January of 2016 I bought a car from wilett honda south which is located in Georgia, with the help of my ex boyfriend. It was my very first car and I didn't really have much help besides a co signer which was my ex because I didn't have any credit at the time. I asked and told the dealer multiple times as we were going through the paper work that this is MY car, not ours, i'm not sharing it with him, i'm the one paying for this car it belongs to me, and they reassured me each time that making me the co signer would not make me the secondary owner of the car, the car would belong to me. It seemed to make sense at the time and I took their word for it.

I had noticed that most of the items I got in the mail regarding my car were directed to my ex, some would also have me but rarely, then After failing to send me my plate for the car I went to the DMV to get it myself and that's when I was was told I was not the primary owner of the car I had been paying for.

I've been hearing I can't do anything about it until the car is paid off, Or that I would have to have my ex with me in order to do something about it. I don't know what's true. What do I do? I'm paying off the car through chase bank, meaning I do not have the title. I really just want my car that i've been paying for 100% to belong to me.

I called Wilett honda south about the issue and they claim that to be "weird", "they don't know why", "they will call me back", only to never call me back. My ex and I are also on good terms thankfully but I would still prefer to not have to rely on him until my car is paid off.

  • My assumption is that the state is Georgia? That is where Willet Honda is located.
    – Pete B.
    Jan 11, 2017 at 20:27
  • Yes sorry The State is Georgia, Wilett Honda South is in Morrow, GA I am now located in the Atlanta area.
    – IWantMyCar
    Jan 11, 2017 at 20:34
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    From the first paragraph, they made you the co-signer? If that's how all the paperwork is written (ex as primary, you as co-signer), and you signed it, that's going to be very hard to fix unless they documented what they told you in writing about being the primary. "They said" is usually trumped by "but that's not what you agreed to when you signed here" in most legal disputes like this, especially if you can't prove they said it. Are you both on the title and the loan paperwork? The lender is unlikely to switch without refinance/payoff, even with ex's approval, but you could ask them.
    – BrianH
    Jan 11, 2017 at 20:37
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    Perhaps someone else can suggest a better tactic, but you might have to have the ex's permission, refinance/pay off the loan, then transfer ownership to you as sole owner. I'm not aware of any reliable legal recourse other than that, I'm afraid. You have my sympathies. I also note what I'm sure you already realize: verify anything you are told in formal arrangements - especially when someone wants your money, like car sellers - with what paperwork actually says. People are often happy to tell you whatever you want to hear if it makes them a good payday.
    – BrianH
    Jan 11, 2017 at 20:41
  • To my understanding all paperwork is with me as the co-signer and my ex as the primary. I am also pretty positive I have no proof of them telling me that I would be the primary owner, admittedly poor judgement on my part. I have not seen the title so I am unsure what is on it, but I am under the impression we should both be on the loan paperwork.
    – IWantMyCar
    Jan 11, 2017 at 20:42

3 Answers 3


Imagine that, a car dealership lied to someone trusting. Who would have thought.

A big question is how well do you get along with your "ex"? Can you be in the same room without fighting? Can you agree on things that are mutually beneficial?

The car will have to be paid off, and taken out of his name. The mechanics on how to do this is a bit tricky and you may want to see a lawyer about it.

Having you being the sole owner of the car benefits him because he is no longer a cosigner on a loan. This will help him get additional loans if he chooses, or cosign on his next gf's car.

And of course this benefits you as you "own" the car instead of both of you.

You will probably have to refinance the car in your name only. Do you have sufficient credit? Once this happens can you pay off the car in like a year or so?

If you search this site a similar questions is asked about once per month. Car loans are pretty terrible, in the future you should avoid them. Cosigning is even worse and you should never again participate in such a thing.

Another option is to just sell the car and start over with your own car hopefully paid for in cash.

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    Yep, the joys of being young and clueless.
    – IWantMyCar
    Jan 11, 2017 at 20:49
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    @IWantMyCar, PeteB. makes a very good point. You actually have an opportunity here to undo the biggest mistake young people make. (I made it back in the day, so I'm not judging here.) Financing a new car is fun. That new car smell. etc. What nobody tells us is that the cash flow that we use to pay off that new car could be used to shave up to 10 years off our time to retirement/financial independence. If it meant retiring at 55 instead of 65, would you pay cash for a solid, reliable and economical used car instead of a sexy new car? If so, sell the albatross and buy used.
    – Xalorous
    Jan 11, 2017 at 21:30
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    The car is used.
    – IWantMyCar
    Jan 11, 2017 at 21:45
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    If I were to sell my used car to buy a new used car, how would I even sell it seeing how I am not the primary owner nor do I have the title, Chase bank currently holds the title till it is paid off.
    – IWantMyCar
    Jan 11, 2017 at 21:48
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    If I were you ex I would want to be off that loan and title ASAP, regardless of how your relationship is. Don't make the same mistakes many of us have. Trust us, sell the car. You will need to do this with him but it won't be a big deal. I once co-signed for a loan and it cost me $5500 and a good friend. NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER co-sign anything. Jan 14, 2017 at 0:59

Your best bet is to refinance the car in your own name only. Hopefully a year of making the payments has improved your credit score enough. If not, you can approach a loan officer at a credit union and make your case (that you haven't missed any payments, etc.). A new title should be sent to the new lien holder, and in that process, if your ex needs to sign any paperwork, it can be done while refinancing.

  • Sorry if I seem a little dense i'm just so clueless to anything car related. How would i go about refinance the car in my name, and have the car re-titled in my name, If i'm only the secondary owner? Would I just go to the bank with my ex and just see what can be done?
    – IWantMyCar
    Jan 11, 2017 at 22:12
  • Go to the bank by yourself. If the bank thinks the title needs any paperwork or a bill of sale, they can help you get that together for your ex to sign. Jan 11, 2017 at 22:20
  • @Xalorous your comment is longer than my answer. You should paste it into your own answer. Jan 13, 2017 at 23:53

You are co-signer on his car loan. You have no ownership (unless the car is titled in both names).

One option (not the best, see below) is to buy the car from him. Arrange your own financing (take over his loan or get a loan of your own to pay him for the car). The bank(s) will help you take care of getting the title into your name. And the bank holding the note will hold the title as well.

Best advice is to get with him, sell the car. Take any money left after paying off the loan and use it to buy (cash purchase, not finance) a reliable, efficient, used car -- if you truly need a car at all. If you can get to work by walking, bicycling or public transit, you can save thousands per year, and perhaps use that money to start you down the road to "financial independence".

Take a couple of hours and research this. In the US, we tend to view cars as necessary, but this is not always true. (Actually, it's true less than half the time.) Even if you cannot, or choose not to, live within bicycle distance of work, you can still reduce your commuting cost by not financing, and by driving a fuel efficient vehicle. Ask yourself, "Would you give up your expensive vehicle if it meant retiring years earlier?" Maybe as many as ten years earlier.

  • It is crazy how much people spend on cars. My two cars cost me roughly $176 per month over the last 7 years. That's all maintenance plus the purchase price of two cars. I agree 100% that you should pay cash for a car. There are plenty of good used cars out there. If you can avoid having a car loan in the long run you will save yourself so much money. Jan 14, 2017 at 0:50

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