November 23, 2007, Newsletter Issue #91: Co-signing for Friends

Tip of the Week

Guaranteed personal loans, or those that require a co-signer to be approved, can be risky business for the co-signer. Just because someone needs a co-signer isn't necessarily a sign that they are not creditworthy. It may be that they have no demonstrated credit history and so the bank cannot make an informed decision one way or the other. On the other hand, it could definitely mean that the person is a risky bet. Here's some good guaranteed loan advice: Before you co-sign a loan for a relative or friend—each of which can be fraught with hassles down the road—make sure you consider the person's character, ability to make the payments, and whether you could honestly afford the debt if the borrower can't or won't make the payments. Even though you will not benefit from any of the proceeds of the loan, you will nonetheless be responsible for paying it back in full if your friend or relative bails on you.

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