How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dimitry K., Esq. Your Own Question
Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 1611
Experience:  Run my own successful business/contract law practice.
Type Your Business Law Question Here...
Dimitry K., Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Foolish me co-signed on a friend's car loan. (My

Customer Question

Foolish me co-signed on a friend's car loan. (My strategy is to pay off the loan -- better friend fails to pay me than does any more damage to my credit score.) Am I stuck with the dip my score took when the edge my friend teetered on for months finally
sank my score. The loan is current now. Is there any case I can make to restore my perfect credit?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  MDLaw replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for using the Just Answer website. I'm sorry to hear about your situation. What exactly was the damage to your score? Was it simply late payments and if so, how many and how many days lste?

Expert:  MDLaw replied 1 year ago.

late, not lste. Sorry

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Looking for info. Just have FICO Credit Score Hsitory that my Discover Card sends monthly -- dip in score showed the payment hadn't been made. Score went from 825 to 751. He says paid now, but in looking online says score is 707. Arghhhh. Do you know how I can get an online credit report so can see what's going on? I was at, and I just asked for Equifax. Said credit report not available online and could be mailed.
Expert:  MDLaw replied 1 year ago. is the only free credit report service which is authorized by federal law. You will need to look at your actual credit report and not just the score to determine what the damage was and in order to know how to fix it, if it was indeed caused only by the car loan. You will need to get all three credit reports. You are entitled to one free report from each of the credit bureaus if you go via If your information did not match up, that is when they ask you to request one via mail but it is still free. There are also many other places where you can obtain a credit report but they are not free.

There are many things that can affect a FICO score. Number of hard inquiries, length of credit history, debt ratios, late payments, write-offs, public records, etc. The only way to determine how to improve your score is to take a look at your actual credit report and go through what the negatives are as listed.

Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am 81 years old and never have missed a payment on anything. I had Exceptional credit and this car default I am cosigned on is the only thing responsible for the change. Is there anything to do that can get me back to Exceptional? And please tell me what I need as a loan document so I become the loan holder for the car that I will pay off so he cant hurt my credit score any more. Is there some standard form? Or when I pay it off would the current loan holder, Santander, be able to transfer it to me?
Expert:  MDLaw replied 1 year ago.

I typed a lengthy response to you but it seems that it did not go through somehow.

With respect to repairing your credit, it would depend on what the actual negatives are on your credit reports. Are they write-offs or are they late payments? If they are late payments, how many late payments and how late? 30 days? 60 days? 90 days or more?

There is no standard form to transfer the loan since the law considers you as much of a primary as the other person whose name is ***** ***** loan. The only way he can further hurt your score is by not making payments. You can, however, contact the holder of the loan and they can make the determination about putting the loan in your name only. Keep in mind that you also have the legal right to sue him for what you paid and you can repo the car as well.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't want his high interest loan. I will pay it off and he will owe me money. Can I substitute for Santander, the loan holder, if I pay it off, and just use their loan document? Or what does one do as a private party collecting loan payments?He paid whatever prevented them from taking the car. The recorded message on Santander says he's 46 days past due on what is still owed. I don’t know where that is late enough to affect credit score. Every month he is overdue and charged late fees, but this is the first time he’s late enough -- and don’t know how late that is -- to hurt me.He refuses to sell the car. What sort of repossess rights do I have? Or would I have under some other arrangement?
Expert:  MDLaw replied 1 year ago.

I'm not sure I'm understanding your follow-up question. If the loan is paid off, then the loan is paid off. There would be nothing to substitute. Are you saying that you want to pay off the loan and then give a loan to the person you co-signed for? Please clarify your question.

As soon as a payment is 30 days late, it affects your score.

If your name is ***** ***** title, you do have the right to repossess the vehicle in most states. If your name is ***** ***** the title, then your best option is to talk to the lender about putting the loan in your name only.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I will pay Santander and the person with the car will owe me instead of them. Any advice re what paper I need, like Santander has?
Expert:  MDLaw replied 1 year ago.

You would simply need a written contract - specifically, a promissory note.

Expert:  MDLaw replied 1 year ago.

Please let me know if I have answered your question.