Doing a favor for friends can be taxing but rewarding. But sometimes the ask is more than we’re willing to do.
When ReluctantCosigner on Reddit refused a request from his friend, the original poster (OP) started feeling guilty. It’s possible he could help, but it might be too much to be asked of him.
To figure out if he would be wrong to refuse, he decided to ask the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subreddit the question “Would I Be the A**hole” (WIBTA).
And he doesn’t want to do this favor.
“WIBTA for refusing to co-sign my friend’s mortgage?”
A mortgage sounds like a big ask.
“My (29m) good friend (26f) is currently house hunting.”
“For a bit of background information, I come from a fairly well-off family, while my friend does not. My job also pays a decent amount more than hers does (and while said job allows me to live comfortably, I am by no means wealthy, especially considering the high cost of living in my city).”
“My friend has been trying to purchase a house for the past year and a half, and even though her credit score is excellent, she doesn’t make enough money from her job to qualify for a mortgage without a co-signer.”
“It’s not an issue of her being too picky in terms of what houses she will consider either, since she is looking exclusively at entry-level homes in more rural areas outside of the city, where prices tend to be amongst the lowest in our wider geographical region.
“She has repeatedly suggested to me that I should co-sign on a mortgage for her. I am pretty much her only option for this, since neither her parents nor any of her other friends are in a financial position to be able to help.”
“The thing is though, I really don’t want to co-sign for her. Here’s why:”
- “I’m working towards purchasing a place of my own in one of the most expensive real estate markets in the world. From what I understand, co-signing for her would be seen as the equivalent of me already having a pre-existing mortgage in the eyes of the bank.”
“This co-sign could make it more difficult for me to secure loans that I may need for the next 25-30 years.”
- “My friend has given me a guarantee that she will not default on the mortgage, but honestly, I don’t see how she can make a promise like that.”
“She already has health issues and works a physically demanding job. If she became incapacitated and unable to work, then her mortgage would become entirely my responsibility.”
“I also feel really uncomfortable about co-signing on a mortgage for a house that I don’t even intend to live in and won’t be on the deed for. To me, this makes no financial sense.”
- “She didn’t even really ask me. She just said that this is what she needed, and expected me to go along with it.”
“I’ve tried expressing to her how uncomfortable I am with the idea, but her response was that I’m her only hope of not being homeless, and that if I don’t want to see her out on the streets, then I need to co-sign.”
“I don’t understand why she can’t just continue to rent, but she is adamant that this is not an option for her.”
“Most of our mutual friends who know about this situation are on her side, and think that not co-signing for her would be cruel. Some of them have even tried to be her co-signer, but were rejected by the bank for various different reasons (i.e., not making enough money, bad credit scores, etc.).”
“This has sort of made me question whether I’m being unreasonable and selfish.”
“So, good people of r/AmItheAsshole, I need to know: would I be the asshole if I refused to co-sign my friend’s mortgage?”
OP has listed some compelling reasons why he doesn’t want to cosign for his friend. But is he just being selfish by not helping?
Redditors judged whether OP would be wrong to refuse by including one of the following in their response:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
Cosigning for a mortgage is a big deal. It’s a big purchase, and if something goes wrong, there’s a lot of money on the line for both signers.
While it would be nice if OP would sign, he’s not required, nor should he be expected to sign.
“This is absolutely the loudest NTA I’ve ever declared”
“DO NOT CO-SIGN. DO NOT BEND”
“If you have to lose a friend, or friends over this, that’s the price to pay. Just because you may have more money does not mean you are obligated to help people make major life purchases.”
“Your friends are massively entitled” – UncleStumpy78
“NTA! DO NOT CO-SIGN THIS MORTGAGE! She won’t be homeless as she can always rent or share. You are being manipulated and your so called friends are complicit in this.”
“Stand strong, tell this person in no uncertain terms that you WILL NOT sign and say that is the end of the matter. Steel yourself for tantrums, arguments, pleading and having your name dragged through the mud.”
“I beg you, DON’T SIGN! This has disaster written all over it.”
“Best of luck, stay strong and you are definitely NTA!” – DE4NO
“This is a clear NTA.”
“If she has enough to pay a mortgage she has enough to pay rent and won’t be homeless.”
“Conversely, if she can’t play rent then she can’t pay a mortgage, and will ruin your finances.”
“If your friends give you shit, tell them that! ‘If she’ll be homeless unless I help her, then it’s not co-signing, it’s giving her a house!’”
ETA: ‘I don’t know how much money you think I have, but it’s not enough to do this.’” – bethsophia
“NTA – I didn’t even need to read it, but once I did you’re really NTA. If she can’t qualify on her income, how is she supposed to afford the payments?”
“You would be on the hook for this, if she stopped paying you would need to pay or eventually have a foreclosure show up on your credit.” – Particular-Earth-453
The other commenters thought of another angle. Thinking about banks at their worst as places that will try to make money, they have a reason they won’t approve the friend.
If they think she won’t pay, they won’t lend.
“NTA. Co-signers often wind up paying off the loan they co-sign. Unless you want to buy your ‘friend’ a home – don’t.” – zwergschnauzer
“Banks are very good at making money. If a bank refuses a loan to someone it’s because someone a lot more financially intelligent than you looked at their finances and thought ‘there is no money to be made here’.” – DimiBlue
“NTA. ‘The bank says I’m not qualified to borrow money. Oh btw, sign here, so I can borrow the money anyway.’” – omgreadtheroom
“If the bank thinks she can’t pay back the loan, what justification can she give him that they’re wrong? They’ve got a lot more experience determining this than he does.”
“Anyway NTA, never cosign a loan for something you won’t own.” – vezozuma
OP can rest assured that the internet doesn’t think he would be wrong to refuse, but he should consider what will happen with his friend.
But if they’re willing to end a friendship over this, maybe OP is better off without this friend.