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What Is a Guarantor Mortgage and Who Can Get One?

Definition of Guarantor Mortgage

A guarantor mortgage is a type of home loan where a third party, usually a close family member, offers additional financial security to the lender by agreeing to be legally responsible for some or all of the borrower's mortgage payments in case they default. This can be an attractive option for first-time homebuyers or individuals with weak credit histories, as it can help them secure a mortgage that they may not have been able to obtain on their own.

Advantages of Guarantor Mortgages

Some benefits of choosing a guarantor mortgage include:

  • Increased borrowing power: With a guarantor mortgage, borrowers may be able to access more attractive interest rates, larger loan amounts, or longer payment terms because of the increased financial security provided by their guarantor.
  • Helping first-time homebuyers: A guarantor mortgage can be an especially useful option for those who are finding it difficult to save for a large deposit or cannot access financing due to an insufficient credit history.
  • Caretaker ability: If the original borrower experiences financial difficulties or is unable to make their mortgage repayments, the guarantor can step in to help prevent default and protect the borrower's credit rating.

Disadvantages of Guarantor Mortgages

Alongside the advantages, there are some potential downsides to choosing a guarantor mortgage:

  • Reduced financial independence: Relying on someone else to co-sign your mortgage may make you feel less self-sufficient and restrict your financial freedom.
  • Potential strain on relationships: The guarantor assumes significant financial responsibility for your loans, which can strain personal relationships if the borrower is unable to meet their repayments.
  • Risk for the guarantor: If the borrower defaults on the loan, the guarantor must take responsibility for the debt, potentially risking their own credit rating and financial stability.

Eligibility Criteria for Guarantor Mortgages

There are a few key criteria that both the borrower and the guarantor must meet for the lender to consider offering a guarantor mortgage:


  • Typically a first-time homebuyer: Guarantor mortgages are often aimed at assisting first-time buyers who may have trouble meeting the requirements for a traditional home loan.
  • Credit history: While a guarantor can help borrowers with weak credit histories, it is generally essential for borrowers to have a record of responsible borrowing and no recent history of defaulting on loans.
  • Affordability: Borrowers should demonstrate their ability to afford the monthly mortgage payments by providing evidence of steady employment, regular income, and manageable levels of other debts.


  • Close family relationship: Most lenders prefer the guarantor to be a close family member, such as a parent, sibling, or grandparent.
  • Strong credit history: The guarantor should have a strong credit history and a solid financial background to demonstrate their capability to take on the borrower's debt if required.
  • Sufficient equity or savings: The guarantor must have either sufficient equity in their property or enough savings to cover the agreed portion of the loan should the borrower default.
  • Affordability: Guarantors need to show they can afford their own mortgage and financial commitments, as well as the borrower's loan if needed.

Understanding the Guarantor's Liability

Before agreeing to act as a guarantor, it's vital to understand the potential risks and responsibilities that come with this role:

  • Legal responsibility: If a borrower defaults, the guarantor has a legal obligation to repay the debt or part of the debt, depending on the agreed terms.
  • Credit rating impact: If the guarantor is unable to make the repayments, their credit rating could be negatively affected, making it more difficult for them to access finance in the future.
  • Loss of property or savings: In extreme cases, the guarantor's property or savings may be at risk if the borrower defaults and the guarantor cannot repay the loan.
  • Reduced borrowing capacity: By taking on a guarantor role, the guarantor may limit their own ability to borrow for personal needs, as lenders consider the guarantor mortgage when assessing the guarantor's affordability for future loans.

Choosing the Right Guarantor Mortgage

Not all guarantor mortgage products are the same, and it's essential for borrowers to find the right fit for their circumstances. Consider the following factors:

  • Loan amount and LTV ratio: Some lenders may offer higher loan-to-value (LTV) ratios for guarantor mortgages, meaning borrowers may need a smaller deposit. Evaluate different lenders and their individual LTV requirements to find the best fit.
  • Interest rates and fees: The interest rates and fees associated with a guarantor mortgage may vary between lenders. Always compare multiple mortgage products to find one that offers the most competitive rates and fees.
  • Flexibility: Look for a mortgage product with flexible terms and conditions, such as the option to remove the guarantor once a certain repayment milestone is reached or when the borrower's financial situation improves.
  • Repayment options: Choose a guarantor mortgage that offers repayment options that align with the borrower's financial situation, such as making interest-only payments for a specified period or being able to make additional repayments without incurring penalty fees.


A guarantor mortgage can be a helpful solution for first-time homebuyers or those struggling to secure traditional mortgage financing. With the support of a reliable guarantor, borrowers may have access to larger loan amounts, better interest rates, and longer repayment terms. However, for both the borrower and the guarantor, it's crucial to understand the responsibilities and potential risks that come with this type of mortgage before entering an agreement. Consider each other's financial situations, weigh the pros and cons, and seek professional advice where needed to ensure the best possible outcome.

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