Taking out a loan on your partner's behalf is adorable, but before you sign on the dotted lines, make sure you know what you are getting yourself into.
Buying roses, holding hands and kissing are some of the ways that people show their love. Nowadays some even go as far as incurring debt for their partners. Is this a good idea or are you shooting yourself in the foot?
What are the risks?
Your partner can do a runner
When you apply for a loan, the agreement is between you and the creditor. The contract is not binding to the partner. If the relationship does not work out, your partner can just cut ties with you, leaving you with the debt.
You cannot apply for more credit
If a problem arises and you want to apply for a loan for yourself, there is a chance that you will fail the affordability assessment because of your monthly expenses which include the loan instalments. It’s not going to help much to show that your partner is assisting with repayments. Creditors only look at your (the applicant’s) documents, such as your bank statements and payslips, to determine if you can afford the loan or not.
You will damage your credit record
Borrowing money for your partner is worse than lending him/her money you already have. Here you stand to have your credit record damaged if you don’t pay. Your payment history will reflect on your credit record, so you must make sure that you do not miss your monthly repayments.
Your relationship will be strained
Money has been identified as one of the main causes of tension in relationships. If your partner does not help with the loan repayments, this can easily create animosity between the two of you, especially when you know that your partner can afford to.
So how do you ensure that your partner pays back the loan?
When your partner asks you to borrow money on his/her behalf, your partner is borrowing money from you, so it is only fair to treat your partner as your creditor would treat you.
Draw up a contract: Writing up a contract will ensure that your partner has a legal obligation to pay the loan. The contract will state the amount the borrower needs to pay and the frequency of the repayments.
Keep a valuable possession: This can be a watch, car, laptop or anything that your partner sees as important. This will serve as collateral in case your partner does not pay. You can sell the items later to pay the loan or some of it.
Help your partner earn extra income: Your partner may not be paying the loan because he/she cannot afford to. Sit down with your partner and discuss ways your partner can make more money.
Give your partner a gentle reminder: The reason you are still with your partner is that you love him/her, and you want the relationship to work. Be kind enough to remind your partner that he/she still owes you money and that you still need to repay the loan. Be gentle in your approach. Listen empathetically to your partner’s reasons for not paying, but also explain the consequences it holds for you if the loan is not repaid.
Ask them to pay half of the loan: If you see that your partner is trying, but cannot afford the loan, ask your partner to pay half of the loan. After all that is what partnership is for.
There is nothing wrong with taking a loan out for your partner. However, ensure that you take all the necessary measures to protect yourself.
This article has been prepared for information purposes only and it does not constitute legal, financial, or medical advice. The publication, journalist, and companies or individuals providing commentary cannot be held liable in any way. Readers are advised to seek legal, financial, or medical advice where appropriate.