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Co-signing a loan is dangerous to your financial health. Some 17% of Americans have co-signed a loan for a child or someone else, according to The most common type of co-singings are a parent co-signing an auto loan for a child.

 · What cosigning can do to your credit. Even if the borrower is diligent about making the payments, you may still run into credit problems as a result of cosigning. Any loan you cosign will show up on your credit report as one of your own debts. That means that if you apply for a big loan for yourself, such as a mortgage,

Q: My parents’ credit scores are pretty low, and they’ve asked my husband and me to co-sign a bank loan. Should we? A: There might be better options. For one, consider offering them a personal loan. This has its own risks, of course, so you have to make sure you can afford it both financially and emotionally.

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 · The student loan system is a huge trap for individuals just getting started in life and their parents who unfortunately feel an obligation to co sign for the loan. Parents: if you want to help your kids, you have a responsibility to fund your retirement so that you are not a financial burden to your kids later in life when they are trying to.

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You should be aware that co-signing a loan is not just vouching for the other person – it’s essentially a joint account. That account will be on YOUR credit report and impact credit score. If they miss a payment, it’s just like you missed a payment, if they do not pay the account, you are responsible for the debt.

You should co-sign a student loan only if you can afford to pay it back yourself, because you may have to. Co-signing makes you legally liable to repay the loan if the primary borrower can’t.

Student loans are the most viable option, so we’re listing 4 of the risks that can come when you cosign your child’s student loan. College is expensive. Your source of knowledge for FICO Scores and more.

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