FAQ: Should I Co-Sign for My Son/Daughter’s Mortgage?


Co-signing for Mortgage

Cover of The Magnificent Seven (Special Edition)

Co-signing for Mortgage of Son or Daughter Difficult Decision

Good deeds never go unpunished.  Or, as Calvero said in the classic movie “The Magnificent Seven“…”Sooner or later you must answer for every good deed”

You’ve been warned.  Only you know about the level of responsibility your child has achieved.  Regardless of your love and high opinion of them you cannot foresee every setback and obstacle your child will face.  There are reasons for their poor credit.  You should start by addressing these reasons even if it takes more than a little “tough love.”  When Warren Buffet was asked how much he gave his children he replied: “Enough to do something but not enough to do nothing.”

Co-Signing for Mortgage Carries Risk to You

Bear in mind that co-signing for mortgage makes you just as responsible for this obligation as they are.  The mortgage loan’s payment activity will be reported to your credit bureau‘s records as well as theirs.  This is fine if payments are made on time.  If they aren’t your score will be pulled down with theirs.

There is a great potential for hard feelings no matter which way you go.  You could demand monthly proof of timely payments but will you be greeted with the response that you are treating them like a teenager?  What happens when they forget?

You may want to ask what the hurry is.  There may be a legitimate great buy that needs to be immediately secured legitimately.  Many times it is more impatience to jump into something they may not yet be prepared for.  There are a lot of buying opportunities for shrewd buyers with today’s low interest rates and high inventory.  That situation is likely to be here next year at this time.

Don’t Make co-signing for Mortgage Easy

Sweat them a little before signing at the very least.  If the problem is poor credit offer to work on that with them.  If the problem is a down payment or a need for closing costs you are probably better off making a separate personal loan for that purpose rather than tying up your own credit score by co-signing for mortgage.

Best of luck with this emotional and personal decision.  Your heart and your head need to work together on this one.



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After practicing law for 37 years Edward F. St. Onge, Sr. now devotes all his time to helping consumers achieve a high credit score with amazing speed. Learn the counter-intuitive secrets to credit scoring through his down to earth instructions backed by extensive knowledge of the laws and trends. All of the latest tricks and techniques that they don't want you to know now at your disposal. At last a level playing field for the consumer!

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