Daily Wisdom 232: Proverbs 11:15

Proverbs 11:15 (NKJV) — 15 He who is surety for a stranger will suffer, But one who hates being surety is secure.

Dangers of co-signing. Surety means agreeing to stand good for another’s debt if the borrower fails to pay. The common form today is co-signing., The Book of Proverbs repeatedly warns of the dangers associated with this practice. (See Proverbs 6:1-2; 17:18; 20:16; 22:26; 27:13.) It is unwise because the need for this practice usually indicates that borrowers are unqualified for loans; they have already borrowed all they can afford to repay, or they have no demonstrable means of repaying debt, or they have already demonstrated a failure to be faithful in repaying obligations. It removes any incentive to correct their lack of qualification and to seek God for His provision, supply, and direction. In short, one of the wisest steps a person can take to secure his own financial position is to refuse to stand good for the debts of others. If one thinks a borrower has a genuine need, it may be better to give the borrower the money outright.