Say No to Co-Signing

Co-signing a loan or lease is more than a big favor; it can affect your credit score and your ability to borrow money.

Mature Adult female cosigning paperwork.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Co-signing a loan or lease is serious business. Before you pick up a pen, be sure you understand how it will affect you. There are repercussions even when the borrower upholds their obligations. Co-signing can drag down a good credit score and your ability to borrow money, even if the loan or lease is always paid on time.

How will co-signing affect my credit?

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Kimberly Lankford
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

As the "Ask Kim" columnist for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Lankford receives hundreds of personal finance questions from readers every month. She is the author of Rescue Your Financial Life (McGraw-Hill, 2003), The Insurance Maze: How You Can Save Money on Insurance -- and Still Get the Coverage You Need (Kaplan, 2006), Kiplinger's Ask Kim for Money Smart Solutions (Kaplan, 2007) and The Kiplinger/BBB Personal Finance Guide for Military Families. She is frequently featured as a financial expert on television and radio, including NBC's Today Show, CNN, CNBC and National Public Radio.

With contributions from