This is a heatedly debated topic because people have strong feelings in favor of or opposed to grandparents and parents cosigning for kids. On one side of the fence, you have parents who will do anything for their kids including going into debt to help them get started (i.e. student loans, apartment leases, etc.) or to help them buy things that they want (i.e. expensive cars, homes they cannot afford, etc.).
On the other hand, you have parents who strongly believe that their children should work hard and struggle to save money to buy the things that they want. While these parents want to help their children, and they do in other ways, they are not willing to go into debt with their children. They take the position that if the child cannot afford something based on his or her own income, the child probably does not need to go into debt to purchase that item.
Let’s be very clear — there is nothing wrong with grandparents or parents cosigning for kids; however, it does come with certain risks. Whether you believe parents cosigning for kids is good or bad financial decision, you should know the risks of being a cosigner before you take on that responsibility. Consigning for your child, or for anyone, can have devastating effects on your finances.
What Are The Risks Of Grandparents And Parents Cosigning For Kids?
The biggest risk of parents cosigning for kids is that the child may default on the debt. In the event that your child defaults on the debt, you will be legally responsible for repayment of that debt in full. The creditor has the right to take legal action to collect the full amount of the debt from you including filing a lawsuit, obtaining a judgment and prosecuting that judgment. In some cases, you may face losing some of your property if you do not pay the debt. I have represented parents and grandparents in Mount Holly who were forced to file bankruptcy to protect their assets by discharging the debt they cosigned with their child.
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Unfortunately, if you cosign a non-dischargeable debt (i.e. student loans), filing a bankruptcy will not help you with this debt. You can still file bankruptcy; however, you will continue to owe the student loan as a non-dischargeable debt. Parents cosigning for kids can do one very important thing to protect themselves from the risk — take out an inexpensive term life insurance policy covering their child. One family is facing financial ruin after they lost their 27-year old daughter and became responsible for her student loans. If they had taken out a term life insurance policy on their daughter, they could have paid the student loans in full so they could focus solely on raising their grandchildren.
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Schedule a Free Consultation with a New Jersey Bankruptcy Attorney
Travis J. Richards is an experienced Mount Holly bankruptcy attorney. If you are in financial trouble, he can help you find an affordable solution to your debt problems. He will also explain how bankruptcy will affect any joint debts that you may have with other individuals.
Our professional staff is here to assist you with your financial problems. Travis J. Richards focuses his law practice on bankruptcy, debt consolidation and credit repair. He offers free bankruptcy consultations during normal business hours as well as on weekends and after-hours.
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