Co-signed with an exI’ve come across the following scenario quite a few times:

I’ve broken-up with my boyfriend-girlfriend, and my problem is I co-signed on a car for him/her. I’ve asked them to take my name off the loan and get the car under his/her own name. What should I do to avoid being taken advantage of? Is there anyway for me to get off the loan and make my ex boyfriend-girlfriend pay for the car themselves?

This is a tough situation, and it’s a fairly common occurrence as well. Co-signing for ex-girlfriends-boyfriends and ex-wifes-husbands is always a problem. Obviously, you had no idea they were going to be your ex when you co-signed the loan, but now that you’re broken up you want to remove yourself from their loan (and their lives).

The good news is that you CAN get off your ex’s loan – but only if your ex is willing to co-operate. Here’s how:

1) Convince your ex to refinance the car without you. Your local credit union will give your ex the best deal. He or she can often refinance the loan for the same interest rate or better. Of course, if your ex has no credit (or if they’ve been late with the payments), that won’t work.

2) Convince your ex to trade their car in for a new vehicle. When it’s traded in, it’s paid off and over for both of you. You sign a few papers at the dealership and you’re all taken care of. If you really want out of the loan, you can even offer your ex some money towards a down payment. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but it’s worth it in some cases to be done.

3) Convince your ex to give you their car. This is a long shot, but maybe you can swap cars with your ex. You get the car and you don’t have to worry about missing a payment and/or the car being destroyed.

4) Hope that something happens to the car and/or your ex (kidding!). Seriously, that’s about the only other way something will change. If your ex can’t or won’t consider any of the other options, you’re sort of out of luck.

You have reason to be concerned about sharing a loan with your ex – if they miss a payment or let the car get repossessed, your credit will suffer. If you can’t your ex to agree to do any of the above, you should set aside some money to make payments just in case he or she can’t or won’t.

One other suggestion – be as nice as possible to your ex and explain to him or her that if they fail to make a payment, it will hurt their credit more than it hurts yours. After all, your ex needed you to co-sign for them in order to to get a loan in the first place. If he or she doesn’t make the payments, what makes you ex think they’ll get another loan again?

It’s been my experience most people recognize it’s in their own best interests to make their payments and get their ex off their car loan. This situation usually works out just fine.

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