What Is a Guarantor?

Updated · Jun 03, 2022

Finding an apartment can be challenging. But when you add the unrealistic requirements some landlords have, it becomes mission impossible.

Luckily, there's a way to find an apartment even if you're a first-time renter or have a bad credit score.

You just need a guarantor on your lease.

Read on to learn when you might need a guarantor and how to find one.

What Is a Guarantor?

Generally speaking, a guarantor is a person who becomes responsible for your contractual obligations if you fail to pay.

That said, its meaning varies slightly in different contexts—for example, credit and insurance.

But what is a guarantor on a lease?

Simply put, it is the person who guarantees they’ll pay your rent if you don’t.

Most people choose a friend, spouse, or relative.

What's a guarantor’s responsibility for your rent?

In most cases, none.

If your income does not meet the requirement set by your landlord, you may ask a financially stable person to back you up.

If you pay your rent on time, they won’t have to spend a dime.

Guarantor vs. Co-Signer

The two terms are often used interchangeably, but they refer to two separate concepts.

So, what is the difference between a guarantor and a co-signer?

A guarantor acts as a surety for the tenant’s rent if they cannot pay it. They sign a guarantor agreement.

A co-signer, on the other hand, signs the lease with the other tenant. Both parties are equally responsible for making the payments.

Plus, unlike a guarantor, the co-signer has the right to live in the apartment.

When Do You Need Guarantor Insurance?

Landlords are not willing to take a chance when it comes to their property.

That’s understandable, but it makes it difficult for certain people to find an apartment.

So, you might need a lease guarantor if:

  • You don't have a lot of rental history
  • Have little credit history or a bad credit score
  • You are a recent graduate or a first-time renter
  • Have a lower income than the landlord requires
  • Don’t have a stable employment history

But with a guarantor, the risk is lowered, and the landlord is more likely to approve your application.

What Are the Requirements for a Guarantor?

What is required to be a guarantor?

  • To be over the age of 18
  • To have a good credit history
  • A stable income that satisfies the landlord’s requirements

Finally, the guarantor must be willing to take the risk and help out the tenant.

What Documents Are Needed for a Guarantor on a Lease?

To prove they cover the landlords’ criteria, guarantors must provide the following documents.

  • Social Security Number
  • Tax returns
  • Previous paychecks
  • Bank statements

Who Can Be a Guarantor?

Being a guarantor is a big responsibility. Not everyone will agree to it. That's why people usually choose family members and friends for that role.

But if you can’t ask your close ones for this or if they don't cover the requirements, there's another option.

You can look for lease guarantor companies. Sure, you'll have to pay for the service, but you'll be able to rent the apartment you want hassle-free.

Wrap Up

If you're struggling to rent an apartment because of your income or credit score, don't worry—you can still find a place to live.

You just need a guarantor on your lease.

They agree to pay the rent if you don’t, giving lenders the security they want to give you the place.

The guarantor for an apartment is usually someone you have a close relationship with, like your spouse, parent, or friend.

But you can also hire one from a professional company.

Aleksandra Yosifova
Aleksandra Yosifova

With an eye for research, Aleksandra is determined to always get to the bottom of things. If there’s a glitch in the system, she’ll find it and make sure you know about it.