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Co-signing a Loan

Question: I have a very good credit rating and am considering co-signing on a loan for a family member who has a very poor credit rating. Will her poor credit rating affect my credit rating in any way, if I co-sign the loan? Thank you, Bette, Richfield, MN

Answer: Her poor credit rating won't immediately affect you on co-signing--assuming that she then pays her bills on time. But if she defaults you're on the hook to make good on the debt. The lender will go after you for the money she owes. Your good credit rating could be ruined. It's understandable that you want to help out a family member, but co-signing a loan is very risky.

About the author

Chris Farrell is the economics editor of Marketplace Money.

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