5 ways to limit the risk of co-signing a personal loan

Last updated on November 25th, 2021
  Written by 
Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
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Co-signing a personal loan can be a great way for borrowers who have a low credit score or bad credit to increase their chances of being approved. As much as there are many benefits that come with co-signing there are risks that could possibly make your situation worse. Here are five ways that you can limit the risk of co-signing a personal loan.

Do it with someone who is responsible

Agreeing to co-sign a personal loan is an important financial responsibility that needs to be carefully considered. If a friend or a loved one asks you to take out a loan on their behalf, this means that you will assume responsibility in ensuring that the monthly repayments of it are met. This is why it is vital that you sign a loan with someone who you trust and know is responsible because if they miss out on a payment you will be liable to pay out the full cost of the loan.

Fully discuss your expectations

It doesn’t matter whether you are taking a loan on behalf of your spouse or a friend whom you have known for years. It is vital that you have a detailed discussion on the expectations that you have when signing the loan. It is vital that you have a transparent discussion on how much each party is earning and what your current expenses to see if you will be able to meet the repayments on the loan. It is advisable to get a legal agreement that can ensure that you are protected should things go sour.

Consider the implications

Throwing financial responsibility into a personal relationship can be a recipe for disaster. Although it may not always be the case, it can cause turmoil in relationships which is vital that people assess whether taking out a personal loan with a loved one or friend is worth risking a potential relationship. If you know that the person who is asking you to co-sign a loan has a history of mismanaging their finances, or not meeting repayments on time then you will be better off not getting into a financial agreement with them.

There could be a lack of control

You need to consider the fact that you may have limited control in terms of the reports and updates that will be sent to the main borrower. It is their responsibility to keep you informed on these reports and updates. It is your responsibility to ensure that the person you are in agreement honours the agreement so that they do not default on payments which could heavily impact you.

It could affect your future borrowing

Keep in mind that should a person you are taking out a loan on behalf of can affect your future borrowing. If you plan on taking out a loan in future. Some lenders could deny your application due to you having too much credit in your name already. There is also the fact that if they default on payments it can be written on your credit report if you are unable to pay off the loan in full.

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This guide provides general information and does not consider your individual needs, finances or objectives. We do not make any recommendation or suggestion about which product is best for you based on your specific situation and we do not compare all companies in the market, or all products offered by all companies. It’s always important to consider whether professional financial, legal or taxation advice is appropriate for you before choosing or purchasing a financial product.

The content on our website is produced by experts in the field of finance and reviewed as part of our editorial guidelines. We endeavour to keep all information across our site updated with accurate information.

Approval for personal loans is always subject to our lender’s terms, conditions and qualification criteria. Lenders will undertake a credit check in line with responsible lending obligations to help determine whether you’re in a position to take on the loan you’re applying for.

The interest rate, comparison rate, fees and monthly repayments will depend on factors specific to your profile, such as your financial situation, as well as others, such as the loan’s size and your chosen repayment term. Costs such as broker fees, redraw fees or early repayment fees, and cost savings such as fee waivers, aren’t included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts may result in a different comparison rate.

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