6 common car-shopping mistakes

Prepare for worst if you co-sign loan 

q_v2.gifDear Terry,
My significant other is interested in refinancing her car loan, but her credit could be better. I have a very good credit history and have agreed to co-sign.

Do lenders view the signers equally or is one more heavily weighted? And do both names need to be on the title?
-- Kevin

a_v2.gifDear Kevin,
Lenders look at both applicants' credit history and make an overall decision how likely it is that one or the other will eventually repay the loan.

A word of caution: I am constantly inundated with e-mails from people who co-sign for girlfriends, boyfriends, brothers, sisters, even co-workers, and all these e-mails tell unhappy tales -- the person stopped making payments, ran off with the vehicle or otherwise left the co-signer holding the bag.

I don't care how much you love the other person or how reliable you think he or she is, don't co-sign unless you're prepared to take on the loan if the worst happens. And, yes, get your name on the title. It will make it easier to lay claim to the car if the deal goes bad.


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