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3. Your Legal Responsibility
By placing your signature in co-signatory's spot, you will be guaranteeing that if your friend does not make payments, you will. Do you really have spare money each month to cover loan if it came down to that?
4. The Collection Process
If your friend defaults on loan, and it goes into collection process, it is possible lender will bypass your friend and come after you first. After all, they knew he was a risk, and you are one with better credit record and more likely to have money. The law will vary between countries, but in US this is true in most states, and it would be important to find out where your own state stands on this policy before.
In addition, you should be aware that by co-signing for a loan you may actually reduce amount of credit you will be able to get yourself. Your friend's loan will count towards your total debt owed.
5. If You Decide To Go Ahead And Co-Sign For A Loan
If you do finally decide to co-sign for a loan, here are a couple of steps that you should take in order to protect yourself as much as possible:
Firstly, it is wise to request that you will be notified in writing, should your friend miss or be late with a payment. By learning of any problems early on, it will help you keep potential damage to your own credit report from getting out of control.
Next, make sure you also get copies of all loan documents, plus repayment schedules. Ask for a copy of everything that your friend gets, in case there is ever a dispute. Then you will know what legal rights you have.
Being a co-signatory for a loan is a serious responsibility, and is something that you should think long and hard about. Even if it is your best friend who is asking you, think seriously about consequences. It is not just potential financial loss to you; your friendship could be on line. Friendship and money often do not go well together, so beware.
Roy Thomsitt is the owner and part author of http://www.eliminate-credit-card-debt-now.com