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What qualifications or requirements does my guarantor need to meet?

This informative guide clarifies the essential criteria and standards a guarantor must fulfil. From financial stability to credit history, discover what it takes to be deemed eligible as a guarantor in car finance.


When you’re entering into certain financial agreements or renting a property, you may be asked to provide a guarantor. This person guarantees to pay your debts or fulfil your obligations if you default. But not just anyone can act as a guarantor. They usually need to meet specific qualifications or requirements. This guide provides an overview of the typical qualifications or requirements a car guarantor must meet in the UK.

Who can be a guarantor?

Generally, anyone over the age of 18 who isn’t financially linked to you (like a spouse) can be a guarantor. The criteria can vary depending on the lender or landlord, but here are some general guidelines:

1. Age: Most lenders or landlords require guarantors to be over 21, but the minimum legal age is 18.

2. Residency: Guarantors typically need to be UK residents, so they are easily contactable and legally accountable.

3. Stability: It’s preferable for guarantors to have a stable residence history, often having lived at their current address for a significant period.

Financial stability and creditworthiness

The primary role of a guarantor is to cover payments if you cannot, so they must be financially stable:

1. Good credit history: The guarantor should ideally have a clean credit history, free from County Court Judgements (CCJs) and not be on an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) or declared bankruptcy.

2. Regular income: A guarantor usually needs to demonstrate regular income, which can be from employment, self-employment, or pensions. The income amount will vary depending on the financial commitment they’re backing.

3. Homeownership: Many lenders or landlords prefer guarantors to be homeowners. It’s seen as evidence of financial stability, although this is not always a strict requirement.

🚗 More information: Questions to ask your guarantor.

Understanding and willingness

A guarantor must fully understand the responsibilities they are taking on:

1. Awareness: The guarantor should be aware of the terms of the agreement and what will happen if you default.

2. Willingness: They should be genuinely willing to take on the role, without any pressure or coercion.

Relationship to the borrower or tenant

While a guarantor can be anyone who meets the requirements, there are common relationships that are often seen:

1. Parents or family members: They are the most common guarantors because they typically have a vested interest in helping you succeed.

2. Close friends: If they meet the qualifications and are willing, they can act as guarantors.

3. Employers or colleagues: In some cases, especially in professional arrangements, an employer might act as a guarantor.

Documentation required

A potential guarantor should be prepared to provide various documents:

1. Proof of identity: Passport, driving licence or other official photo identification.

2. Proof of address: Utility bills or council tax statements can be used.

3. Proof of income: This could be payslips, tax returns, or pension statements.

When considering someone as a guarantor or agreeing to become one, it’s crucial to understand the risks and responsibilities involved. If the primary person defaults, the guarantor is legally obligated to fulfil the financial commitment, potentially putting their own finances at risk. 

🚗 More information: What risks come with guarantor car finance?

Therefore, both parties should communicate openly about the arrangement, and it’s often wise to seek legal advice to ensure everyone is clear about the implications. Being a guarantor is a significant responsibility, and all parties should be certain about their roles and the potential consequences of the agreement.

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