Who can be a guarantor for a personal loan?

If you're struggling to obtain a personal loan, applying for a guarantor loan could be an option. Here's all you need to know about finding a guarantor who is willing and able to financially back you.

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A poor or limited credit history could affect your ability to obtain a personal loan. However, if you can find a friend or family member to act as your guarantor, you may still be able to borrow money.

What is a guarantor loan?

A guarantor loan is a personal loan that is guaranteed by a friend, relative or work colleague of the borrower. The guarantor will usually need to have a very good credit rating and will promise to honour any debt if you, the borrower, default on your payments. In this situation, the guarantor will have to take over the repayments until the loan is paid off.

If your credit score is all that’s standing between you and a perfectly affordable loan, applying with a guarantor can help get your application across the line.

It’s crucial to understand that being a guarantor does not mean “vouching for” the applicant or simply providing a reference – the guarantor is actually volunteering to pay off the loan if the applicant does not.

Who can be a guarantor?

Asking someone to be your guarantor is a big decision for both the borrower and the guarantor. As an applicant, you’re asking the guarantor to risk their financial situation to help you secure credit.

Your guarantor will need to have good credit and be able to afford the loan repayments. Perhaps they own their own home, but they could also be renting, a tenant or living with family. Their homeowner status can affect which type of guarantor loan you’re able to apply for, depending on the lender. Guarantor loans with a guarantor who owns their own home or has a mortgage tend to come with better interest rates than non-homeowner guarantor loans.

A borrower and a guarantor need to have a close and trusting relationship, where they can talk openly about their financial situations. The guarantor needs to know the borrower can afford to make the monthly loan payments so they won’t have to use their own money to pay off the borrower’s debt. However, the guarantor will need to have the finances available should the borrower run into problems with their repayments.

When looking for a guarantor, it’s a good idea to have at least two people in mind. It’s more often the guarantor’s circumstances (not the borrower’s) that lead to an application being declined.

Applying for a guarantor loan is a big commitment for both parties, which could impact their credit reports and financial situations.

Guarantor criteria can vary from lender to lender, but will typically include the following requirements.

Can be a guarantor

  • A relative, friend or work colleague.
  • Good to excellent credit rating.
  • UK resident.
  • Aged 21-75.
  • Holds a UK bank account.
  • Has a regular income (full or part-time employment or a pension).
  • Can afford to make the monthly payments if the borrower can’t.
  • Is comfortable to act as guarantor and understands the commitment they are undertaking.
  • Has no shared finances with the borrower.
  • Has a separate email address to the borrower.

Can’t be a guarantor

  • Husband or wife or partner of the applicant.
  • Has a shared financial account with the borrower (eg business bank account, mortgage or car payment plan).
  • Under 21.
  • Over 75 years old.
  • Non-UK resident.
  • Poor to fair credit rating.
  • Can’t afford to make repayments if the borrower defaults.
  • Has been made bankrupt or received an IVA or CCJ in the past six years.

Compare guarantor loans

Table: sorted by representative APR, promoted deals first
Name Product Total Payable Monthly Repayment Representative APR
Representative example: Borrow £10,000.00 over 3 years at a rate of 49.7% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 49.7% and total payable £17,537.04 in monthly repayments of £487.14.
Representative example: Borrow £6,000.00 over 3 years at a rate of 47.9% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 47.9% and total payable £10,364.04 in monthly repayments of £287.89.
Representative example: Borrow £5,000.00 over 3 years at a rate of 49.9% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 49.9% and total payable £8,782.92 in monthly repayments of £243.97.
Representative example: Borrow £10,000.00 over 3 years at a rate of 49.7% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 49.7% and total payable £17,537.04 in monthly repayments of £487.14.
Representative example: Borrow £10,000.00 over 3 years at a rate of 47.8% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 47.8% and total payable £17,259.12 in monthly repayments of £479.42.

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Total Payable Monthly Repayment Representative APR
Representative example: Borrow £11,000.00 over 3 years at a rate of 31.9% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 31.9% and total payable £16,381.80 in monthly repayments of £455.05.
Representative example: Borrow £10,000.00 over 3 years at a rate of 49.5% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 49.5% and total payable £17,507.88 in monthly repayments of £486.33.

Compare up to 4 providers

Warning: late repayments can cause you serious money problems. See our debt help guides.

Thinking about becoming a guarantor?

If a friend, relative or work colleague has asked you to be a guarantor, there are some things you must consider before applying.
  • Do you trust them to make all the payments on time each month?
  • Are you sure the borrower can afford it?
  • Does the borrower really need the loan? Couldn’t they just save up instead?
  • Are you comfortable taking over the payments if something goes wrong?
  • Are you planning any big financial commitments during the duration of the loan? Being a guarantor could affect how much credit you are offered elsewhere.

Frequently asked questions

We exist to help you find better. The offers we've compared on this page are from a range of products whose details we can track; we don't cover every product on the market...yet. Unless we've indicated otherwise, products are shown in no particular order or ranking. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't product ratings, although we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it; this is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, it's wise to consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own financial circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you.

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