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How to protect yourself when co-signing a car loan Part Of Financing a Car With a Co-Signer In this series Financing a Car With a Co-Signer Advertiser Disclosure Advertiser Disclosure We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. Our aim is to assist you make better financial choices by offering you interactive financial calculators and tools that provide objective and unique content. We also allow you to conduct research and compare data at no cost and help you make sound financial decisions. Bankrate has partnerships with issuers including, but not limited to American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Discover. How We Earn money The products that appear on this website are provided by companies who pay us. This compensation could affect how and when products are featured on this website, for example, for example, the order in which they appear within the listing categories in the event that they are not permitted by law. This applies to our loans, mortgages, and other products for home loans. This compensation, however, does have no impact on the information we publish, or the reviews appear on this website. We do not contain the vast array of companies or financial deals that might be open to you. Oliver Rossi/Getty Images
2 min read published on October 12, 2022.
Authored by Rebecca Betterton Written by Auto Loans Reporter Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She specializes in assisting readers with the ins and outs of securely taking out loans to purchase cars. Written by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been editing and writing for Bankrate since late 2021. They are passionate about helping readers feel confident to control their finances by providing concise, well-studied facts that break down complex topics into manageable bites. The Bankrate promises
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So, this compensation can influence the manner, place and in what order products appear within listing categories and categories, unless it is prohibited by law. We also offer mortgage and home equity products, as well as other products for home loans. Other factors, such as our own proprietary website rules and whether or not a product is available within your area or at your self-selected credit score range could also affect how and where products appear on this website. Although we try to offer the most diverse selection of products, Bankrate does not include details about each credit or financial item or product. The act of signing off as a cosigner can make vehicle ownership possible for a relative or friend member who isn’t eligible for financing without your help. However, co-signing is not without risks, as you share the same legal responsibility for the loan and missed payments. default can have an impact on your finances. But if the vehicle owner is responsible, co-signing could increase your credit score. Five ways to protect yourself as a co-signer these tips to ensure your financial security should you decide to act as a co-signer on a future . 1. Use co-signers only for close friends or relatives A big danger of co-signing as co-signer on a loan co-signer can cause damage to your credit score. In general, you should assist a friend or family member who you trust — someone with a consistent income and a stable financial situation. It is essential to ensure that the borrower in question is able to repay but was not able to do so because of their insufficient credit history or financial stability. 2. Be sure that your name is on the vehicle title Co-signers don’t hold ownership of the vehicle. This means that how you’re listed on the loan agreement is important. If you are not named on the title, you might not be able to claim legal rights to the vehicle, but you could be on the hook for any future payments. Confirm that the title states the primary owner and yourself. The vehicle can’t sell without the two parties with their signatures. 3. Create a contract Although you both agree on the loan in its entirety and the contract itself, having a separate one detailing your expectations of the principal borrower could be an additional layer of security and serves as an indication of the agreement’s severity. The contract does not have to be complex. Just a promissory note outlining the cost, obligations, and what default means for both parties. After you both have agreed that you will present the document to a notary in order to have it finalized. 4. Monitor monthly payments One method to be more confident about the principal borrower’s capacity to pay is to track the payment schedule for each month. It can be as easy as setting up a reminder on a calendar to check on the amount they spend. Although this may be uncomfortable however, keep in mind that your credit score is at risk. Reach out and start an exchange to inquire about your family member or friend without micromanaging the loan. 5. Ensure you can afford payments In the event that all else fails you must ensure that you can cover the cost of the loan. If you are not able to pay back the lender, your credit score will be at risk as you may be at risk of default or other legal action. The principal borrower is responsible for the largest share of the burden, but you are ultimately responsible for the loan as co-signer. What happens when you co-sign an auto loan affects your credit The dangers of co-signing a vehicle loan are not difficult, but they could be grave. If the person you sign for doesn’t pay, your may be in for a major loss and be on the responsibility of paying for the loan. However, there are other potential advantages for your credit score. Credit mix: Based on the current credit accounts and the addition of a car loan in your credit score can increase what’s known as”your credit mixture. Your credit mix makes up 10% of the FICO credit score. Pay history: While your score could decrease in the event that the primary borrower does not make timely payments, it’s possible to benefit in a much smaller scale -by having them make consistent timely payments. The bottom line Acting as co-signer is an important financial decision that can cause financial or interpersonal headaches. For many, it is the difference between owning a vehicle or not. If you choose to co-sign the loan ensure you are protected and make certain you are able to pay for the loan in the event that the primary borrower defaults. Find out more
Written by Auto Loans Reporter Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She specializes in assisting readers to navigate the ins and outs of securely borrowing money to purchase an automobile. Written by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate since late 2021. They are passionate about helping readers gain confidence to control their finances by providing concise, well-researched, and clear details that cut otherwise complicated topics into digestible pieces.
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