Everyone needs a bit of help from friends or family now and then. But when it comes to money, a person’s bad financial habits can make helping them out a dangerous prospect.
A person on Reddit found themself in this situation when their spendthrift brother asked them to co-sign on his mortgage.
The Original Poster (OP) wasn’t sure about their decision to deny their brother’s request, so they went to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit for perspective.
“AITA for refusing to co-sign for my brother’s mortgage?”
“My brother has never been great with money and neither was his wife. They recently had their 3rd child and in a 2 bedroom apartment it’s been crazy so they decided to purchase a home. They have a large dog and renting is very difficult almost impossible with 3 children and a dog so they’ve been stuck in that 2 bedroom for 4 years.”
“My brother actually makes a pretty good amount of money (over $100k) but is terrible at self control and they usually live paycheck to paycheck. So they saved 20% for a home and got an accepted offer for a duplex but the bank won’t led to them because of his cc debt (I don’t know exactly how much he said it was around $40,000) and his bad credit history.”
“My parents aren’t able to borrow more money from the bank as they have their own mortgage and they are now all looking to me to sign for my brother’s mortgage.”
“I have an apartment but it’s mostly paid off so I could help them and maybe the banks would ok them then but I’m scared my brother will stop paying or be late on his payments and my credit will suffer.”
“I work in an industry that does credit checks for employment so a bad credit could effect my future job prospects and getting a mortgage myself as I don’t plan on being in my apartment forever.”
“He has begged me and asked our parents to beg me but I don’t trust his self control when it comes to his money. My mother yelled at me that her grandchildren are all cramped together in a tiny apartment when I could just lend my credit to them and I wouldn’t even have to pay anything but I feel like I’ll end up responsible for the debt if it doesn’t get paid. AITA?”
People on Reddit were then asked to judge whether the OP was wrong in this situation based on the following categories:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
And virtually none of them faulted OP for their hesitancy to help.
“NTA. DO NOT DO THIS. DO NOT DO THIS.” —runedued
“Nope nope nope nope nope. NTA. Do not co-sign.” —westerndiva
“NTA. The bank asks 20% down payment and they still won’t lend to him. That should tell you all you need to know.” —Alternative_Fox7217
“Borrowing the lead’s coattails to join in: do not do this. I worked in an industry that had credit requirements for employees – banking IT, so it was a security thing. You could end your career, possibly lose your job if he blows it and you’ve co-signed.” —seamuswasadog
“40K OF CC DEBT? JFC this man needs financial intervention stat. He’s probably paying 12K a year on interest alone.” —stormdanc3
“If you’re feeling super generous you could offer to pay for them to meet with a financial planner who might be able to show you brother what he needs to change in his life to get out of this mess. But absolutely do not co-sign for anything.” —Farfalle6
“Agreed. If parents think it’s such a good idea and a safe bet, let them move into an apartment and let brother and family move into their house and pay that mortgage. Am getting they don’t want to take that risk either. NTA to the highest degree.” —rainyhawk
“Never ever ever ever bankroll anyone’s poor choices. Not your problem. Full stop. Let your ‘Parents’ do that if that is what they want to do. Why on earth would you be expected to do what your brother cannot do his own self? Not your marriage, not your kids, not your problem. NOPE!” —sheisawholesituation
“Run far and fast.”
“Help them work out a budget to pay off their credit cards and live within their means. They can pay off their debt and then buy a place under their own steam.” —Here_for_tea
“Lending in a emergency situation is one thing, but this is technically not an emergency. The banks know based on paper he won’t pay them back, you know know he won’t pay you back. Don’t do it.” —dfrnt21
“…You say you want to buy a home yourself? If you co-sign your brother’s loan, banks will count your brother’s loan against you when determining debt-to-income ratio.”
“DO NOT DO THIS. They’ll want 30 years, right? They’ll drag their feet on a refi and you already know they’re bad with money.” —Accomplished_Sun_258
“Your parents are mad they’re cramped in an apartment, they can be mad at their son.”
“Why didn’t he put that 20% into his credit cards.”
“It’s his mess and his life, you’re not responsible for it. You didn’t make the debt, the babies, you didn’t marry the debt. Not your circus, not your monkey.”
“The situation sucks, sure. But it’s not your job to fix it.” —Jinglebrained
“NTA. Anyone that gives you sh*t can cosign for him instead.” —AbortTexas
“…OPs family are morons, and this is way too much of a risk.”
“OP needs to repeat ‘You can’t ‘lend’ credit,’ her brother has debt and is irresponsible with money, and ‘OP’ will be responsible for payments if he doesn’t make them. No promise that this won’t ever happen is enough. So the answer is a big fat unchanging no.”
“They need to wait, save more and pay off their debt (plus reduce their credit card limits, as these significantly impact borrowing ability), or find some other sucker to co-sign.” —Lexia_extreme511
Hopefully OP can find some other way to help out their brother.