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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Cosigning for Kids - Is It Worth the Risk?

There are lots of parents who cosign for vehicles, apartments, and homes for their children who have little or bad credit. Sometimes a parent has to sign as a primary owner with the child as a secondary owner. My mother supported me in this way when I was younger. However, is it always worth the risk to go out on a limb for children and loved ones?

A friend of mine would be inclined to say no.

She took on the primary responsibility for her young daughter's car loan. The twenty-something daughter needed reliable transportation to move between freelance IT job opportunities, as that was how she made her living. She also was involved in weekly church activities that ended at night. No mother wants her daughter to be vulnerable, so she agreed to put her credit on the line for her daughter's protection and convenience.

Needless to say, this story does not have a happy ending.

In short, the daughter, who was also generally irresponsible, stuck her mother with the bill more often than not. The daughter was quite the diva, and her feelings of entitlement caused her mother to become financially strapped in order to keep from ruining her credit.

Sometimes kids need and appreciate a hand up. Sometimes parents can become enablers. My children aren't even old enough to ride bicycles yet, so I dread the day when they ask me for a set of keys. It must be difficult dealing with issues of whether or not to help certain children in certain ways. This must be another side of what people call "tough love."

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1 Comments:

Blogger FeelessBalanceTransfer.com said...

Cosigning is almost always a bad idea, but as long as the parents have enough money to pay the installment if the child gets flaky, it's not so bad. Young women are vulnerable at night, so it's better to just cosign, hope for the best, and constantly remind her to pay her bills on time. For me, I think I'll just buy my daughter a car outright when she is old enough. If she wants credit cards she's on her own.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008 1:34:00 PM  

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