loan

Co-signer unlikely to sue successfully

Dear Dr. Don,
My son attends a computer school. His former girlfriend's mother co-signed a college loan for him while he was dating her daughter. He insists that he did not want her to co-sign but she did it anyway. She didn't even consult me before doing it. But my son is an adult (age 26), so I guess he handled the situation.

He is attending the school and now the woman wants to cancel the loan. My son told me they are threatening to take him to court. Can she do this?
-- Peeved Pam

Dear Pam,
I don't see where your son has much to worry about here. When the woman co-signed the loan, she agreed to make good on the loan payments if your son did not. She would have a hard time convincing a judge that she signed the note against her will.

For the girlfriend's mother to get out from under the obligation, your son would have to refinance the loan. His ability to do that will depend on his credit and available loan program. His school's financial aid office should be able to tell him if that is a realistic solution.

When a person co-signs a loan, he or she is taking on a risk that a commercial lender isn't willing to accept. There's often a measure of regret after doing it. However, the co-signer cannot get out of the responsibility until the loan has been closed. Threatening to sue your son isn't likely to get them anywhere.

Don't get sucked into the vortex on this issue by offering to guarantee a new loan for your son. This lady made a bad decision and has to live with it. I hope your son doesn't take advantage of it and makes the scheduled loan payments without needing her assistance.

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