By Tim Jimenez
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Desperate people, hoping to get a loan, are now using the online bulletin board “Craigslist” to find a co-signer.
One Craigslist poster is offering $5,000 to the co-signer if his loan gets approved — “just in time for the holidays,” he says. Another poster is looking for someone to co-sign a student loan and, if approved, would pay $1,500 cash for the help.
Locally, in the “Philadelphia” section of Craigslist, there were three ads from people looking to find a co-signer and seven from people ostensibly offering to co-sign other people’s loans.
“Seems like a very risky propostion,” says Drexel University economics professor Mark Stehr (right), who says the odds are stacked against you if you are willing to put yourself out there financially on Craigslist.
“You’re likely to get a scammer,” he warns, “somebody who’s either out to steal your identity or take your fee and then not really stand behind you if you can’t pay the loan back.”
Or, he says, you may get an honest person who is getting in over his head. The Federal Trade Commission says as many as three out of four co-signers are stuck repaying loans that go into default.