Did I co-sign my life away?
December 3, 2004 1:56 PM Subscribe
A cousin of mine, who I was very close with during childhood, has spent the last decade or so since high school in and out of prison, for drug-related offenses. A while back, after being out for a while, and working steadily, he decided that he wanted to go to college. I was the only person in the family with good enough credit to help him get a loan - if I didn't do this, he wouldn't be able to go to school. He spent a couple years in school, had to take out two more loans, and finally graduated. He has since decided not to pursue a career in the field that he studied, and I'm not exactly sure how he's making a living these days.
Earlier this year, I started getting letters from the loan people that they weren't being paid. After many phone calls and a lot of cajoling, we got him a deferment for a while, which ends this month, but I just pulled down a credit report, and now I have three huge black marks against my otherwise pristine credit rating. I guess I really had no idea what was being involved in being a co-signer to a loan like this. This is unbelievably stressful for me. So, my question is, in two parts: how screwed am I? Is there any way that can have these (rather significant, and probably ongoing) dings to my credit removed? If my worst fears are confirmed, and he continues not to pay, do I have any recourse? I am not in a position to be able to repay the loan myself, and the rest of the family has become eerily silent on the matter.
posted by majcher to work & money (29 answers total)