If you've recently received a call from a loved one asking for help to bail them out of jail, you might be wondering about what co-signing a bail bond means for you. For those who have no experience with bail bonds, you may not know what the requirements are or what to expect along the way. Here's a look at what you need to know about applying for a bail bond as a co-signer.

Your Ability To Pay Matters

When you secure a bail bond, there is a down payment required at the time of the signing. However, if you can't afford the total amount of the down payment, you'll also have to make monthly payments toward the remaining cost. As a result, the bond agent is going to evaluate your ability to pay. This means assessing your credit as well as your income and expenses. 

Take some time to review your current credit standing as well as your expenses. Reach out to a couple of bail bonds agents to see what their credit requirements might be. That way, you can go into the bond process fully prepared for the financial qualification process.

Your Collateral Is Important

Another thing that is important to consider when you're bailing out a friend or loved one is the collateral you have to secure the entire bail amount. Remember that a bail bond requires collateral that's equal to the value of the bond. This means either a property deed or other valuables. Your bail bondsman will have the final determination regarding your collateral and what is or is not acceptable.

You Have The Right To Revoke  

One thing that many people don't realize when it comes to being a co-signer on a bail bond is the fact that you aren't fully committed to this responsibility. If, for any reason, the person you've bailed out seems as though they may not follow through with their responsibilities, or if you're concerned about any situation, you can revoke your signature on the bail bond and have the bond revoked by the courts. This will return the other party to custody until either another bond agreement can be reached or their court hearing is completed.

These are a few of the most important things that you should know about bail bonds and what it means to be a co-signer on such a bond. The more you understand, the easier it is for you to prepare before calling a bail bonds agent. Consider these points and talk with a couple of bail bond services in your area before you decide if you'll bail out your loved one.