What Are The Risks Of Cosigning For A Mortgage
Being a cosigner on a home loanor any loanis a status that carries no rights at all. While you’ll share liability for the cosigned mortgage with the borrower, you most likely won’t get an ownership interest in the property. So, you risk having to repay the loan without benefitting from living in the home or owning a part of it.
As far as responsibilities, you’re 100% responsible for the complete repayment of the loan. Before you cosign, you need to ensure you’re comfortable covering the mortgage payments if the primary borrower can’t.
What Is the Difference Between a Cosigner and Co-Borrower on a Mortgage Loan?
“Cosigner” and “co-borrower” are two terms that describe a person who helps someone else get a loan. A cosigner and co-borrower both:
- use their credit and income to qualify for the loan
- are legally obligated to make the loan payments if the other person doesn’t
- can face a lawsuit from the lender if the other person doesn’t make payments, and
- will end up with damage to their credit if the other person makes late payments or stops paying.
So, as you can see, cosigners and co-borrowers are similar. The main difference is that a co-borrower is usually listed on the home’s title and co-owns the property. A cosigner’s name, however, isn’t listed on the home’s title and the cosigner doesn’t get the right to live in the property. Basically, a cosigner takes all the risks associated with borrowing money but gets none of the perks.
Stay On Top Of The Loan:
If you do cosign a loan, stay on top of it:
- Ask the lender to agree to notify you if the borrower misses a payment. This will give you time to deal with the problem or make missed payments without having to repay the entire amount immediately.
- Make sure you get copies of all important papers, such as the loan contract, the Truth in Lending Disclosure Statement, and warranties if you are cosigning for a purchase. You may need these documents if there is a dispute between the borrower and the seller. You may have to get copies from the buyer.
- Get duplicate statements sent to your home or online access to the account. If you are able to do this, you wonât have to rely on the lender to notify you about missed payments.
- Get online access to the account. This will give you the most immediate and up-to-date information and allow you to keep track of the payments in real time.
- Contact the lender at the first sign of trouble. This may help you avoid expensive collection costs.
Warning: A Quitclaim Deed Does Not Take Your Name Off The Mortgage
Note that signing a quitclaim deed surrendering your interest in the property does NOT remove you from the mortgage. You will still be responsible for the entire debt if your co-borrower fails to make payments, resulting in a notice of default or notice of sale on the trust deed, commonly referred to as a mortgage. Furthermore, you have the right to demand money from the property you co-own, which is why the bank made you co-sign on the mortgage. Making things even worse, if you quitclaim the property, you may have no right to file a partition action whereby you can force your co-owner/co-borrower to remove you from the mortgage.
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What Are Some Other Things To Consider Before Cosigning A Loan
- Even if the main borrower pays on time and youre not asked to repay the debt, your liability for the loan may keep you from getting other credit. Creditors will consider the loan you cosigned as one of your obligations.
- Before you pledge property to secure the loan, like your car, furniture, or jewelry, make sure you understand the consequences. If the borrower defaults, you could lose them.
- Generally, lenders want to see a cosigner with high credit score, a clean credit report, and a long history of consistent, on-time payments. If you meet those criteria, are you willing to put it all on the line to cosign someone elses loan?
How Can I Prepare For The Worst When I Cosign For A Loan
Before you cosign for a loan, you should make sure you have a backup plan in case the primary borrower defaults or misses payments.
- Make a clear budget. Sit down with your loved one and go through their income and expenses to make sure they have the money available to make payments.
- Sign a written agreement. See about signing a legal contract with the borrower so you have some backup if they default on their loan.
- Fill out a cosigner release form. Find out if your lender offers a release to cosigners and what protection you might be entitled to.
- Take out loan insurance. Ask the borrower to take out loan insurance so you know youre covered if they lose their job, get injured or die.
- Monitor loan payments. Keep in touch with your loved one to get regular updates on the status of the loan. If theyre struggling to make payments, work with them to come up with a solution before they default.
- Work to improve the borrowers credit. Find ways to help the primary borrower improve their credit score so they can eventually take the loan over on their own.
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Meet The Income And Credit Score Requirements
Lenders also typically require that you meet their credit score and income requirements to qualify for the loan on your own.
Youll likely need to undergo a credit check, as well as submit recent pay stubs or tax returns to show your income.
This includes having a credit score of at least 540, plus having $24,000 or more in annual income.
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Do I Need A Cosigner For A Mortgage
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With entry-level salaries simply not climbing fast enough to match the rising cost of living, the only way for many people to get a foothold on the property ladder is with a boost from older, more established relatives. But a mortgage cosigner is taking on more risk than a cosigner for a credit card or even a car loan. The value of a mortgage are much higher than other loans.
If you can have a cosigner help get you into a new, larger home, should you? Heres how to know whether or not youll need a cosigner.
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How To Remove Yourself As A Cosigner On A Loan
Join millions of Canadians who have already trusted Loans Canada
Cosigning a loan can help someone you know pay important expenses, buy a home or finance a car. Then again, there are risks involved with being a cosigner and as such, many reasons why you might want to back out of your agreement. Learn how you can remove yourself as a cosigner on a loan.
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Can The Primary Borrower Remove You As A Cosigner
Unfortunately, the original borrower cannot simply take your name off their loan contract but there are a few things they can do to avoid problems with their lender:
Can I Use A Co
As mentioned, having a co-signer can be very beneficial but it can also be detrimental to your mortgage application.
While lenders will consider a number of factors in-depth before determining whether to approve your application, if, for example, your co-signers high DTI doesnt counteract the severity of their credit score, it may not work in your favour.
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Pros And Cons Of Refinancing To Remove A Name From The Mortgage
The obvious downsides to refinancing are the time and cost involved.
Youll typically need to complete a full mortgage application, supplying documents like W2s and pay stubs to support your financial information. Closing on a refinance loan typically takes around a month.
And there are closing costs to pay. Refinance closing costs typically range from 2% to 5% of the loan amount, which is no small sum if you have a large outstanding loan balance.
But there are ways to get around closing costs and its possible your new refinance loan could save enough money to justify the expense of closing costs.
Shopping Around For A Mortgage With A Co
Whether you decide to move forward with a cosigner or on your own, the best move is to shop around and get the best terms and interest rates you can.
can help with that, giving you quotes from multiple lenders with one quick application. As an online marketplace, Credible works with vetted lenders offering mortgage quotes for individuals applying for a mortgage with co-signers, and the quotes are in real-time. Checking rates only takes 3 minutes and does not affect your credit.
Another option for applying with a co-signer is with loan marketplace, Fiona, which lets you get quotes from a variety of lenders all from one handy rate table. You can then choose the one that gives you the best rate.
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What Does A Cosigner Do
A cosigner can help you qualify for a , mortgage or other loan when you canât do so on your own. Cosigners share equal responsibility for the debt and agree to cover any loan or credit card payments and applicable fees if the primary borrower fails to pay. The debt account will appear on the cosignerâs credit report, and depending on how the primary borrower manages the account, could help or hurt the cosignerâs credit score.
Although the cosigner is legally obligated to make payments if the borrower canât, they have no rights to the loan proceeds.
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Shorten Your Loans Term
Even if youre well into your loan term, you dont have to start over at 30 years.
You could potentially refinance into a 20-, 15-, or even 10-year loan term to pay off your house on schedule or sooner than originally planned.
Just note that a shorter term will have higher payments, which youll be paying on your own.
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Your Credit May Suffer
Co-signing on a loan puts your credit on the line. If the primary occupant misses a payment, your credit will suffer as well. If youre being asked to co-sign a mortgage, its important that youre aware of all the long-term negative consequences that could result from the occupying borrowers default.
Whats The Difference Between A Guarantor And Co
The main difference between being a guarantor and co-signer relates to liability.
A co-signer signs the debt and is contractually liable for any missed repayments without the bank needing to take any specific action to demand co-signer payment.
However, a guarantor does not sign the debt obligation, and to become financially liable, the lender must exhaust all other means of collecting the funds from the original borrower.
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Refinance Options When Removing A Name From A Mortgage
To remove a co-signer from your mortgage, consider refinancing your mortgage in your name alone. Keep in mind that the equation has changed in terms of approval, as the lender is looking only at the financial variables for one person instead of two. Do you have a high enough credit score roughly 740 or higher to make sure you get a reasonable interest rate as the sole name on the loan? Is your income high enough to convince the lender that you can make the mortgage payments on your own? How does your individual debt to income ratio look? All the paperwork you did when you applied for the original mortgage proof of income, credit history, outstanding debts, etc. will need to be done again, as this really can be thought of as an entirely new loan. These and other factors will all go into the decision from your lender on whether they will allow you to remove the other person on the mortgage and let you go it alone.
Can You Remove A Co
Qualifying for a mortgage on your own can be challenging, especially if you do not make a lot of money or if you have a limited credit history. One potential solution to this issue is to have someone else co-sign the mortgage with you.
In this scenario, the co-signer is technically a co-borrower on the mortgage with you and their income and credit score may help you qualify for the loan or afford a higher mortgage amount. But what happens if you can afford the mortgage on your own in the future, perhaps because your income increases. Is it possible to remove a co-signer from the mortgage?
In short, most lenders do not allow you to remove a borrower from a mortgage. This guideline applies to both the primary borrower and any co-signers on the loan. So if a friend, colleague or relative co-signs a mortgage with you, they are usually on the mortgage until the loan is refinanced or paid off.
You can submit a request to your lender to have co-borrowers removed but these requests are almost always declined, even if the borrowers are co-signers and the primary borrower remains on the mortgage. Lenders prefer to keep the original borrowers on the loan because they believe it provides more security and certainty that the loan will be repaid.
Keeping a co-signer on a mortgage means they may be able to help you pay the loan if you ever find yourself in a financial bind. If they are removed from the mortgage they are no longer legally responsible for loan.
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How Do I Protect Myself When Cosigning A Mortgage
If you decide to cosign someone’s mortgage loan, make sure you fully trust the primary borrower. You’ll want to keep the lines of communication open between you and the borrower so you can discuss financial difficulties before they become a problem. Ask the primary borrower for access to the loan account and regularly keep track of the payments, ensuring they’re paid on time. You can also ask the lender to notify you immediately if the primary borrower misses a payment.
It’s also a good idea to prepare a written agreement between you and the borrower upfront so that you both understand expectations and what will happen if the primary borrower doesn’t pay. This contract should include details about:
- who must make the payments
- the payment amount, due dates, and where to make payments
- what happens if the borrower doesn’t make payments and the other person starts making them
- whether the loan has to be refinanced later to have the cosigner taken off the loan , and
- who must pay legal costs and fees if one borrower has to take legal action against the other.
It’s also a good idea to keep an amount equal to a monthly payment or two in your savings account just in case you need to cover a payment.
Legally Remove Ex Name From Mortgage Without Refinancing
If you need to remove your exs name from a mortgage without refinancing, you could request a quitclaim deed . In this situation, you are asking that your ex-spouse sign the quitclaim deed in front of a notary. In turn, the ex-spouses name would be removed from the property deed and they give up full control of their rights to the property.
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How Do I Retitle My Mortgage
Having your name on someone elses loan is a big responsibility. If you co-signed on someones mortgage, youre responsible in full if that person stops paying. To remove your name from a mortgage, the original borrower will need to refinance the loan in only their name, which will require paying closing costs and meeting the lenders credit and debt-to-income ratio requirements.
The Type Of Loan Youre Cosigning For
Secured loansput collateral on the line a house, a car or another piece of property. This might mean less risk for you because the collateral will be seized if the primary borrower cannot make their payments. However, you should consider when this is a good idea for all individuals involved.
For example, a HELOC might seem like an easy way for you to help your child pay off a massive medical debt, but it also puts their house at risk. If they cant keep up their HELOC payments, as well as their current mortgage loan, where will that leave you?
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