I've posted my rules about loaning money to people in this space before. Sometimes I don't follow my own advice. Usually with the predictable results.
Sometime last December I was approached by a friend who wanted to buy a new motorcycle (not scooter!). It was a 23,000 peso beefed up jobbie. Much more machine than anyone would ever need on La Isla. He had the down payment but needed a co-signer to finance the balance for the next 12 months. I gave it some serious thought. Here are the facts I considered:
He lives on the island but is building a house in Cancun, paycheck by paycheck.
He has worked at the same job (bartender) for the past six years and I have never known him to not go to work when he is scheduled.
He has always proven to be reliable and trustworthy.
He was selling one of his cows he still owns on his father's ranch in Chiapas to help pay off the motorcycle earlier.
He showed me a reference letter from his employer that also outlined his income.
So I thought it over and decided to go ahead and co-sign for the financing for him. I did have a separate agreement with him that if I had to finish paying for the motorcycle....no matter what sum was left....the title was mine. And thus the motorcycle also. I made all the copies of paperwork that I needed to prove my financial standing and that I lived here. He went with me and paid for the copies. I was impressed by this.
Saturday I heard his loud motorcycle pull up in front of my house and the horn beep. I went out to look. He opened up the storage seat on the motorcycle and pulled out a manila folder, which he proudly handed to me.
In it were the copies that I had provided the Honda dealership and a copy of his receipt showing the motorcycle paid in full. I congratulated him, shook his hand and he proudly drove away, a smile a mile wide on both our faces.