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My Son-In-Law Cosigned for a Sallie Mae Loan and Now Needs Out

Written by Steve Rhode

Question:

Dear Steve,

My son-in-law has co-signed a Sallie Mae loan for his brother, His brother has graduated and has a diploma and is now ben employed for a year.

He is refusing to release my son- in law from the loan. Interest has been paid by the father and mother for years.

What is the best way to release himself from this loan? His brother is refusing to pay anything on this loan. should he pay it off and take his brother to court?

What are the best chances for relief from this burden and put it back where it belongs?

My son-in law will have to take out a personal loan to pay this off. But ideally, he wants his brother to pay and own up to his part of the bargain.

Thank you for any help or guidance you may have.

Michael

Answer:

Dear Michael,

I understand your son-in-law is upset about the situation but his predicament is exactly what he signed up for as a co-signer.

As a co-signer, he is 100 percent responsible for the loan and it will appear on his credit report.

If his brother elects not to pay it, that will show on his credit report as well and drag down his score.

If your son-in-law wants to protect his credit he can either pay the loan off in full or attempt to get the loan holder to agree to a settlement to release him as a co-signer. However, it might negatively impact his credit report.

Your son-in-law might have a civil action he could bring against his brother but even if he wins, would he ever collect on it?

My universal law on co-signing is to never do it.

So I guess the real question here is if your son-in-law wants to be done with this, risk his credit, or ignore it and potentially be sued over the loan if the brother defaults.

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About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

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