Should you co-sign on a credit card? Why many issuers don’t allow it

Select ’ s editorial team works independently to review fiscal products and write articles we think our readers will find useful. We earn a commission from affiliate partners on many offers, but not all offers on Select are from affiliate partners. You may have been asked by a ally, kin penis or even spouse to co-sign for a credit card on their behalf. There are a few scenarios that would lead person to ask for a co-signer : possibly your family member is newly to credit, or possibly your acquaintance fair got laid off because of the coronavirus pandemic and their income is n’t adequate to qualify for a modern credit card on their own.

Whatever the case, it ‘s easy to say “ yes ” to help person you care about. But there are a couple of things you should know before you co-sign for person else ‘s credit batting order — including why many credit tease issuers do n’t even allow it. Below, CNBC Select takes a look at what you should know before cosign and early options to consider rather .

What does it mean to co-sign on a credit card?

When you co-sign for person else, you are basically letting that person borrow your good credit in order to qualify for a credit rating card. It ‘s the same scenario as when a parent cosign on a student loan for their kyd. A adolescent or young adult probable does not have enough credit to get a $ 60,000 lend from the bank, but a rear with a longer credit rating history does. For citation newcomers or those who ‘ve seen their income fell, having a co-signer on a accredit menu can help them qualify when they otherwise would not be approved. The new account holder is then creditworthy for their own credit card payments, but the co-signer acts as the backup if the debt goes unpaid. For this reason alone, it ‘s a big decisiveness to co-sign on a credit card for person else. As a co-signer, you have broad legal province for the account and guarantee to the issuer that the debt will be repaid if the borrower does not pay the lend as agreed.

This is why alone a few major credit card issuers even allow co-signers for citation cards. If you have to have a co-signer to get a recognition card, it signals to an issuer that you are less certain about your ability to pay your debts and need to have that backing precisely in case. And for those issuers that do allow co-signers, there are most probably rules around the type of applicants who can use them. You will want to check with your prefer card issuer before assuming you can co-sign for a credit card, and besides ask about any restrictions.  

Co-signing for someone else can damage your credit

Say you co-sign on a credit tease for a supporter or family member. Because your accredit profile was used in helping them qualify for a credit card, each action taken on that report will reflect back onto your credit report. And besides, any credit natural process on your supporter or family member ‘s score can impact your seduce adenine well. In this means, you could both benefit as your supporter builds systematically convinced credit habits, such as on-time charge payments and spending within their means. But if the person you co-sign for is former or missing payments raw, you will be responsible to make the wide payment and both your credit scores will be damaged in the march.

If you ‘ve already co-signed for another person ‘s credit batting order, you credibly wo n’t have access to their account, so you should pay careful attention to your credit reputation. Watch out for any loss flags or dips in your credit score that you do n’t think you caused .

Other options to consider before co-signing on a credit card

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select column staff ’ south alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third base party .

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