If I Bought a Car With a Cosigner Who Owns It?

by Neil Kokemuller
A cosigner may help you get a loan for a car.

If you haven't established a credit history or have a poor one, it can be difficult to get favorable loan terms and rates when buying a car. A cosigner with excellent credit can help. If you take on a cosigner, you normally own the car, and the cosigner backs up your financial commitment to repay the loan.

Claims Of Ownership

Things can get a bit tricky if you don't make payments on your car and the cosigner has to pick up the slack. Essentially, you both bear financial responsibility to the lender. State and department of motor vehicle rules vary on cosigner rights. According to a September 2009 article on the Bankrate website, your cosigner may have some ability to seek possession of the car if you can't pay the debt. However, this isn't always true. One clue may be whether the cosigner's name is also on the car's title. That may make it more likely that the cosigner has a claim to the car. It is a good idea to review cosigner rules with your DMV and lender ahead of time.

About the Author

Neil Kokemuller has been an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007. He has been a college marketing professor since 2004. Kokemuller has additional professional experience in marketing, retail and small business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.

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