Cosign college loan for sibling?

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ofrivia
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Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by ofrivia » Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:17 pm

I've debated this question a lot with my wife, and we are not sure how to proceed. I appreciate thoughts and comments.

Here is the situation.

I was asked by my father to cosign a student loan for my brother. I'm in my mid 30's, am self employed, and have young children, the oldest of whom is 11 years away from college.

My brother is currently in his sophomore year of college, attending an out of state school that is $50k a year in tuition and housing. His goal is to attend law school. So far his grades are great and he is on track. But school is expensive. He needs student loans to pay for school. His freshman year is covered by a student loan in his name. His sophomore year by a student loan in my fathers name. His junior year is going to require a loan. And that's where the issue is.

My father, also self employed, had a bad year and has not filed his 2016 tax return. Doubtful he will file his 2017 either. My brother is either unable to sign a Junior Year student loan by himself, or it is unlikely. As a result I was asked by my father to co-sign if it becomes necessary. Since my father's finances are probably not going to be resolved in time, that means unless my brother gets the loan by himself he'll need me as a cosigner.

This is a very difficult and awkward position to be in. We don't want to see my brother have to switch schools because he can't get a loan. But we also need to consider our own finances. We have children of our own who might be looking to attend college in 11 years. We aren't sure how co-signing will impact our credit score or our cash flow if my brother is unable to pay. His undergrad degree will cost him about $200,000. Then law school on top of that.

There is the ability with Sallie Mae to be removed as a cosigner. But its unlikely we could get removed from the cosigned loan for at least 7 years at the earliest.

I'm also not convinced that this financial trouble won't be resolved for the Senior year, which means we might be asked again to cosign.

Added into this mess is my parents selling their house next month to downsize property and taxes. After purchasing a smaller house they'll be applying the balance of funds to paying off the owed income taxes and already existing student loans. That is the carrot being dangled, so to speak. That this house sale will "clear all the debt" and suddenly my dad will be in good financial standing and able to cosign the senior year, if not also the junior year. But I'm not convinced it will work out so cleanly and don't want to say "yes" to cosigning on the hope I never have to, because if I have to, right now I am very uneasy.

I dont know. It just sucks. Hopefully this was informative enough. I appreciate your thoughts on this sticky situation.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by DaftInvestor » Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:22 pm

Can you afford to pay back the loan if your brother defaults without jeopardizing financing your own children's education?
If the answer is no - then don't do it. Explain to everyone you MUST put your wife/kids first - you got married- had kids - and your commitments to them come first and you can't jeopardize those commitments.

DesertDiva
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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by DesertDiva » Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:23 pm

I appreciate the emotional side of this issue. But seriously s - so much can go wrong as a co-signer and you have your own family to take care of!
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golfCaddy
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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by golfCaddy » Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:23 pm

A good rule of thumb is never make a personal loan, that you couldn't afford to write off as a gift.

Dottie57
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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by Dottie57 » Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:29 pm

golfCaddy wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:23 pm
A good rule of thumb is never make a personal loan, that you couldn't afford to write off as a gift.

+1

You are not a bank and should not be used as one. To me it is either no or a gift of money.

Has your brother looked for scholarships or considered transferring to less expensive school.?
Last edited by Dottie57 on Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

986racer
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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by 986racer » Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:30 pm

I think only you can figure out if you can financially swing it.

However, realize that with what you described so far, that it is extremely likely you would be the one who is paying back this loan. So, think of this as a gift and be happy if you get any of the money back.

Also, if you co-sign this year, you will almost certainly co-sign next year. Make sure you are comfortable with a 100k gift.

986racer
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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by 986racer » Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:34 pm

One other thing... your bother might be eligible for financial aid if your father would file a return. Him not filing doesn’t stop the interest and penalties, so if he is using a lack of ability to pay to keep him from filing, he may want to rethink that.

JoeRetire
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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by JoeRetire » Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:40 pm

Who cosigned your college loans?

It's not right for your parents to put you in this situation.

As tough as it might be, I'd sit down with dad and brother and tell them they'll have to find a different solution.

("My father, also self employed, had a bad year and has not filed his 2016 tax return. Doubtful he will file his 2017 either." - Dad is making some bad choices. I wouldn't bet on them being resolved soon.)
Last edited by JoeRetire on Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

KlangFool
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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by KlangFool » Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:41 pm

OP,

1) Just say no. If your brother cannot handle the finance part of the equation, why he goes to the out-of-state school?

2) If you cannot flatly say no, just give whatever amount that you can afford to lose and say no to the 50K loan.

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N10sive
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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by N10sive » Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:42 pm

Your brother should be able to get his own loan. I was able to in my junior year although it was only 10k. I was working though and making around 30k a year.

I would have your brother get a summer job and then he wouldn't need as much of the 50k unless the 50k is just tuition and not living cost as well(food etc).
Last edited by N10sive on Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

KlangFool
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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by KlangFool » Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:43 pm

ofrivia wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:17 pm

His undergrad degree will cost him about $200,000. Then law school on top of that.
ofrivia,

There is no end to this. Somebody should tell him the honest truth. He should transfer to a cheaper school.

KlangFool

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Pajamas
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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by Pajamas » Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:44 pm

Seems like your father could use the money from the sale of the house to cover future educational expenses rather than paying off the previous educational loans. However, I wouldn't be surprised if, as you suspect, the outcome with the house sale isn't exactly as stated. There is usually some missing information that pops up at inconvenient times in a complex situation like that.

Your brother is looking at another $100k for undergraduate school and probably another $150 or $200k for law school, right? That would be a total of around $400k in debt. He has to complete his J.D. successfully and get a decent job to be able to pay back the loans. Sounds like he is on the right track, but of course there are risks.

You should only cosign for a loan if there is a plan in place to pay for the rest of the education through your brother's graduation from law school AND if you can afford to repay the loan on your own. I don't think you should treat it as a gift, but it could turn out to be one if everything doesn't go well for your brother. Don't sign for a loan for his junior year if you don't know what the plans (and the backup plans) are after that.

Also, talk to your brother about this one-on-one. Don't just be satisfied with talking to your father about it. Also discuss this with your wife. It should be as much her decision as yours.
Last edited by Pajamas on Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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whodidntante
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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by whodidntante » Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:46 pm

I think your brother is going to LOVE his new, cheaper in-state school.

drake19
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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by drake19 » Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:49 pm

I think you dad needs to file the tax return so your brother can apply for financial aid. What about your mother?

I know it is hard, but, I would only do it, if you can afford to pay it and make it a gift to your brother (in a worse case scenario). What happens if your dad dies, before the loan can be paid back.

Goal33
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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by Goal33 » Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:51 pm

He can get his own loan. Maybe it’ll be at a higher rate. I think as his brother you could offer a nice gift. Maybe a few k to ease the burden but co-signing for 50k, no way.
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ofrivia
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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by ofrivia » Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:52 pm

Thanks everyone for your feedback.

My father cosigned the loans for me and indeed still has some he is paying off. So that is what makes me feel partially responsible. Its the youngest who can't get the cosign because the older children have already been "cosigned". I have tried to get those handed over to me but he is stubborn. And now intends to use his house sale to close out all his existing debt. I don't even know how much is still owed. So that is something I need to do. Put my foot down that I take over my own debt. It won't equal a cosign, but maybe it will lighten the burden enough that with a house sale covering other debts it helps.

Yes. My brother should consider a less expensive, in state school. There is nothing wrong with the schools in our state. If it was our kid we would have pushed him to get scholarships and if he didn't, he would have to go in state for undergrad at least. But my brother isn't my kid.

He has summer work doing landscaping and an unpaid internship in the county court house. He won't be making much.

We were already leaning towards the "sit down and look at options that aren't us cosigning". Your comments helped confirm we aren't terrible people if we don't cosign. It will be a tough conversation, but ultimately as some commentors said in response, we have to consider our kids first.

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alpenglow
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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by alpenglow » Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:55 pm

I made the mistake of lending money to my brother once. I thought we had a solid relationship. Boy was I wrong. He totally balked when I started to ask for payments in accordance with our contract. I never, ever expected it. Don't co-sign a loan.

tmcc
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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by tmcc » Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:02 pm

- absolutely not unless you can gift it as cash
- tell your brother to establish residency in the state where he is attending school immediately
- if he has to take a year off because he cant swing the finances, then so be it but he must stay and work in that state to maintain residency
- begin classes again with a mix of savings + loans at in-state tuition rates
- he will be a more driven person if he has to do it himself... unless he gives up, that would say something as well.

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F150HD
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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by F150HD » Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:03 pm

His undergrad degree will cost him about $200,000. Then law school on top of that.
I must be missing something. $200k for a 4 year degree?

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Pajamas
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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by Pajamas » Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:06 pm

alpenglow wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:55 pm
I made the mistake of lending money to my brother once. I thought we had a solid relationship. Boy was I wrong. He totally balked when I started to ask for payments in accordance with our contract. I never, ever expected it. Don't co-sign a loan.
I take the opposite view. If you make someone a loan and find out that the relationship isn't what you think it was, be it friend or family, it's a cheap lesson to learn, as long as not too much money is involved. Several decades ago, I gave someone $20 and a ride home and never saw or heard from them again, which was a true bargain. Of course, it depends on the amount involved.
F150HD wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:03 pm

I must be missing something. $200k for a 4 year degree?
That apparently includes living expenses, so it's not the most expensive school around.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by DaftInvestor » Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:09 pm

F150HD wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:03 pm
His undergrad degree will cost him about $200,000. Then law school on top of that.
I must be missing something. $200k for a 4 year degree?
There are lots of schools that are $50K to $60k per year and 50 time 4 is 200.

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alpenglow
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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by alpenglow » Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:10 pm

Pajamas wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:06 pm
alpenglow wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:55 pm
I made the mistake of lending money to my brother once. I thought we had a solid relationship. Boy was I wrong. He totally balked when I started to ask for payments in accordance with our contract. I never, ever expected it. Don't co-sign a loan.
I take the opposite view. If you make someone a loan and find out that the relationship isn't what you think it was, be it friend or family, it's a cheap lesson to learn, as long as not too much money is involved. Several decades ago, I gave someone $20 and a ride home and never saw or heard from them again, which was a true bargain. Of course, it depends on the amount involved.
I like your thinking. It only cost me a few thousand to see his true colors. Unfortunately, it cost my parents a few hundred thousand.

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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by TCB » Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:11 pm

My father did this for a relative. When the payments weren't made, my father got the phone calls. And the letters. And luckily at 85 he doesn't need credit, because his score is no longer very good. He now says "I should have known. I don't know what I was thinking".

I was always told (not by my father, obviously :wink:) never co-sign a loan you can't afford to pay back yourself.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by DaftInvestor » Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:15 pm

TCB wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:11 pm

I was always told (not by my father, obviously :wink:) never co-sign a loan you can't afford to pay back yourself.
It's funny- it should go without saying because you are promising to pay it back yourself if the person without enough credit to get the loan himself is unable (or unwilling) to do so. It is Right there in what you sign. Its surprising how many people come here with stories that they knew someone that was suddenly surprised that they had to pay back a loan that they agreed to pay back (by cosigning).

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Pajamas
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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by Pajamas » Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:16 pm

alpenglow wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:10 pm
I like your thinking. It only cost me a few thousand to see his true colors. Unfortunately, it cost my parents a few hundred thousand.
A few thousand is probably an acceptable price to learn that lesson with a sibling.

NextMil
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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by NextMil » Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:26 pm

Sure. Go ahead. What could go wrong? Other than being on the hook for $100k plus interest and late payment fees and not speaking with your family ever again. Who really needs grandparents and an uncle?

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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by NextMil » Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:31 pm

Pajamas wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:06 pm
I take the opposite view. If you make someone a loan and find out that the relationship isn't what you think it was, be it friend or family, it's a cheap lesson to learn, as long as not too much money is involved. Several decades ago, I gave someone $20 and a ride home and never saw or heard from them again, which was a true bargain. Of course, it depends on the amount involved.
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TropikThunder
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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by TropikThunder » Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:36 pm

ofrivia wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:17 pm
My brother is currently in his sophomore year of college, attending an out of state school that is $50k a year in tuition and housing. His goal is to attend law school. So far his grades are great and he is on track. But school is expensive. He needs student loans to pay for school. His freshman year is covered by a student loan in his name. His sophomore year by a student loan in my fathers name. His junior year is going to require a loan. And that's where the issue is.
25 responses in and no one has asked why your brother isn't getting Direct Loans from the government? They don't need a cosigner or a credit check. You don't say how old he is, so we don't know if his financial aid application would be as a dependent or independent student, which will determine whether your father's finances even matter. If he's independent (with just summer landscaping income), or your father had a bad year financially (low income?) then his Expected Family Contribution will be low (if not 0) and he'll be eligible for subsidized direct loans up to a certain amount. The direct loans won't be enough to cover the $50k cost of attendance, but most schools that expensive have robust financial aid packages that include loans but are not limited to loans (merit scholarships especially considering you said his grades are good).

There's a lot of information missing here, but my first question comes back to why is the entire expense being paid out of private loans? Sallie Mae is not a direct lender, not part of the Education Department Direct Loan program, and their loans are not eligible for Income Dependent Repayment programs or Public Service Loan Forgiveness. The loans also survive the death of the borrower and fall on the co-signer. Private loans should only be the last resort after every other avenue has been exhausted through financial aid. I'm clearly missing something, or every one else is.

986racer
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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by 986racer » Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:45 pm

TropikThunder wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:36 pm
[
25 responses in and no one has asked why your brother isn't getting Direct Loans from the government? They don't need a cosigner or a credit check. You don't say how old he is, so we don't know if his financial aid application would be as a dependent or independent student, which will determine whether your father's finances even matter. If he's independent (with just summer landscaping income), or your father had a bad year financially (low income?) then his Expected Family Contribution will be low (if not 0) and he'll be eligible for subsidized direct loans up to a certain amount. The direct loans won't be enough to cover the $50k cost of attendance, but most schools that expensive have robust financial aid packages that include loans but are not limited to loans (merit scholarships especially considering you said his grades are good).

There's a lot of information missing here, but my first question comes back to why is the entire expense being paid out of private loans? Sallie Mae is not a direct lender, not part of the Education Department Direct Loan program, and their loans are not eligible for Income Dependent Repayment programs or Public Service Loan Forgiveness. The loans also survive the death of the borrower and fall on the co-signer. Private loans should only be the last resort after every other avenue has been exhausted through financial aid. I'm clearly missing something, or every one else is.
Even if the brother is independent, I think the max is somewhere around $12.5K for junior year (7.5K if still a dependent). After that, the loans would need to be co-signed.

Most financial aid packages will likely need to see a parent's tax return as part of the aid package so that people don't simply cheat the system by not providing the return.

This is why I said that the parents should file the return. Now, it may be the case that they are still making too much money to qualify for aid but they can't assist because their expenses are too high. As you said, there is lots of missing information here...

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DanMahowny
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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by DanMahowny » Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:46 pm

Don't do it.
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masha12
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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by masha12 » Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:50 pm

I have many thoughts about this, as this issue hit sort of close to home, so here they are.

1. What does your wife say? If she is against it, then it is easy. The answer is no. Any decision like this requires two yeses and needs only one "no" to stop it. And don't throw your wife under the bus by telling your family that you aren't doing it because she doesn't want to do it. All you need to say is, "We aren't going to be able to cosign." Any pushback and the appropriate response is, "It isn't going to work." Not that "we can't," just "it won't work for us." Your wife comes first.

2. Consider that it is wrong for your dad and brother to even consider putting you in this situation. Funding your brother's education is not your responsibility. Most people do not have family with the financial means to cosign education loans and yet they manage to get the education they need.

3. Based on some similar experience, I will tell you that your dad will not be taking out more loans for your brother once you cosign. There will always be a reason your dad can't get the loan for the next year or can't cosign for it. And, as apples don't fall far from the trees, again, based on some similar experience, the son of such a man who wants you to cosign his education loan will always have a reason why he can't pay the loan.

4. You will probably get a lot of grief from your dad and brother about how horrible it is that he may have to switch schools, won't be able to go to grad school etc. Just know that every time you here this lament is really just an indication that they had no intention of paying the loan themselves. I don't begrudge people for asking family for help, but when the answer is "no," normal people understand, accept the response and move on People who dwell on it or use it to blame you for their situation are just upset that they didn't get you to pay for something for them. Again, based on some similar experience.

5. Reread #1. Your wife comes first.

Edited to add: 6. Pay your dad back for every dime he paid for your education or you will never here the end of it.

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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by TropikThunder » Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:00 pm

986racer wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:45 pm
Even if the brother is independent, I think the max is somewhere around $12.5K for junior year (7.5K if still a dependent). After that, the loans would need to be co-signed.

Most financial aid packages will likely need to see a parent's tax return as part of the aid package so that people don't simply cheat the system by not providing the return.

This is why I said that the parents should file the return. Now, it may be the case that they are still making too much money to qualify for aid but they can't assist because their expenses are too high. As you said, there is lots of missing information here...
I totally agree. Every other "paying for college" thread I've seen has started with some mention of what financial aid is being provided. Here, we can't even tell if the brother ever applied.

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mhadden1
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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by mhadden1 » Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:04 pm

No co-sign. But if you would like to voluntarily take on your brother's education expenses go ahead. That would be a wonderful gift.
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986racer
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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by 986racer » Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:09 pm

ofrivia wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:52 pm
My father cosigned the loans for me and indeed still has some he is paying off. So that is what makes me feel partially responsible. Its the youngest who can't get the cosign because the older children have already been "cosigned". I have tried to get those handed over to me but he is stubborn. And now intends to use his house sale to close out all his existing debt. I don't even know how much is still owed. So that is something I need to do. Put my foot down that I take over my own debt. It won't equal a cosign, but maybe it will lighten the burden enough that with a house sale covering other debts it helps.
I've never had a co-signed loan so I'm not sure how these mechanics work... Can't you simply contact the lender to find out how much is owed? If your father won't provide the details of who that lender is, wouldn't that show up on a credit report? If it doesn't show up there, the loan may not exist anymore.

livesoft
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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by livesoft » Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:13 pm

ofrivia wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:17 pm
I was asked by my father to cosign a student loan for my brother.
I'm curious what your brother said about all this. What did he say when you talked to him about it?

Your brother probably needs to take a year off to work and figure out what is going on with his life.

Full disclosure: I co-signed a small loan for med school for a sibling about 30 years ago, but my sibling asked me and not my parents.
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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:16 pm

F150HD wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:03 pm
His undergrad degree will cost him about $200,000. Then law school on top of that.
I must be missing something. $200k for a 4 year degree?
You’re not missing anything, there are schools that cost $75k a year for undergrad. So $50k is well within the realm of a higher priced school.
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Katietsu
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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by Katietsu » Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:22 pm

I would not completely rule out co signing any and all loans. I would rule out signing this loan. Someone needs to get a grip and make a plan. If your brother is going to transfer, the deadline for acceptance and for financial aid may be soon. I would not suggest that anyone take out $400,000 in student loans for any degree with any co-signer. Somebody needs to have this discussion with your brother. Even if your college was this much, you can talk about how foolish that was. The story about your Dad not filing 2016, if true, is another red flag that your Dad’s finances are in chaos. Even if he had no way to pay even $1 of his 2016 tax bill, he should have filed something by last October to avoid potentially huge penalties.

You will need to decide for yourself what discussions and what level of involvement would be helpful and useful vs useless and destructive.

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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by HIinvestor » Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:25 pm

H and I would NOT co-sign any loans for any of my siblings and my parents would not ask me.

That said, I’d find out what the balance remaining on your educational loans is and immediately repay your dad, even in you need a home equity loan. If you know what the total amount borrowed on your behalf was, I’d pay that plus any interest that has accrued.

It’s unfortunate that your folks and brother didn’t figure out finances before brother accepted the out of state U that he and your folks can’t afford. Sadly, there aren’t attractive options—work for a year or more, transfer to less expensive in-state U, or find someone else who wants to co-sign or gift $50-100k to brother PLUS law school! Someone needs to talk with your folks and brother. Good luck!

Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:26 pm

OP - no co-sign unless as stated previously you can easily repay this loan in the next 5 years. Since your brother lacks the ability to earn any substantial amount of income over the next 4 years (junior, senior then 2 years of law school followed by passing the bar and finding employment that pays more than $100k in year 1), the answer should be an easy “no”. But if that doesn’t make it easy because there is family involved here, let me make it crystal clear - when you got married you essentially took a vow to put your spouse first and with that comes a responsibility to your offspring. Do not risk the stability of your marriage and family life with the burden of someone else’s yoke. Just say “no”.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

Nate79
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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by Nate79 » Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:28 pm

Nope. And the education is not worth the cost neither. Broke people should go to a school they can afford. Even if it hurts their little feelings to move to a cheaper school.
Last edited by Nate79 on Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

HIinvestor
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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by HIinvestor » Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:29 pm

Law schools are 3 years and many starting attorneys are NOT making 6 figures, if they can even get hired as attorneys. There is a reason the bank won’t loan to your brother or your dad—they don’t have the apparent ability to repay the loans.

J295
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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by J295 » Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:31 pm

Do not co-sign.
Not in the best interests of brother or yourself

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TxAg
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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by TxAg » Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:34 pm

Gives me heartburn just reading it.

Don't do it unless you want to end up divorced.

Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:37 pm

HIinvestor wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:29 pm
Law schools are 3 years and many starting attorneys are NOT making 6 figures, if they can even get hired as attorneys. There is a reason the bank won’t loan to your brother or your dad—they don’t have the apparent ability to repay the loans.
Exactly. If brother is still set on attending law school, consider ROTC/JAG program. Of course, if accepted will be required per contract to serve in military for years required.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

CedarWaxWing
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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by CedarWaxWing » Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:39 pm

tmcc wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:02 pm
- absolutely not unless you can gift it as cash
- tell your brother to establish residency in the state where he is attending school immediately
- if he has to take a year off because he cant swing the finances, then so be it but he must stay and work in that state to maintain residency
- begin classes again with a mix of savings + loans at in-state tuition rates
- he will be a more driven person if he has to do it himself... unless he gives up, that would say something as well.
1+ Totally appropriate for him to take time off it need be, get residency in the state he wishes to attend a state school, and go back. Meanwhile... work in his chosen field if possible. Some companies pay for college under certain circumstances. It is time to make choice that work for his circumstances... and doing so will be noticed by the Law Schools he applies to.

Good luck.

M

inbox788
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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by inbox788 » Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:52 pm

No, from what I've heard so far, I would not cosign this loan. Has the school financial aid office been involved? Given the situation, they should be able to provide some help and guidance. If it comes to it, I think you would be under less liability if you took your savings or you borrowed money and lent it out than if you simply cosigned a loan. I've heard horror stories where the borrower was irresponsible and the cosigner had no control.

How as the FAFSA filled out without parents tax returns? That to me is the top priority and first step. And the other is to meet with the financial aid office.

stan1
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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by stan1 » Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:20 pm

Sorry but your brother should switch to a lower cost school that he and your family can afford. Not even a Harvard undergraduate degree is worth $200K in debt, and if its not Harvard, Stanford, or Yale the value proposition heads even farther south.

RetiredNewbie
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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by RetiredNewbie » Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:31 pm

If a borrower can't qualify for a loan, it means the lender doesn't think he can or will pay the money back. What reason do you have to believe otherwise?
Your attitude about risk changes significantly when the bear begins to maul you.

rotorhead
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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by rotorhead » Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:31 pm

Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?
Unread post by ofrivia » Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:52 pm

Thanks everyone for your feedback.

My father cosigned the loans for me and indeed still has some he is paying off. So that is what makes me feel partially responsible. Its the youngest who can't get the cosign because the older children have already been "cosigned". I have tried to get those handed over to me but he is stubborn. And now intends to use his house sale to close out all his existing debt. I don't even know how much is still owed. So that is something I need to do. Put my foot down that I take over my own debt. It won't equal a cosign, but maybe it will lighten the burden enough that with a house sale covering other debts it helps.

Yes. My brother should consider a less expensive, in state school. There is nothing wrong with the schools in our state. If it was our kid we would have pushed him to get scholarships and if he didn't, he would have to go in state for undergrad at least. But my brother isn't my kid.

He has summer work doing landscaping and an unpaid internship in the county court house. He won't be making much.

We were already leaning towards the "sit down and look at options that aren't us cosigning". Your comments helped confirm we aren't terrible people if we don't cosign. It will be a tough conversation,but ultimately as some commentors said in response, we have to consider our kids first.
I am not understanding this thread! OP, why is your father still paying off YOUR student loans? And you don't know how much is still owed? Why don't you know, and why aren't you paying them off?! Something is totally out of whack here.

Just sayin!

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Watty
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Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Post by Watty » Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:55 pm

A couple of points;

One thing to look into is what happens to the student loan if your brother is hit by the proverbial Mack truck. Some private loans are not discharged when there is a death so you may want to get life insurance on your brother if you cosign the student loan.

You also need to consider what it would mean for your credit rating. For example if something happens like you get a great new job in a different city you might not be able to qualify for mortgage to buy a house in that city because you cosigned for the loan.

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