Financial Word of the Week: Back to School – Co-Signer
Back to School Series
You have probably heard the phrase, “You need to have credit to get credit.” It can be difficult for someone starting out with no credit to establish a record. One way to overcome this hurdle is to have a co-signer on a loan or revolving line of credit.
A co-signer is a person who also promises to pay the debt. A co-signer is often used when the original applicant has no credit or “poor” credit. Having a more credit-worthy applicant ensures that the creditor, in most cases the bank, has more protection because there is a second person to pay the debt.
The co-signer is responsible for the loan payments. This includes all past and future payments not yet made as well as any additional late fees or penalties. Additionally, co-signers can have their credit impacted if payments are not made on time, so weigh all of the options before agreeing to be a co-signer.
Parents of college students often co-sign for an auto loan or small credit card. By having a low-limit credit card or a small auto loan, students can build good payment history to establish credit with little risk to their parents.
Whether student, co-signer or just a single applicant, one thing is certain – it takes a long time to build credit and a short time to negatively impact it. We always recommend borrowing and paying responsibly to ensure you have access to funds you need. If you’re considering co-signing a loan or credit card, it’s important to first make sure that you can make the monthly payments in full before you make your decision.
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UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a diversified financial holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking services, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arizona and Texas, as well as two national specialty-lending businesses. Subsidiaries of the holding company include companies that offer services to mutual funds and alternative-investment entities and registered investment advisors that offer equity and fixed income strategies to institutions and individual investors.