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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default Co-signed On A Student Loan For My Brother

    I recently co-signed on a student loan for my brother. After two weeks of attending school he dropped out and spent all of the money. Now, several months later, the loan is scheduled to go into repayment and it is obvious that he has no intention of making these payments.

    I have worked hard to achieve excellent credit; therefore, I am not willing to allow a single payment to be late. I have considered paying off the loan and taking my brother to small claims court to seek wage garnishment. Is this option possible? Also, I suppose I should mention that we do not live in the same state (He is in CA and I am in WA). I hope this doesnít complicate the issue even more.

    Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default Re: Co-signed On A Student Loan For My Brother.

    As a co-signer, you are (probably) liable for the entire amount of the student loan. It may be possible that you are legally entitled to your brother's share of the loan (a legal concept known as contribution). I am not confident that you would be though. However, I am unfamiliar with both WA and CA law, so I could easily be wrong.

    As far as small claims go, you may not even have a valid legal argument. If you do though, the fact that you two are in separate states may actually complicate the issue. You would need to file somewhere that personal or general jurisdiction over your brother, and those could depend on things like where the loan was executed, has your brother been to WA, if so, why and how long... It could be possible that you would have to file in CA.

    You might be best off by paying the loan, and learning the hard life lesson. I would start by researching what rights you do/don't have as a co-signer though.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Co-signed On A Student Loan For My Brother

    Is it is a private student loan or a federally guaranteed loan? It makes a big difference. However, its probably a private loan, since federal loans do not normally require a co-signer. If that is the case, you probably do not have a claim against your brother for anything, since you willingly co-signed. The creditor could probably default the loan if they knew he spent the proceeds on things unrelated to to his education, but that default would be against both you and your brother, since you are both parties to the loan.

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