What is a Loan Guarantor? Ultimate FAQ

Lidia Staron, author at OpenLoans
Lidia Staron   OpenLoans Marketing Manager
Personal Finance
I enjoy navigating people through important financial decisions.

What is a guarantor on a loan? You may have been looking for lending and seen offers that rely on a loan guarantor. If you have never borrowed before, then you might be confused by the term or unsure exactly what the concept means. Even if you have a rough idea, you are likely to have questions. Can I get a loan without a guarantor? What are the differences between the guarantor vs. co-signer? In this FAQ guide, we’re exploring all of the questions you might have.

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Who Can Be a Guarantor for a Guarantor Loan?

What is a guarantor on a loan? Basically, it is someone who can take responsibility if you fail to make your repayments. Anyone over the age of 18 can be a loan guarantor in the U.S., provided they are not linked financially to the person applying. For instance, those sharing a joint bank account or acting as a dependent of the other cannot apply for a guarantor loan together.

Is It Difficult to Take Out a Loan With a Guarantor?

Stressed-out man battling with loan anxiety.

In some cases, it is difficult; in some cases, it is easier. You will need to fill out more paperwork if you want to get a guarantor on your loan. It is often a solution for people who can’t get a loan without guarantor support. If you are in this position, then it might be more straightforward, as you may have more options for lending. You will be less of a risk to the companies who are offering personal loans for bad credit.

There are a number of different types of loans that can be taken out with a guarantor. For example, personal loans for a business startup, or for a vehicle, or just about any other purpose – all of these can potentially need someone to agree to be a guarantor.

Do Guarantor Loans Carry Risk for the Guarantor?

Whether you agree to be a student loan guarantor or a personal guarantor for a business loan, there is definitely a risk involved for guarantors. You can get stung if you are not prepared for this, or if the person who you have agreed to be loan guarantor for is not trustworthy.

Why Would Someone Need Me to Be Guarantor?

Two business people discussing a document.

The main reason for a guarantor is that people have poor credit ratings and would otherwise struggle to get the funding. Also, there are people who can’t provide credit history to prove their ability to pay back loans. A guarantor is helpful and, in many ways, reduces the risk to the lender.

What Can Being a Loan Guarantor Cost Me?

If the borrower cannot repay the loan, then the guarantor has to step in financially. That means paying the value of the loan and interest if the main party cannot pay. All of the potential risks will be worked out and explained when you sign the paperwork for being a guarantor. If you don’t want to be wondering how to deal with debt collectors, you should ensure that you are confident of the loan being repaid properly.

Can I Remove Myself From Being a Loan Guarantor?

In some scenarios, you might be able to stop being the personal guarantor for business loans or other types of lending. Someone will normally need to step in in your place and help with personal student loans or other personal types of lending, but if the applicant has improved their credit rating, then they might not need a guarantor, so renegotiating with lenders may be possible.

Can I Be a Guarantor for Someone’s Loan if I Have Bad Credit?

Sheet showing that someone has bad credit.

Usually, the company offering lending will look to get someone with a good credit rating to be a guarantor, as this will help them mitigate risk. It is useful for an applicant to have someone who is held in high regard by lenders, as this will mean they can be confident that they are going to get their money.

Does Being a Guarantor Affect My Credit Rating?

If the loan repayments are kept up on time, there is no reason why being a guarantor should sink your credit rating too much, but there is a risk if the loan repayments are not paid. Not only will you then have to step in and pay, but you may also find that your credit score falls.

Keep in mind, though, that lenders look at your debt to income ratio when determining your creditworthiness. If you are included in someone else’s loan, then that debt will count against you, making it less likely you will be able to borrow money during the life of the loan.

What is a Guarantor Check?

It is normal that a lender carries out a check on the potential guarantor. It is to ensure that they have a good credit history. The lender may even perform things like checks on employment.

Will Being a Guarantor Affect Me Getting a Mortgage?

In most cases, being the guarantor on a loan shouldn’t prevent you from getting lending for a home. However, if you do inherit the debt and then struggle to pay it yourself, remember that it can impact your credit score, so there is always a chance that the knock-on effect could make it harder to borrow.

The mortgage lender may count the loan against your debt-to-income ratio, which would make you more of a risk.

If the guarantor refuses to pay, then it might be time for the debt collectors. The lender has the right to send in debt collectors and to repossess items in some scenarios. First, they will do this from the main borrower, but they can also send debt collectors to the guarantor, too, if required.

Guarantor vs. Co-Signer: What is the Difference?

A personal loan with a co-signer is very similar. Someone else signs the loan and agrees to pay if the primary lender cannot. However, a co-signer is easier to get money from due to the nature of the contract they sign. They are responsible for the debt along with the borrower. In the case of a guarantor, they have to “inherit” the debt once it has been defaulted upon by the borrower, at which point it becomes their responsibility.

How to Find a Student Loan Guarantor?

Finding a student loan guarantor might be essential, as many students do not have any history of borrowing money. Normally, for a student, it is standard to get a personal loan with a co-signer or a guarantor, and this can often be found within your family. Someone who has a strong financial grounding in your family can make the perfect guarantor.

Who Can Be Guarantor for a Personal Business Loan?

Business man signing a loan.

Even if the use of the loan itself will be for business, a personal loan will still have the same structure, with the same responsibilities as any other personal loan. This means that the loan guarantor can be just about anyone who is happy to do so, as long as they aren’t linked to you financially (not directly, anyway).

The same candidates are often good for this sort of lending, so you can ask family members or friends to be guarantors for a business loan.

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