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The requirements of your guarantor

Here's what you need to know about finding and using a guarantor.

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Using & Being a Guarantor

  • Finding the right guarantor for your lender
  • What it means to be a guarantor
  • Answers to questions you may have

Requirements for a Guarantor

The idea of a using a guarantor for a loan or being a guarantor for someone else may be new to you. But don't worry - we have lots of information for you so you can quickly understand what a guarantor is, how to find one, and what a guarantor's responsibilities are.

Simply choose the option on the right to jump to the information you need. And if you can't find what you need then contact us.

All about Guarantor Loans

What is a Guarantor?

If you have had previous credit problems a lender might consider lending you money to be risky. However, if you can get someone to guarantee to step in to make your repayments if you suddenly were unable to then this will alleviate the risk to the lender. This person is your guarantor.

What's Required to be a Guarantor?

These are the typical requirements with each lender being slightly different:

  • Be a UK resident (homeowner or non-homeowner)
  • Be aged between 21 years and 75 years at the start of the loan
  • Have a good credit history or at worst a slightly imperfect credit history
  • Have a UK bank account & debit card (Visa or Mastercard debit / Visa Electron)
  • Prove an income of at least £400 per month (employed, self-employed or retired)
  • Be financially independent of the borrower (i.e. of independent financial means and with own bank account)

Guarantor Criteria in More Detail

Homeowner vs Non-Homeowner Guarantors

Lenders used to prefer guarantors to be homeowners, but with the increase of lender competition this is no longer the case - non-homeowners are just as acceptable. Where there is a difference is in the maximum loan amount and interest rate charged:

The counterpoint to this is that it is often easier to find a non-homeowner to be a guarantor.

Credit History & Income

If a borrower misses a monthly payment then this is the point where the lender will ask the guarantor to step in and make the payment instead. With this in mind it is important for the lender to know that any guarantor has the financial capability to do it. As part of the application process the guarantor will need to prove their income is sufficient and a loan repayment affordable. Also they need to show they are creditworthy and don't have financial problems of their own.

Financial Independence

Financial independence means that the borrower and guarantor have their own income streams and their own bank accounts and can make financial decisions without reference to the other. So it is perfectly possible for a guarantor and borrower to be married, or to be in relationship and living in the same home as each other. Both parties need to be able to show they could separately afford the loan repayments.

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How to Find Your Guarantor

Not only do you need to be aware of lender requirements but you should:

  • Find someone who trusts you enough not to default on repayments
  • Ensure any guarantor fully understands their obligations
  • Be aware of the impact on the relationship with your guarantor if you don't make loan repayments. What would happen to it if they had to step in to make your payments?

A Plan for finding a Guarantor

It may be completely obvious to you who your guarantor is going to be. But in many cases it won't be. Your social network may be wider than you think especially when you include family, friends and possibly work colleagues too.

Drawing up a short list of options would be a good idea. Ask yourself:

  • Who's known you long enough for them to feel they could trust you?
  • Who sees you frequently enough for them to know you in enough depth?
  • Who might respond best to your pitch for them to be your guarantor?

And then rank your short list in terms of order of preference. Which of your short list are likely to be your best bet?

Now you need to think about how you approach them. How you go about this may be simply down to your personality, but you ought to think about how you're going to pitch the request. Any potential guarantor is likely to have a long list of questions and you need to be able to answer them, or at least point them to our website to help do this. But is certainly very important that anyone who is considering being your guarantor understands their obligations and feels they can trust you. After all you don't want to damage friendships.

Your Guarantor's Responsibilties & Obligations

The benefit of providing a guarantor is that the borrower can obtain unsecured credit on reasonable terms even though they may have a poor credit history. This is possible because the presence of a guarantor offsets any risk that the lender would otherwise face. With this in mind these are the obligations and responsibilities of the guarantor:

  • they co-sign the loan agreement with the borrower
  • they typically received the funds from the lender and pass them to the borrower (to prevent identity fraud)
  • if the borrower misses a payment then initially the lender will work with them to get back on track. If they cannot, then the lender will issue the borrower with a default notice and at this point ask the guarantor to make the payment(s).

Clearly if you have been asked to act for someone as a guarantor you should not do so unless you are willing to follow through on these responsibilities.

Questions About Being or Having a Guarantor

What do you need to be a guarantor

First you need to meet the basic requirements. Second you need to be comfortable that you will be credit checked. Third you need to satisfy yourself that you know the borrower well enough that you can trust them to make the loan repayments. How would you react if you were required to step in and make a payment on behalf of the borrower? What might it do to the way you feel about your friendship? Would it impact on your lifestyle?

I've been asked to be a guarantor. What do I do now?

The first thing to decide is if you are happy to act as the guarantor for the person who has asked you:

  • do you know them well enough to judge if you can trust them to make the loan repayments on time and in full each month?
  • has the applicant demonstrated to you that they can afford the loan - perhaps they have shown you their bank statements or pay slips?
  • ask yourself if you had the money yourself would you lend it to them? If you wouldn't then perhaps you shouldn't agree to be their guarantor.

If you are comfortable to act as their guarantor then the applicant will tell you how to provide your details to the lender. This is likely to require you to log in to the lender's website and use a reference provided by the applicant. Don't forget that the lender will want to credit check you too. They need to be confident that should the borrower fail to make a loan repayment that you can afford to.

Am I credit checked? What does this mean for me?

A lender needs to ensure that a guarantor has the capacity to make the loan repayments if the borrower cannot. So, they will conduct a credit check to ensure that you:

  • are who you say you are (i.e. an identity check)
  • have not had trouble paying bills or similar in the past.

This type of credit check is called a Quotation search or a "soft" search. This type of search is visible on your credit report but it does not impact your credit score.

Does a guarantor have to have a good credit rating?

Because the guarantor might be required to make one or more payments if the borrower fails to they need to be creditworthy on their own terms. So, any guarantor needs to have a good credit rating.

Does being a guarantor affect your credit score or credit rating?

You will be credit checked prior to the approval of the loan for the borrower. This is a "soft" search that does not leave an imprint on your credit file so does not affect your score. If the borrower can't make a repayment and you have to do it on their behalf then this will not affect your score, unless of course you have difficulty making the payment too.

Can a guarantor be retired? Are there age limits?

While any guarantor needs to have an income the income could be from a pension; you don't have to be employed. So being retired is OK so long as any upper age limit at the start of the loan period is not exceeded. This is often the age of 75.

What are the risks of being a guarantor?

The primary risk to you if you act as as a guarantor is that the borrower fails to keep up the repayments. In these situations the lender has a right to require the you to step in to make the payment. In the worst case the lender may require you to repay the balance of the loan outstanding. If you are unwilling to do this then it will affect your credit rating and the lender could ultimately start legal proceedings against you and the borrower.

So you should only volunteer to act as someone's guarantor if you would otherwise be prepared to risk you own money. You must be able to trust the borrower.

Once I've agreed to be a guarantor can I change my mind?

You can change your mind about being someone's guarantor at any point until you have signed the agreement. From that moment on you are obliged to continue. You cannot pass the responsibility on to anyone else. So, do take time to consider any request to act as a guarantor and only agree to it if you are certain it is the right thing to do.

Real Life Questions

We get some very specific questions about what defines an ideal guarantor - here are some of them and the answers we gave:

  1. I have a suitable Guarantor, however, he does NOT have a “Debit Card” – it may be possible to accept a guarantor who only has a credit card. Please enquire via our form.
  2. Can a person act as a guarantor for me if they are already acting as a guarantor for someone else – a person can only act as a guarantor for one person at a time.
  3. Please could you advise if you accept a guarantor who is over 60 and retired – almost certainly so long as they also meet the other general criteria
  4. Can my employer be a guarantor for my loan – yes, so long as they meet the criteria above
  5. If the guarantor is a UK homeowner, does this mean my loan is secured against the guarantor’s property – no, this loan is completely unsecured.
  6. Is the loan in my name or in the guarantor’s – no, the loan is in your name, not the guarantor’s.
  7. Please could you tell me as soon as possible if someone is able to act as a guarantor for someone if the guarantor is a home owner but their home is subject to a freezing/restraint order pending legal proceedings – If a charge is registered against the guarantor’s property then it suggests bad credit for the guarantor in question in which case we’d advise them to find an alternative to avoid disappointment.
  8. My proposed guarantor is a pub owner and is not classed as employed. Is this any good – your guarantor must satisfy all the criteria above.
  9. My proposed guarantor has been rejected by the lender because of their credit status. Please tell me more – due to the data protection act you will have to take this up directly with the lender.
  10. Can the guarantor I select live at the same address as me – yes, so long  as they meet all the criteria above.

About Guarantor Loans


Representative Example (Loans £500+)

Loan Amount


Monthly Repayment


Loan Term

36 mnths

Total Repayment


Rate of Interest


Representative APR


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