Can my sister, who had a bankruptcy, take over my car loan?


Q. My sister had a bankruptcy a year ago. I have a perfect credit score with no debt except for a car loan for $11,000. We are both in our early 70s. I would like to have my sister renegotiate my car loan to take over the car payments because of my health. She can afford it now that she is relieved of her old debt. I want to co-sign the loan for her to take on the payments because I don’t want to leave her without a car in case I die. How long should we wait before attempting to renegotiate the loan in her name for which I will be co-signing?
— Caring brother

A. There are a lot of “ifs” here, but it is possible.

It will really be up to the car financing company to allow it, said Karra Kingston, a bankruptcy attorney in Union City.

There really is no set time to wait, she said, but if you wait longer and your sister’s credit score rises after the bankruptcy, it will probably increase the chances that the financing company will be open to the change.

“Keep in mind they may charge more interest if your sister’s credit score isn’t good,” Kingston said.

Start by talking to the financing company to see what options it would accept.

If that doesn’t work, you can consider selling the car to your sister if you can find another finance company to extend the loan to her. You can still offer to co-sign in that case.

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This story was originally published on Jan 20, 2021. presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.