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Readers Respond: The Downside of Co-signing

Responses: 8


When a friend or family member asks you to co-sign, the loving part of you tells you there's nothing wrong with it, that you should do it. Too often, co-signing ends in disaster and most often for the person who co-signed. Did you co-sign for someone and get screwed over?

Everything Possible Gone Wrong

Two years ago I co-signed for a boyfriend I thought I would eventually marry. I regulated the payments on a Honda Accord thinking that was all I really needed to worry about..wrong! He was not paying for insurance and crashed the car. The damage was $8000 worth. Then he tells me one day that he can no longer make the payments because guess what with his NEW outstanding credit he bought himself a Harley...so considerate of him! I was basically left with $14,000 left on a car that was completely totaled. I had the other insurance company calling me. And low and behold I was the primary...a loan written not to protect me but rather hurt me in the end. Did I let it destroy me..no. I ended up paying the debt with the money I saved to pay my own student loans and save my credit. To this day I have yet to receive an apology. Honda submitted the paperwork wrong and also had fault in this. Moral of the story do not EVER co-sign for anyone!!! There is a lot more to co-signing then a signature!
—Guest Guest Laura

Don't Let the Smooth Talk Foolya

Met ex on an online dating site 2004, married 2005. First refi "his" home 2006, Second refi he needed my signature. marriage failed...moved 2008...STUCK !!! NOW THAT I NEED CORNEA TRANSPLANT, UNABLE TO SECURE LOAN FOR BALANCE OF SURGERY. NEVER NO MATTER WHO IT MAY BE NEVER CO SIGN !!!!!! YOU WILL REGRET IT ... SAVE URSELF THE AGGRAVATION. PEOPLE TURN ON YOU AND YOU ARE STUCK WITH A HUGE DEBT, LIKE $643K. NO LONGER DO I HAVE PLATINUM CREDIT. THANKS TO MY STUPIDITY AND TRUSTING IN THOSE WHO ARE DECEITFUL LIARS. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, CO SIGN UNLESS YOU CAN PAY OFF THE LOAN !!!! ...tread with caution on online dating sites, it's filled with men and women looking for help. RUN
—Guest Eeek Harmony

Did not know it would effect my credit.

I agreed to pay if my niece didn't because I knew her that well that she would pay for it and not leave me hanging. I want to buy my first home at age 60. But my credit score has been greatly effected by her late payments. My payments get a grade of F just because of her 1 car payment a month. I should have been told and her too that my credit score will be effected by her being late. How long will her late payments effect my credit rating. I am just sick over this, She would have tried even harder to pay on time if she knew how it hurt my credit.
—Guest Cathi

closer the family the harder the sting!

I co-signed for my sister.. she had a judgement against her and they didn't want her name in it at all. I was in the position to help, I had good credit, so I signed and got her a car. Shortly after she applied for another car with another cardealer to put a car in HER name. Well she got it, and walked out on any responsibility with the car I got her... it was repo'ed and everything in my life was repo'ed with it. AND THENNN she bought my moms van for a BUCK and traded the van and the car she had bought that time, for a brand new van .. so here I am walking because of a bankruptcy I feel forced into and she is driving a brand new dodge van. She always hated to even lend me a vehicle. Even when she had the chance to help me she wouldn't even try. I paid the ultimate price for helping her when she needed it. This is what it got me. 7-10, no parole..lol, well things could be worse I guess,looks like I will be walking right up to my discharge date a few months from now! never again! EVER
—Guest Peter

Completely Inaccurate

This is a disgusting over-generalization! And due to this horrible over-generalization, I am currently totally unable to build any type of positive credit history and therefore cannot get a credit card. No bank or credit card company will give me my first card, just because I don't make a lot of money. I have never not paid my rent on time, and have obviously never been in debt (that would be impossible...I've never even been given the opportunity). I have no clue how to start building a credit history, and this is a major problem! I am almost 30, a full time student with no student loan. I was not even approved for a loan actually! Thankfully I was approved for a few grants though which seems to be enough as long as I stay in a community college and don't take very many courses at a time. I recently tried applying for a student credit card and my application was declined again. Co-signing with a family member is the only option I may have. This is an incredibly stupid situation!!!
—Guest H

Parents Co-Signing Nightmare

When I was 18, I co-signed a loan for my parents out of guilt, because they needed help to pay off a debt. I thought they'd make the payments. Now I'm 24 years old and started looking for a home to buy, so I decided to check on my credit only to find out that the loan had been charged-off. I really dont know what to do, so if anybody has any advice i would gladly apprdiate the advice.
—Guest Guest Tony

Burnt by Family Member

My son did not make credit card payments. I paid the balance in full, cancelled card, and the bank sent him another card! Now I'm being sued for more charges.
—Guest c.morris

Responsibility With No Benefits

No kidding! I did this once, with my fiance, Richard, to refinance the mortgage on his house. But nobody told us he should also put the house in my name – and we turned down life insurance on the loan. He died suddenly a month or two later, and there I was! He had no will, so I couldn’t even inherit the house. Fortunately, his brother, who was next-of-kin, respected what Richard would have wanted; he had the house sold and the debt paid from the proceeds.
—Guest Marcia

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