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My Son Co-Signed a Car Lease With a Girlfriend. Is He Liable? – Rebecca

“Dear Steve,

My son (now 30) co-signed a car lease with a girlfriend in 2006. It is her car. They have since split and she traded the car in on a brand new one. Nissan Motors is owed $1800 for mileage overage and misc. Her last payment on this was in Jan 11 for $5.00. It needs to be paid in full by 4/15/11 and we guess she will totally avoid it.

Is my son liable for the whole amount?

How will this affect his credit?

Should he contact an attorney or is it a waste of money?


Dear Rebecca,

Unfortunately your son is 100% responsible for the debt. As a co-signer he agreed to be responsible for the debt if the signer did not pay.

$1,800 is a lot of money but in the world of co-signing mistakes, he got off easy.

If he does not pay they will come after him legally and it will hurt his credit.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.


You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

See also  My Daughter Took Out Student Loans. I Couldn't Co-Sign. Her Grandmother Did. Now She Can't Pay. - Lorrie

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.


  • I leased my new car with my dad’s co signed. Now I built a credit history, can my dad get out of the lease and refinance as just my name? It’s a lease loan

    • As long as you can find a company to payoff the current lease and get you a new one and you can qualify on the strength of your credit alone then it should not be a problem.

      However, if you don’t have much longer on the lease you might want to wait for this one to finish.

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