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Loan co-signing requests on Craigslist should be avoided

When your credit score is low and you desperately need to obtain credit for whatever reason, it can be tempting to use unconventional methods to either obtain needed credit or quickly raise your credit score in an effort to obtain better credit down the road. However, it is critical that you seek credit or attempt to raise your credit score in safe ways.

Recently the popular community website Craigslist has featured ads from individuals seeking co-signers for various types of loans. These individuals may paint their credit as excellent, poor or somewhere in between. It is unadvisable to seek co-signers on Craigslist and to accept another's ad seeking a co-signer. In addition to the fact that co-signer responsibilities include liability for this stranger's activity on the loan, you could wind up with a far less desirable credit score after this transaction has been completed than before you entered into it.

If an individual is seeking a co-signer on Craigslist, that person likely has very poor credit or is trying to scam responders. When you co-sign a loan with someone who has very poor credit, not only does it drag your credit down, but you could be put on the hook for their loan if they fail to pay it. In addition, it is not wise to seek co-signers online because you have no way of knowing if their credit will hold up or what kinds of personal information they could seek about you as co-signer of your loan.

When your credit is poor, it is best to seek the advice of an experienced attorney or financial planner in order to determine your next steps. Please avoid "quick fixes" on the Internet like Craigslist co-signers, as you will likely regret this decision later.

Source: CNN, "Desperately seeking co-signers -- on Craigslist," Blake Ellis, Nov. 8, 2012

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