This is an option that many people look at, especially if they don’t have strong credit or if they don’t make enough money. This issue here is that a lot of people look at it as the same as cosigning on a lease for an apartment when you’re in your early 20s. People think that it’s a simple case of someone signing on the dotted line to basically say that you’re not as high of a risk for defaulting on payments.
When cosigning for a mortgage, this is not the case. It is a much more extensive process.
In this article, we talk about why someone would have someone cosign on a mortgage, what it means for the cosigner, and some critical things you should know before having someone sign on the dotted line.
Why you would use a cosigner
The reality is that qualifying for a mortgage is getting tougher. If you have some dings on your credit, if you’re not bringing in enough of an income, or if you don’t have a large enough down payment, could result in you not qualifying for a mortgage on your own. It could also be something as simple as switching employers or professional fields. Going through those kinds of transition periods can make lenders pause when deciding whether or not to give you a mortgage.
As a result, some people make the decision to bring in a family member or close friend to cosign on their mortgage.
What does it mean for the cosigner
Putting someone’s name on your mortgage is a big deal. Not only are they putting their name and credit on the line but they are basically offering up security for the lender. If you default on a payment or can no longer pay your mortgage, then it’s the cosigner who has to step up and make sure things get paid. This also means that default payments will show up on your co signer’s credit as well.
So, to make sure everyone is protected, I would suggest seaking out independent legal advice prior to agreeing to either accepting a cosigner or agreeing to be a cosigner. No matter who the person is!
Should you proceed with a cosigner, you can give it some time and then request that the lender reevaluate your application as an independent and potential have the cosigner removed. Until then, keep in mind that it’s both of your names and credit on the line.
Things you should know before signing!
When you’re thinking of recruiting a cosigner, you need to keep in mind that they will go through the exact same vetting process you have. They will have to provide all the same documentation and prove they they are a strong enough applicant to hold a mortgage. Just the same as you.
In addition, by having their name on your mortgage, it will have an impact on their ability to borrow anything while their name is attached to your mortgage. It’s also the case if they already have a mortgage. They may not qualify as a cosigner because that would mean that they need to be able to carry two mortgages.
When it comes time for you to remove your cosigner from the mortgage, make sure you check with your mortgage broker to make sure that removing the cosigner won’t be seen as breaking your mortgage. Because, there could be some large penalties if that’s the case. So, just make sure you’re covering all your basis.
Cosigning is definitely an option available. Especially for someone who might be a first time home buyer who is building up their credit and starting their career. But, just like anything else, it’s important to have all the information before you make a decision. So, consult a mortgage broker if this is the avenue you’re thinking of taking.