(WTNH) — Now that the federal financial aid forms have been released, students are applying to college and you may be asked to co-sign if your child is one of them.

Paying for college can be stressful, but being the co-signer for those costly loans can get really scary.

Money.com came out with three things you should consider before signing.

First, ask whether or not you and your child can handle the shared responsibility. While you may not be the primary borrower, it may become your responsibility if something happens to the student financially. So truly consider if you can handle paying the full loan.

Next, ask yourself how it will affect your credit and borrowing power.

Just applying for the loan may be a hard inquiry on your credit history. It could impact your credit if the student wasn’t paying on time before you. And, co-signing the loan will also increase your debt-to-income ratio.

Another question to consider: Will you be able to get out of the agreement?

Releasing a co-signer from a private student loan can be an uphill battle. You should prepare for that to be a difficult task.

The bottom line is before you commit to being a co-signer, think about your own long-term plans. If you’re planning to retire or refinance your home, make sure you stay ahead on whatever else you need to pay off to ensure co-signing a school loan doesn’t slow your life goals.