Would co-signing for a son’s lease jeopardize my retirement plans?

I plan to retire within next year and want to know if I co-sign for my son for an apartment rental could that affect my plans to move and buy a retirement home of my own?

Asked on August 23, 2011 Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It could *definitely* affect your retirement plans. If you co-sign, you are legally obligating yourself to pay if  you son does not. If you son defaults on his rent--or otherwise breaches his lease--the landlord can proceed against you for the money. You will then either have to pay the amount owing--i.e. spend your own money, which you may or may not be able to afford--or if you don't, then you will be default, too. If you default on your obligations, or are sued on them and lose, so there is a judgment against you--then that will show on your credit report and negatively impact your credit score, and thus you ability to borrow and the terms under which you could borrow. Co-signing for someone else is rarely a good idea--you get the downside of the fiscal obligation without much upside. It may be better if your son looks at other options--e.g. taking roommates to help pay for the premises.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.