Cosigning A Loan: Things You Need To Consider

Written by Muskan Behune

The name is Muskan, so probably was destined to spread smiles wherever I go. Writing is something which has grown on me with each passing day. Follow your passion in saying is a cliché but in doing is serious fun. So here I am to engage with my passion and maybe spread some smiles along the way.

December 30, 2020

If your friends or family members ever ask you to co-sign for a loan, give this decision plenty of consideration before you say yes. Nearly 40 per cent of co-signers saw themselves covering some or all of a loan or credit card debt. While the key creditors they were supporting could not make payments, according to a study performed.

If a close family member or a really nice buddy is the borrower, “no” is normally the best response. And for a long period or at least before the loan is repaid, the borrower for whom you are cosigning a loan should be someone you will be very near to. At the very least, at family parties and social activities, this option might make for some awkwardness. In the absolute least, you might wind up being sued by a lender to repay the loan responsibility of someone else.

In the absolute least, you might wind up being sued by a lender to repay the loan responsibility of someone else.

Why Does Someone In The First Instance Want You For Cosigning A Loan?

That is mostly attributed to a lack of credit background i.e., for a young or first-time borrower. Or that they have a poor credit score attributable to late payments, charge-offs, or even unfavourable credit incidents if a borrower is unable to receive credit on their own. In certain situations, a loan offer can be obtained by the borrower, albeit at a prohibitively high-interest rate. A lender can recommend to the applicant that they can then apply for the loan. If he or she can find a cosigner for a student loan who has a good positive background. Auto loans, mortgages, credit cards, and private student loans are the forms of loans that might need or benefit from a creditworthy co-signer. So, now you know what is a cosigner on a student loan?

So a friend or family member comes to you because they can’t get a loan. Their credit score or income might be too low or their existing debt is too high. Whatever the reason, they’ve asked you to co-sign a loan with them. What follows are five things to consider before cosigning a loan.

What Does Cosigning A Loan Mean?

When you co-sign a loan, you promise to pay off somebody else’s debt if the borrower stops making payments for any reason. In the case of the friend or family member mentioned above, it means that they are a high-risk candidate. And the lender needs to know that if they can’t pay the loan, you will step in and make the payments. This not only helps the applicant get a loan, but it might also help them get a lower interest rate and fees. 

Since your loved one gets a loan and you feel great about helping them, it’s a win-win for everyone, right? Not always. There are a few things to think about before you decide to cosign a loan.

Five Things To Consider Before Cosigning A Loan

Cosigning a student loan pros and cons:

Your Credit Score Could Be Impacted 

Let’s say you are cosigning a loan for a friend, and while the loan is still outstanding, you need a loan for yourself. You might find that your application gets denied because your credit score is too low as the co-signed loan information is reported on the credit reports of both loan applicants. The credit inquiry, balance, and newly opened account can reduce points.

Another scenario could be that your friend doesn’t pay the loan payments on time. Since you are cosigning the loan, this late payment history will be reported to the credit bureau and negatively affect your credit score

Your Savings Might Suffer 

You’ve worked hard to save money for things you need now or for your future retirement. What’s going to happen if the person you cosigned with loses his or her job or gets a pay cut and can’t make full payments on the loan? Do you have enough money coming in every month to pay the loan, or will you have to dig into your savings so you can make the payments? If you have to go into savings or stop your savings plan, that could have a huge effect on your financial future.

Impact on an Important Family Relationship or Friendship 

When you first cosign a loan, everyone is pretty much happy. You’re helping out a family member or friend, and that person is getting the loan they need. As with many financial relationships, that period might not last very long.

If the person who needed the loan makes on-time payments every month for the duration of the loan, then all is well. However, if one or more payments are missed or late, and you have to make sure the person is making payments constantly, the relationship can get rocky. One missed, or late payment can create problems for your credit, and that puts a strain on any relationship, no matter how close you are at the start.

If Things Go Bad, You’re Responsible

Sounds strange, right? If your friend or family member borrowed the money and didn’t pay it back, the first person the lender comes after is you. Why? Well, by cosigning the loan, you are the one that enabled the defaulter to get the loan initially. They’ll assume this person doesn’t have the funds to make the payments, so you’re the first in line to get contacted and potentially sued.

Be Sure to Get Copies of All Important Documents 

There’s no doubt you want to trust the person with whom you’re cosigning fully. However, you also have to watch out for yourself at all times. That means it’s important to get hold of all documents you might need in case there’s a dispute between your cosigner and the creditor. Make sure you get documents like the loan contract, Truth-in-Lending Disclosure Statement, and all warranties if you’re cosigning for a purchase.

So think twice or three times or more when a friend or family member asks you for cosigning a loan. Saying “yes” might feel good for the moment but can lead to negative consequences for both your relationship and financial status.

As A Co-Signer, How Do You Handle The Risks?

Pros and Cons of consigning a loan:

Know your borrower

Given the dangers, know your borrowing party well, really well, if you ever want to become a cosigner on somebody else’s debt responsibility. As we’ve learned, it may also be a poor move to co-finance a student loan for a close friend or family member. Cosigning a loan for a coworker, a casual friend, or a stranger should still be an instant “no” from your end.

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Your expenditure analysis

Can the budget withstand the extra burden of making the interest payments before it is completely compensated if the main borrower defaults on the loan? If that happens, be prepared. The primary borrower often checks his or her budget to give you an amount of confidence in their capacity to repay the loan commitment while proposing or insisting on you.  If either of your budgets would struggle under the new loan payments, pass it by and look for another way.

Get copies of it all

Request to get duplicate statements delivered to you to have and have login credentials in addition to backups of the loan papers, so that you both know the status of mortgage payments.

Get out as soon as you’re ready to

You may withdraw yourself from your position as a cosigner in two respects, and you should do so at your earliest opportunity. One strategy is to make the primary borrower agree to refinance the loan at some stage in the future under his or her own name when their assets are better established. This may be a basic handshake arrangement, but a formal agreement is far stronger for the two of you.

The choice for a co-signer release can be for certain loans, such as private student loans. Usually, this release is not automatic and strict conditions, such as making a specific amount of on-time payments, must be fulfilled. In order to initiate the procedure, either the primary borrower or the cosigner should apply for a cosigner release form from the lender.

Finally, question yourself and your struggling borrower if all options to using a co-signer to secure the loan have been thoroughly explored. Because, both your good credit and your hard-earned income are at stake as a co-signer.

So before you make the decision keep in mind, consigning a student loan pros and cons. 

If you enjoyed reading this blog, then make sure you check out our other informative blogs linked below!

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