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A friend asked me to be a co-signer on a mortgage loan. What does that mean?

If you cosign a loan, you are responsible for the payments if the primary borrower does not pay. 

You are not just serving as a reference for the primary borrower; you are putting your own credit history and finances on the line. If neither you nor the primary borrower pay, it will hurt your credit score and history. You may also be sued for the debt.