6 credit report items that scare lenders

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Someone else's debt
Someone else's debt © aodaodaodaod/

Someone else's debt

Here's something you might not know: When you co-sign on the dotted line to help someone else get a loan or a card, that entire debt goes on your credit report.

While the fact you've co-signed is neither good nor bad, it does mean that -- as far as any potential lenders are concerned -- you're carrying that debt yourself. And it will be included in your existing debt load when you apply for a home mortgage, credit card or any other form of credit, says Ulzheimer.

And if the person you co-signed for stops paying, pays late or misses payments, that bad behavior will likely go on your credit report.

So when someone tells you that co-signing is painless because you'll never have to part with a dime, you can tell them that's not true. Co-signing means agreeing not only to repay the obligation if necessary, but also to allow the debt -- and any nonpayment -- to count against you the next time you apply for credit yourself.

Co-signing for a friend or family member "plays well at the Thanksgiving table, but it doesn't play well in the underwriting office," says Ulzheimer.


Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

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