Q: We’ve been getting on track financially using your plan, but now my husband’s parents wants us to co-sign on a new car. I think it’s a bad idea, and have asked him to not do this. We’re just on Baby Step 2, so any catastrophe would really set us back. What if my husband does this anyway? Do you have any tips on grace or what to do besides the “I told you so” lecture?
A: You’re right about one thing. Co-signing for that car would be a very bad idea.
But I’m not sure this is the time for grace and understanding. I think this is one of those times when you stand in the driveway and don’t let him leave. Just tell him no. I understand that we’re talking about family and that makes it more difficult for him. But this guy needs to understand that he’s putting your relationship in jeopardy if he completely goes against your wishes on something that you are adamantly against.
I’m serious about this: If the deal falls through, and there’s a pretty good chance it will, it’s not going to be just a setback or inconvenience for you guys. This kind of thing could potentially bankrupt your family. It could also cause big-time problems between your husband and his parents.
Do you know why banks want co-signers? It’s because they don’t think the people who want the loan will pay the bill! You’re basically being asked to stick your head in the noose so the bank can hang you when they don’t pay up.
Don’t do it. Don’t you ever co-sign for anyone and don’t let this happen. In the Contemporary English Version of Scripture Proverbs 17:18 reads, “It’s stupid to guarantee someone else’s loan.” That’s not me speaking. That’s God’s word.
Q: I’m shopping around for a new bank because my current big bank has gone fee-crazy. They want $15 to tell me my mortgage payoff amount. Besides asking about fees, do you have any other advice when it comes to looking for a good bank?
A: I learned to stay away from the mega-banks a long time ago. It seems to me that somewhere along the line they forgot how to treat their customers like human beings.
That’s why I stick with community and regional banks. I love local credit unions, too. These are the kinds of places where you can go in and talk to the branch manager if they go fee-crazy. They have the power to waive fees, or fix situations if something gets out of whack or is just plain stupid.
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