February 4th, 2020
It can be hard to convince a lender that a young person is ready to buy a house. There may not be a long credit history, a lack of assets might make it hard to fund a down payment, and the buyer’s age can cause banks to hesitate. One of the ways for parents to help with this process is to co-sign on the mortgage. Before doing this, there are a few important steps to keep in mind.
Look At Your Own Qualifications
Remember that co-signers are going to go through the same vetting process as the primary borrower. This includes someone’s income, credit history, assets, debts, and credit score are all going to be scrutinized. It might be a while since the co-signer has had to go through this process. Be sure to take a look at one’s own qualifications. Remember that any mortgage, including acting as a co-signer, will act as an outstanding debt. This might make it hard to refinance in the future.
Think About Paying The Loan
While nobody wants to think about their child being unable to pay back the loan, there is always the chance that this may happen. Therefore, think about what would happen if you need to step in and make these payments. If you cannot handle the burden of having that additional co-payment, you may want to think twice about co-signing. Failing to make these payments will not only hurt your child’s credit score but yours as well.
As a co-signer, it will be important to protect yourself before signing on the dotted line. First, be sure to do some estate planning with your child. You should encourage your child to take out a life insurance policy. While no parent wants to think about burying their child, if something happens to him or her, the co-signers are going to be on the hook for the rest of the loan. Furthermore, be sure to monitor the loan payments as well. Sign up for email or text alerts to make sure payments are being made on time.
Many parents are going to reflexively act as a co-signer for their child; however, it is important to plan ahead. Be sure to think about all possibilities and make sure that both you and your child are ready to handle an added loan payment.
If you are interested in buying a new home or refinancing your current property, be sure to consult with your trusted home mortgage professional.