Guarantor loan statistics

How many people have a guarantor loan in the UK?

A guarantor loan allows people with no or a very low credit score to borrow if they have a guarantor who agrees to cover any unpaid monthly repayments.

We have found that 35 times more people were approaching charities for advice regarding their guarantor debt in 2018 compared to 2012. This is likely to be as a result of their total debt being comprised more heavily of guarantor loan debt, thus suggesting that this type of debt is becoming more of an issue.

The latest facts

  • As of 2018, over 150,000 people in the UK had a guarantor loan.
  • The average guarantor loan amount is £4,894.
  • The average age of guarantor loan applicants is 36 years old.
  • The average amount of time for the loan to be paid off is 46 months.

Guarantor loan debt as percentage of total debt

The StepChange Debt Charity reported to helping up to 357,525 UK citizens with their debt as of 2018. The number of clients they have had and the number of those requiring help with guarantor loans is shown below.

Year Clients debt advised Clients with guarantor debts
2012 196,411 635
2013 284,947 2,919
2014 340,528 3,944
2015 307,043 8,123
2016 339,687 10,663
2017 357,386 16,485
2018 357,525 22,281

The number of clients they have had and the number of those requiring help with guarantor loans have generally increased over the six-year period. While the increase in clients overall does not increase year on year, the number of clients with guarantor debt increased each year, at a rate of 106% on average each year for the 6 years. Therefore, people are appearing to become more dissatisfied with their guarantor loans as more are requiring help with their debt.

The guarantor debt client

The average income, the average guarantor loan debt, and the average total debt of the clients shown above is in the graph displayed below.

Year Average income Average guarantor loan debt Average total debt
2012 £1,536 £3,109 £16,277
2013 £1,553 £3,595 £16,297
2014 £1,559 £3,775 £15,058
2015 £1,533 £3,269 £13,041
2016 £1,528 £4,395 £14,676
2017 £1,590 £4,312 £15,020
2018 £1,589 £4,206 £15,173

The client’s average income remains around £1,555 for each year while the client’s average total debt fluctuates. Meanwhile, there is a positive increase for the average guarantor loan debt, being 41% higher in 2016 compared to only 3 years prior. Therefore, while the overall debt that the clients have is changing, the guarantor loan debt is on the rise.

In fact, the percentage of the client’s total debt that is made up of guarantor debt has increased from 19% in 2012 to 28% in 2018.

Who is acting as guarantor?

A guarantor is necessary to cover any missed payments on the repayment of a loan. They will have to be over 21 and have a good credit rating. In addition, some require that the guarantor is a homeowner.

Relation Percentage
Mother 25%
Father 16%
Friend 22%
Colleague 2%
Other 35%

Asking parents to act as a guarantor was a popular choice – 41% of people chose this option in 2018, with a quarter of all people asking their mother. After mother, the next most popular guarantor was a friend. Only 2% decided to ask a colleague and the remaining 35% preferred to ask another person.


  • StepChange Debt Charity
  • tfsloans
Click here for more research. For all media enquiries, please contact:

Matt Mckenna
Head of UK communications
T: +44 20 8191 8806

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