General Question

Soapy's avatar

After dating for 6 months, is it normal for your girlfriend to ask if you could co-sign on an apartment lease?

Asked by Soapy (99points) March 13th, 2013

We’ve been dating for roughly 6 months now (I’m 32) and I have serious committment phobia (I’m going to therapy for it) and she knows this. Moving in with me is not an option until we’re married so she’s getting an apartment. Her credit isn’t very good and was declined on the application. She asked me to co-sign on the application with her instead of her parents…is this normal? She’s upset with me because I won’t do this, she says it means I don’t see a future with her. Am I wrong in not wanting to co-sign with her? This is a huge deal and if she loses her job and can’t pay her rent then I’m responsible for the credit hit.

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27 Answers

LuckyGuy's avatar

You are absolutely right. Don’t do it!
This should set off all kinds of red flags for you.

marinelife's avatar

You are definitely not wrong. I see it as a real red flag that she would even ask you to do that. I would re-think the relationship.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I agree with you, too soon and too much. I wouldn’t do it especially after only six months.

In all reality, I would actually be more concerned that she even asked, as if she can’t stand on her own two feet (I assume she’s over 21 yrs old).

Too many women want ‘rescued’ like we live in a fairytale, that’s a lot of pressure on their partners, and frankly it’s a little demeaning to women like myself who take pride in being independent.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Even if you aren’t committment phobic, never co-sign anything with anyone except your wife or kids. With the wife, you are legally financially responsible for her debts anyway so it doesn’t matter. And don’t co-sign for your kids unless you can afford to do so if they don’t come through.

Coloma's avatar

This has nothing to do with your commitment phobia. This is far to soon to become involved in a financial arrangement with someone you have only known for 6 months.
The real test will be when you say ” no, I am not comfortable doing this at this stage of our relationship.”
IF she really cares for you she will understand, if she lays a guilt trip on you or otherwise attempts to make you feel bad or is emotionally manipulative, I’d let her go and fast!

Bottom line, it takes, on average, a minimum of 2–3 YEARS to see how people keep showing up and how you navigate conflict and disagreement.
Consider this the first “test” of your budding relationship.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I was so quick to warn you that I didn’t really answer your question. No, it isn’t normal. As @marinelife and @LuckyGuy said, it is problematic that she would even ask. Be on your guard with this girl.

bob_'s avatar

Hells to the no. Run, Forrest, run!

Judi's avatar

As an apartment manager I am going to tell you to run. 90% of the time this turns out badly.
Her credit is bad for a reason.
I realize that the economy has hurt a lot of people but if you break up she has nothing to lose by burning you.
Tell her to ask if they would consider her application with a double deposit. Help her with the deposit if you want to take a risk. It is a lot cheaper than paying attorneys fees, back rent and damages if she gets evicted after you break up. I have seen this play out more times than you can imagine and the poor responsible sap that co-signed gets left holding the bag.

Soapy's avatar

Thanks guys, It’s nice to know that I’m not crazy here. Another thing is that my company monitors my credit and if it dips (ie bankruptcy) then they have the option of letting us go. My credit is something I worked very hard for and I like to keep it that way. Tonight should be a fun conversation. How do I word this without making matters worse?

janbb's avatar

@Soapy There probably is not much you can say that will not cause conflict. This is something she wants and you don’t. But if you want to be as tactful as possible, you could say, “My credit rating is crucial to my job security. I don’t want to jeopardize it or the possibility of a future relationship with you by getting involved in mutual finances at this point.” If she tries to manipulate you or argue about it, just keep repeating the same idea. If she pushes too hard and gets mad, it may be time to call it quits.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@soapy Oh yeah, there’s your ‘out’ right there, totally use that as your excuse!

Coloma's avatar

@Soapy Just be diplomatic but firm,and remember, when we REALLY care about someone we would not want to put them in an uncomfortable situation. It is about respect!
“Adults” respect differences and put others well being equal to their own, not above or below.
Immature people just want what they want and don’t care if it comes at a “cost” to another, be that mentally, emotionally or financially.

If she gives you a hard time I would say ” the mere FACT that you are arguing with me about this matter SHOWS me you do not have MY best interests at heart!

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I would not want to be in your shoes. I am sure she will try every whiny, manipulative trick she can think of to talk you into it. From your description of what she has already said, I don’t see this ending well. Just tell her you won’t do it – too much of a risk for you, Let her get mad and storm out. Don’t get into any arguments with her about it, because that is how manipulation works. She will shoot down all your reasons, when you really don’t owe her a reason.

LuckyGuy's avatar

While you’re having the discussion don’t sleep with her. It will confuse the issue and cloud your thinking.
Let the head on your shoulders do all the thinking. Got it?

JoeyOhSoClever's avatar

@Soapy Do not risk taking a credit hit for anyone, unless you’re married to them. If you have commitment issues she might be trying to push you a bit but after 6 months it is way too early for that. Seeing it from her perspective, you have to try to figure out a way to let her know you do have a plan with her in your future, if in fact, that is the case. I wouldn’t say run from her like most are saying. Look at things from both perspectives and try having a healthy conversation/argument no matter how irrational she may be, stay calm and just let her know where you stand with this subject.

rooeytoo's avatar

I see this from a different angle, first what the hell is normal? Some relationships are cemented after 6 hours together, others may never make it. Since you are even questioning the situation then that tells me you are not particularly invested, mentally, so then I would say no, don’t invest financially either.

I don’t see asking for help to be problematic, it is your reaction that sends up the red flags. So as was said above, run forest, run!!!

Shippy's avatar

You are either ready for it or not. If you are not say so. You owe it to yourself and her,.

dabbler's avatar

Sounds like there is no good reason to think she will be able to support that apartment.
So, I’m with all the others who counsel : absolutely not, do not do it.

If you were on the verge of getting married, and trusted her that much to do so, then maybe that’s an acceptable risk, after all you’d be living together soon. But do consider that even if you were considering marriage, she could turn out to be the spouse from hell if she is irresponsible with money.

Bellatrix's avatar

You don’t want to catch an STD (Sexually Transmitted Debt). Listen to your instincts. They are giving you sensible advice. She didn’t get a bad credit rating by being responsible with money. That she would ask you to do this and then put you on a guilt trip because you say no does not bode well for your future relationship.

dabbler's avatar

@Bellatrix ’(Sexually Transmitted Debt)’ love that !

Judi's avatar

Please come back and tell us how it went!

Soapy's avatar

Ok guys, so here’s how it went. Basically she asked me first because she didn’t want to let anyone know that she had horrible credit. Once I told her that I just can’t co-sign for her due to my job being tied to my credit and not being able to predict how life turns out she completely understood. I was blowing this way out of proportion since we were going back and forth over email (never a good idea) and I was taking what she was saying in a negative tone when she was actually ok with my decision. Go figure. Thanks for all your quick and awesome answers though, I love this site.

Coloma's avatar

@Soapy That’s great, yes, we can never predict anothers response until we actually confront the situation. Good news and good luck! :-)

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Oh, good! So she wasn’t upset with you, like you thought. Communication – the key to successful relationships.

roaminggal's avatar

Not in my world! I suppose she figured it was worth a try to ask.

jtxl's avatar

NOOOOOOO!!!!!!! DON’T DO IT !!!!!! DON’T DO IT!!!!!! not unless you are prepared to pay her rent and damages for the next 6 months. there is a reason why she needs a co-signer and it is that she doesn’t like to pay her rent, back away slowly…..and carefully…...

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