6 Things for Co-Signers to Consider

Are you thinking about co-signing on a loan? If you’re looking to help out a family member or loved one, this is a great way to do that as a co-signer can help overcome stress testing and borrowing limits.

However, it is important to be aware of the implications when co-signing on any loan.

  1. Credit History: If you are acting as a co-signer or guarantor on any loan, you essentially allow them access to your credit history. This means, if the borrower is late on the payments or there are issues with the loan, it will affect your credit score as well as theirs.
  2. Legal Implications: Always be sure to understand the taxes, legal and estate situations that go along with co-signing, should the borrower fail to pay. A lawyer can help you review the loan agreement and advise of any items you may need to take note of.
  3. Timeline: Understanding how many years the co-signer agreement will be in place and what your options are for making changes will help you determine the scope of the loan and if you are able to make changes at any point should the borrower become able to assume the entirety of the mortgage on their own in the future.
  4. Personal Income Tax: Depending on the loan, you may have an obligation to pay capital gains taxes so it is a good idea to review your personal tax situation with an accountant prior to signing off on the co-borrower agreement to ensure no surprises.
  5. Relationship with Borrower: This is a vital consideration for going in on any loan. Do you trust the individual? Are you aware of their financial situation? Are you willing to potentially put yourself at risk to assist them? These are all important questions as many of us may want to help out family or loved ones, but it is important to ensure that the individual is reliable.
  6. Future Finances: Lastly, consider your future finances and if you had any plans in the future that could be impacted by an additional loan. How much flexibility do you need for yourself and your family? If you have plans to refinance for a renovation or make changes to your own mortgage, being a co-signer could affect your options.

Co-signing for a loan always requires careful consideration as it is a large responsibility. However, when done correctly and with people you trust, it can be a great way to assist family members or loved ones with their goal of homeownership. If you are considering co-signing on a loan and have any questions or would like more clarity, please don’t hesitate to reach out to a DLC Mortgage Expert today!

This post was originally posted on the Dominion Lending Centres ‘Our House’ blog, the original post can be found here.

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