What a co-signer is liable of:
When cosign a loan, he or she is pledged to pay the debt in-case the borrower defaults. Moreover, the cosigner is liable to pay the extra amount including late fees and collection money. The creditor has the right to collect the debt from the cosigner without even approaching the borrower (depending on the law of the state). Plus, they can sue or even seize salary.
So, make sure you can afford the amount and are willing to accept the responsibility.
Why would someone consider co-signing a loan?
You might want to co-sign a loan for your son and buy him his first car. You might also want to cosign someone’s education loan! The fact that, credit rejection is common; especially for people with low credit score; you can help them by cosigning a loan. This will help increase their credit score and credit history, as well as get them the transportation or education they need.
Things to Consider:
- Make sure that you can afford the debt amount
- Defaulting may get you sued or lose credit rating
- It may keep you from getting other loans
- Before cosigning, ask your creditor to quote the effective amount you will owe
- You could negotiate and limit your obligations to just the principal and not include the additional charges
- You must take the copies of all essential papers after cosigning
- Know your co-signer rights
Risks of Co-signing a Loan:
Co-signing a loan comes with a lot of risk, like increasing the DTI (debt-to-income) ratio. As a cosigner is an integral part of the loan; he/she must address the loan closing documents. The loan is reflected in the credit report and the monthly payment goes to the DTI ratio. Moreover, as the amount you owe is 30 percentage of the FICO score, hence lowers the credit score. More, is the debt amount, lower will be the credit score. Keep the DTI ratio below 36 percentage.
By co-signing, you are accepting the responsibility and are tied to it until the balance is paid off. There is no escaping once done. However, in certain cases like with student loan, you can avail release from being cosigner.
The bottom line is, if the needs of the borrower outweighs you personal preference, you should choose to cosign the agreement. However, it is advisable to judge you friends trustworthiness wisely. It might not be noble, but this may save you later.