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Guarantor loan debts

Being a guarantor for loans, rent and mortgages

A guarantor is a third party who ‘guarantees’ a loan, mortgage or rental agreement.

This means they agree to pay the total amount owed if the borrower cannot. By doing this, you become responsible for any arrears that occur.

Before you agree to be a guarantor:

  • Make sure both you and the borrower can afford to keep up with the payments
  • Know what could happen to you if the other party fails to pay what they owe
  • Find out more about guarantor loans

Make an affordable payment arrangement if the borrower falls into arrears.

This may stop the lender taking any further action to recover the debt.

Guarantor loan debts can be included in most debt solutions, like debt management plans and bankruptcy.

Things to think about before being a guarantor

Before guaranteeing a loan, mortgage, or rental agreement, you should:

  • Understand the risks
  • Think about how you would cover repayments
  • Make sure the borrower can afford the payments
    • Ask them to go through their current financial situation in detail
  • Put some money aside as a ‘just in case’ fund
    • Use this to pay back the loan if you have to
  • Read and understand all the documents before you sign
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Can being a guarantor affect your credit rating?


A credit check is done on you if you agree to be a guarantor. This is added to your credit file.

Any defaults on the account or agreement are also added.

Find out more about how debt affects a credit file.

Who can be a mortgage or loan guarantor?

You can usually be a guarantor if:

  • You are over 21 years old
  • You have a good credit history
  • You have a separate bank account to the borrower

You may be able to guarantee a loan for a spouse or partner. But you must have separate bank accounts.

Lenders want to know the guarantor can pay back the loan if needed.

They may ask for proof of:

  • Income, and
  • Assets

Owning a home can help get it approved.

How much would I have to pay back on a mortgages or loan?

The amount you are guaranteeing includes:

  • The full amount borrowed, and
  • Any interest and charges

Guarantor loans are often used by people who find it hard to get credit.

  • This is due to them being considered a risk
  • That makes the interest rates higher than other personal loans

How much would I have to pay back to a rental agreement?

You are guaranteeing:

  • The full amount
  • For the whole of the tenant's agreement

Tenants often sign up for six to 12 months on a new agreement. After this time there is a rolling notice period, which varies.

Guarantors have full responsibility to pay what is owed.

The creditor can contact you to pay what is owed if a payment is missed.

Did you sign a Continuous Payment Authority as part of the agreement? Creditors can take the money from your bank account.

Who can be a guarantor for renting?

It depends on the landlord or lettings agency.

They want evidence that the guarantor can afford to:

  • Pay any rent not paid by the renter
  • For the full term of the rental agreement
  • On top of their usual bills

Many people ask a friend or family member who:

  • Is between 18 and 75 years old
    • Often 21 or older
  • Is a UK resident
  • Has a good credit history
    • Credit checks are run by the landlord or letting agent

The guarantor must:

  • Read and understand the rental agreement
  • Know the full amount that they would need to pay
    • This is based on the amount of time this covered

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I need a guarantor for renting. What can I do?

There are some schemes run by a number of local authorities that can help people out with:

  • Deposits
  • Guarantees
  • Advance rent payments

Check with your local council.

Students should check the support available from their college or university.

For specialist rent advice, go to Shelter

Housing advice can be complex.

Contact an advice agency that specialises in this subject.


Contact your local authority if you are at risk of homelessness.

Their housing department can advise you on applying for:

  • Social housing
  • Emergency accommodation

You might need help if you are finding it hard to get a rent agreement.

Use our online debt advice tool for free money advice and solutions.

Need help with a guarantor loan?

If you are:

  • Struggling to repay a guarantor loan
  • Looking for help dealing with your debts

We can help.

Use our free online debt advice tool to get the right help for your situation.