Antelope Valley Press

It can be costly to co-sign for loans

- Annie Lane

Dear Annie: I’m writing to respond to the post about “Godmother Goes Awry,” in which a mother was very upset that a godmother would not co-sign for her daughter. The daughter was requesting a co-signer to rent an apartment. The mother was enraged that the godmother declined.

I just wanted to say that I, in the past, have been a co-signer for young people’s loans. This has caused me to lose over $20,000 when they lost their job or just declined to repay the loans. I now have a policy of never co-signing for any children of mine or other people. It is a bad situation and one should never mix money and family. If you were willing to completely lose the money and financiall­y able, perhaps then it is fine. But one can never be sure that someone’s going to pay them back — and then the relationsh­ip gets ruined. So I support the godmother in this case and I think the mother should back off.

— Learned From my Past Dear Learned: Every

body’s situation is different, but it is always wise to consider all possible outcomes when co-signing a loan. If you cannot afford to lose the money or if you think it could cause tension in a relationsh­ip, then it’s best to refrain from being a co-signer.

Dear Annie: It’s that time of year again and I dread having people ask me to celebrate the holidays with them.

I haven’t celebrated a holiday in 20 years. For me, the holidays are full of misery. I lost my entire family during the holidays. Add to that, I made some mistakes that led to my not being able to celebrate the holidays because prison doesn’t allow for celebratio­n.

That said, how do I clearly and effectivel­y tell people that I don’t partake in holiday festivitie­s? I have tried simply telling them. I have tried explaining to them the reason behind it. They don’t listen to me and insist that I must celebrate with them. I feel like, in the end, I have to be rude to get them to leave me alone. I don’t miss the gift-giving or what I feel like are fake pleasantri­es.

— The Grinch

Dear Grinch: The holidays, while full of spirit and cheer for many, can be extremely difficult and stressful for others. I’m sure the loved ones in your life who are requesting your presence at such gatherings genuinely mean well and want you there, but it is frustratin­g they will not respect your wishes not to participat­e.

The key here is exactly what you said: clear and effective communicat­ion. The next time you receive an invite to something holiday related, say something along the lines of, “Thanks for thinking of me. I won’t be able to make it, but I hope you have a great time, and I look forward to catching up with you in the new year.” Once you’ve given an answer, you needn’t respond any further. It’s unnecessar­y to explain yourself or defend your choice. What matters is that you gave them a polite answer while honoring yourself.

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