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A Guide to Guarantor Mortgages

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Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston - Mortgage Advisor, MD

Updated: June 17, 2022

If you need extra help to afford your first home or you want to step up the property ladder but need a hand to do so, a guarantor mortgage could be ideal.

Guarantor mortgages are a great option for those without a deposit, less than ideal financial circumstances or if you want to borrow beyond the lender’s affordability criteria. All you need is a parent or close family member who is in a position to help you.

What is a guarantor mortgage?

A guarantor mortgage can help a borrower purchase a home if they have no deposit or their financial circumstances would normally put a lender off. Also known as a family-assisted mortgage, these agreements typically require a family member to act as a guarantor for the mortgage, which means they must step in to make any payments if the borrower cannot do so.

The role of the guarantor

The person acting as guarantor for you takes partial responsibility for your mortgage. This means that they may be liable to make any mortgage payments you can’t meet. It also means they will either need to secure the home loan against a property they already own or place a lump sum into a savings account held by the lender – read on for more information about this.

How it works

If you’re taking out a mortgage with a guarantor, the person acting as your guarantor will need to be named on the title deeds. They will not own a share of the property but must sign a legal agreement to make any mortgage payments if you, as the borrower, fall behind. A guarantor for a mortgage may also have to put up security to safeguard the loan, which could be a property or some of the equity they already own.

Security requirements

Based on the lender’s requirements, a guarantor for a mortgage may have to secure the loan against either:

  • A property of their own: The lender will hold a charge on the security property, meaning the guarantor of the mortgage could potentially lose it through repossession if the borrower misses too many payments.
  • Their savings: The mortgage loan guarantor places a lump sum from their savings into an account held by the lender. They cannot withdraw from this pot for a set number of years (usually between 3 and 5) or until a certain amount of the mortgage loan has been repaid. Savings will usually accrue some interest while held in the lender account.
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Why get one of these mortgages?

There are a number of scenarios where mortgages with a guarantor can offer a lifeline to borrowers who would otherwise struggle to find credit, such as:

How to get a guarantor mortgage

Getting a mortgage with a guarantor is no different from applying for any other mortgage product, although you will obviously need to get a family member or close friend on board with your plan before you make your application. From there, the best course of action is to find a broker with access to every guarantor mortgage lender on the market. If you do this, you can be certain all of the best guarantor mortgage deals you’re eligible for will be available to you.

Make an enquiry with us so we can match you with a mortgage broker who specialises in arranging guarantor deals to get you started.

Getting approved with no deposit

If you don’t have any deposit to put down, it’s possible to get a 100% mortgage with a guarantor supporting you.  Some mortgage lenders will offer 100% loan-to-value (LTV) deals, as long as your guarantor meets their eligibility and affordability requirements. Guarantors need to have adequate equity in their own property or savings they are willing to deposit as security.

95% LTV mortgages

It’s certainly possible to get a guarantor mortgage with 5% deposit, providing you and your guarantor pass the lender’s checks. With a 5% deposit available, you could take out a 95% LTV guarantor mortgage, provided you could find a lender offering a deal like this and you passed all their criteria and affordability checks. Since the deposit would be taken care of, having a guarantor on the mortgage would help you pass the affordability checks for the loan itself, or enable you to borrow more than you would without the support of a guarantor.

Acting as a guarantor for your son or daughter

You may be able to support your child through a guarantor mortgage as a parent. However, most lenders have eligibility requirements for guarantors that you’ll need to meet.

Parent guarantor mortgage requirements include:

  • Owning their own property: This is not a strict requirement of all lenders, but those that do require the property to either be owned outright or they must at least have sufficient equity in it. Some lenders expect a guarantor to own a minimum of 30% of any property they’re putting up as security.
  • Have enough income: The lender will want to see that the guarantor has the means to cover the mortgage payments if the borrower defaults.
  • Have a clean credit rating: This will help convince the lender that you’re financially stable and able to step in if the borrower defaults.

Would you be responsible for 100% of the mortgage?

Most of the time, yes, but it’s not always the case.

A guarantor mortgage may leave the parent responsible for paying a percentage of the debt if their child defaults, depending on the agreement the borrower negotiates with the lender when taking out the loan. Some mortgage providers might consider lending 100% of a property’s value on parental guarantor mortgages, but allow the guarantor to take responsibility for only a percentage of the loan in the event of a default.

For example, if you’re buying a property worth £100,000 and your mortgage lender has agreed that your guarantor will be responsible for clearing 50% of the debt if you’re unable to, the mortgage provider would take a charge of £50,000 on the security property.

Family guarantor mortgages

These work in exactly the same way as parent guarantor mortgages. The only real difference is that it might be another family member acting as guarantor, rather than one or both parents. Some lenders will only allow a parent, grandparent or step-parent to act as a guarantor. Others are more flexible and will approve siblings, other relatives and even close friends, but these deals are obviously harder to come by. You should also be aware that some mortgage providers might use the term ‘family guarantor mortgage’ to describe a deal where only a parent can act as the guarantor.

How to get the best interest rates

Mortgage rates often fluctuate and can change at any time, but there’s a way you can ensure that you’ll end up on the best ones available to those using a guarantor. First off, you need to have access to the entire market to make sure the most favourable deals you qualify for are within reach. Secondly, you should try to meet the eligibility criteria with as many lenders as possible…

Eligibility requirements

Guarantors on mortgages have eligibility requirements that they must satisfy, but the borrower themselves need to meet the lender’s standard mortgage criteria too.

Most lenders determine affordability and eligibility based on the following factors:

  • Income and how the borrower is employed. Obviously, the more you earn, the better; but having a guarantor can offset the risk if the borrower has low income. Those who are self-employed or supplement their income with things like regular bonuses and commission may need a specialist lender.
  • Deposit. The minimum deposit requirement is usually 5% for a residential property or 15% for a buy-to-let. However, having a guarantor means you may not need to stump up any deposit.
  • Credit rating. Borrowers with a poor credit rating may need to find a specialist lender to ensure they end up with the best rates.
  • Age. Some mortgage providers have strict upper and lower age limits.
  • The property type. A specialist lender might be needed if the property you’re buying has ‘non-standard’ construction (e.g. thatched roof, timber frame).
  • The borrower’s outgoings. Significant outgoings, such as other outstanding loans or dependent children, can affect the amount you’re able to borrow.

Getting approved with bad credit

Guarantor mortgage lenders don’t usually treat bad credit mortgage applications any differently to other types of lenders. If the borrower’s credit rating is considered too poor for any provider to take on, having a guarantor behind them is unlikely to make a difference.

That said, the advisors we work with can connect you to lenders who are more than happy to cater for customers with various types of adverse credit on their file, regardless of whether they have backing from a reliable guarantor.

While some lenders (mainstream ones, in particular) might offer you unfavourable rates or turn you away entirely if any of the above is against your name, a specialist mortgage provider might take the severity and age of the credit issue into account, as well as how closely you meet their other eligibility requirements.

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Age limits

Some mortgage lenders only accept applicants who are over 21, so a specialist provider might be called for if you’re younger than that. At the other end of the scale, if you’re a senior borrower, certain lenders might be okay with another relative acting as your guarantor – although these deals are more difficult to come by (due to fewer lenders and stricter eligibility) since some providers prefer the guarantor to be a parent, grandparent or step-parent. If you’re aiming to borrow into your retirement with the help of a guarantor, take note that some lenders won’t offer mortgages to anyone over 75, others will go up to 85 and a minority will lend to a retiree of any age, under the right circumstances.

Are there options for over 70s?

In theory, yes. Although some lenders will only accept parents, grandparents or step-parents as guarantors, others are more flexible and may consider allowing other family members, or a close friend, to act as a guarantor for an elderly borrower. Be aware that some lenders impose age limits for all mortgages and won’t cater for anyone over 75. Others go up to 85 and a minority will demand no upper age limit if they’re confident you can continue paying the mortgage during retirement. If you are an older borrower looking to use a younger guarantor, perhaps to help with affordability in borrowing money on a property you own, it may be more sensible to consider equity release with a lifetime mortgage.

First-time buyers

Some lenders will only offer you a mortgage with a guarantor clause if you’re a first-time buyer. Certain providers limit these deals to customers who are buying their first home and will not approve them for those who are remortgaging or moving house. Guarantor mortgages are often a good fit for first-timers who may have limited income or might be struggling to find a deposit.

Can you have a guarantor on a Help to Buy mortgage?

Not usually. Government schemes such as Help to Buy, Right to Buy and Shared Ownership cannot be used with a guarantor mortgage as far as the vast majority of lenders are concerned. However, there may be other options available if you’re struggling to meet a lender’s affordability requirements and qualify for any of these schemes, such as adding another person to the mortgage in the traditional sense.

How much could you borrow?

If you’re using a guarantor, the lender will use a guarantor mortgage calculator to work out how much you can afford to borrow. They will use data such as your income, your credit rating and your guarantor’s financial situation to calculate your affordability. However, lenders tend to use different ways to calculate your affordability so the outcome isn’t necessarily the same with every lender. Most mortgage lenders will offer eligible borrowers a mortgage based on 4x their income, some will go to 5x and a minority 6x under the right circumstances.

If these multiples don’t stretch far enough, the provider might be flexible and lend you more if a friend or close family member has agreed to act as guarantor. Although you would generally need fairly exceptional circumstances to achieve this. For example, if you were eligible for a £150,000 mortgage outright, with a guarantor onside, a lender might be willing to lend you £180,000, although the exact amount of extra capital you qualify for may vary from one provider to the next.

Use our mortgage calculator below to work out how much you could borrow on a guarantor mortgage. Simply set the mortgage type to ‘First-Time Buyer’ and change ‘First-Time Buyer Type’ to ‘Guarantor’ and you can input your figures.

Guarantor Calculator
  • Mortgage & Income
0% Complete
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Please enter the discount price you are being offered the property for. If you don't know please leave blank.
Please let us know the amount of the property you wish to purchase compared to the total value (so if property is 200k and your share is 100k, put 50%).
Rental expected from the property with this new mortgage
Employment type
GROSS = Annual Salary/ Pension before tax.
OTHER = Annual Overtime/ Bonus/ Commission/ Car allowance etc
OTHER INCOME SOURCES = Income from benefits (DLA, tax credits, child benefit etc), investment income, rental income etc...
OTHER INCOME SOURCES = Income from benefits (DLA, tax credits, child benefit etc), investment income, rental income etc...
Current borrowing
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Which lenders offer these mortgages?

Some of the UK’s mainstream lenders, including banks and building societies, will consider offering guarantor mortgages under the right circumstances.

The following UK lenders are among those who are known to offer guarantor mortgages…

  • Bath Building Society
  • Kent Reliance (Subject to affordability and the age of the guarantor)
  • Vernon Building Society (Borrower must be able to afford 70% of the mortgage payments)
  • Swansea Building Society

Specialist lenders who cater for niche borrowers with things like bad credit against their name can also provide these products. The market is vast, so specialist advice from a broker with access to the whole market is a good way to ensure you’re getting the best possible rate on your guarantor mortgage.

Why seeking specialist advice is important

It’s important to have access to the whole of the market to make sure you’re paired up with the right lender based on your needs, goals and circumstances. Approaching a mainstream provider isn’t always the best option, for a number of reasons.

These include (at the time of writing):

  • If you were to approach Halifax for a guarantor mortgage, you would be turned away as this bank withdrew guarantor mortgages back in 2010
  • Guarantor mortgages are also not available through Natwest
  • Santander does not offer guarantor mortgages
  • HSBC does not offer guarantor mortgages
  • Virgin Money does not offer guarantor mortgages
  • Lloyds no longer offer guarantor mortgages
  • Nationwide guarantor mortgages usually come with strict underwriting criteria and a capped loan to value (LTV) ratio of 85%
  • Barclays’ take on a guarantor mortgage is a family springboard deal which requires the guarantor to place a 10% deposit in a savings account, which won’t help you out if your guarantor only has a 5% deposit to contribute or your income is low
  • Aldermore guarantor mortgages require the guarantor to be no older than 70 at the end of the guarantee period – a specialist lender may have a more flexible approach to age requirements

Given that you will encounter restrictions at some of the UK’s mainstream lenders or will be turned away by default, finding a broker with access to the whole market who can compare guarantor mortgages and connect you to the right provider is the best course of action.

Get matched with a guarantor mortgage broker today

Guarantor mortgages can be a viable option for anyone who would struggle to get approved for a mortgage without family support, but it’s wise to seek professional advice before applying for one. A broker who specialises in this type of mortgage can help you decide whether it’s your best option and make sure you get the best deal, if you choose to press ahead.

We offer a free broker-matching service that will assess your needs and circumstances to pair you up with the guarantor mortgage advisor who’s best placed to help you achieve your goals. This will be somebody we’ve handpicked for you and vetted and trained ourselves.

Call 0808 189 2301 or make an enquiry and we’ll match you with your ideal guarantor mortgage advisor for a free, no-obligation chat today.


Can I borrow more on my mortgage with a guarantor?

Some lenders will allow this, yes. A number of providers will offer 100% LTV deals to borrowers who are using a guarantor, and others may allow you to borrow a larger amount if your income doesn’t stretch far enough to cover the mortgage.

Does being a guarantor affect me getting a mortgage?

It may do. The act of becoming a guarantor will not usually impact on your credit rating. This will only be affected if the borrower defaults and you’re unable to pay the debt for them. Generally, your guarantor duties will be taken into account when your affordability is being calculated, which may reduce the amount you can afford to borrow even though you are not technically making any payments, regardless of how well conducted the mortgage is by the owner.

Should I take out insurance if I’m acting as a guarantor?

A guarantor on any home mortgage loan might want to consider taking out income protection insurance. Doing so will ensure you are covered in the event of the borrower defaulting and of you being unable to cover the debt due to things like illness, injury or redundancy. It may also be a good idea to convince the borrower to take out similar cover themselves to help protect their position and, by default, your own.

How long does a guarantor stay on a mortgage?

Your lender decides this and you will not be able to remortgage to a non-guarantor deal until they give you the go-ahead. A guarantor would usually stay on the mortgage for an agreed number of years or until a specific amount of the debt is paid. If you miss any repayments, this term may be extended by the lender.

How many guarantors can you have on a mortgage?

The maximum number of guarantors most lenders will accept on a mortgage is two, and the majority of providers will insist that they are the parents, grandparents or step-parent(s) of the borrower.

How do I remove a guarantor from a mortgage?

Whether you’re successful in removing your guarantor (assuming they’ve agreed to be removed) might come down to why you want to cut this tie. You will need to convince the lender that you have a legitimate reason, such as your financial situation changing for the better or the guarantor passing away.

If you open talks with your lender and tell them you wish to remove your guarantor, they will likely offer you one of the following options, depending on the circumstances:

  1. They will let you remove the guarantor altogether
  2. They will expect you to replace the guarantor with another
  3. They will ask you to pay off the loan or refinance it
  4. If your guarantor has died, they may allow you to use some of their estate to pay off part of the mortgage
  5. They will reject your request and refuse to allow you to remove the guarantor or change the terms of the loan

Can I get a student mortgage if I have a guarantor?

Specialist lenders have been known to offer student mortgages on the condition that they have a guarantor. Because students often have limited or no income in the traditional sense, this often means asking the guarantor to take responsibility for 100% of the debt, which is possible, as long as the guarantor is eligible. It’s possible to get a guarantor mortgage without the borrower providing any proof of income, with the eligibility and affordability checks falling solely on the guarantor. This gives student borrowers a potential path to the property ladder and an expert broker with access to the entire market, like those we work with, is essential in these niche situations

Can I get a guarantor on a second mortgage?

In theory, this is possible, but your choice of lenders will be restricted as many providers only offer guarantor mortgages to first-time buyers.

Is a guarantor mortgage the same as a springboard mortgage?

Yes! Some lenders have a different name for these products, calling them either family mortgages or springboard mortgages, though they’re the same thing.

Can I get a guarantor mortgage anywhere in the UK?

Technically, yes, but there are a few caveats. Guarantor mortgage providers operate all over the UK, but some postcode restrictions on certain places in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Therefore, guarantor mortgages might be harder to come by in Scotland if the property you’re buying is in the Highlands or off the mainland, for instance.

However, there are specialist guarantor mortgage lenders in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland who might be able to offer you a lifeline where others can’t.

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About the author

Pete, an expert in all things mortgages, cut his teeth right in the middle of the credit crunch. With plenty of people needing help and few mortgage providers lending, Pete found great success in going the extra mile to find mortgages for people whom many others considered lost causes. The experience he gained, coupled with his love of helping people reach their goals, led him to establish Online Mortgage Advisor, with one clear vision – to help as many customers as possible get the right advice, regardless of need or background.

Pete’s presence in the industry as the ‘go-to’ for specialist finance continues to grow, and he is regularly cited in and writes for both local and national press, as well as trade publications, with a regular column in Mortgage Introducer and being the exclusive mortgage expert for LOVEMoney. Pete also writes for OMA of course!

Read more about Pete

Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

FCA disclaimer

*Based on our research, the content contained in this article is accurate as of the most recent time of writing. Lender criteria and policies change regularly so speak to one of the advisors we work with to confirm the most accurate up to date information. The information on the site is not tailored advice to each individual reader, and as such does not constitute financial advice. All advisors working with us are fully qualified to provide mortgage advice and work only for firms who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. They will offer any advice specific to you and your needs.

Some types of buy to let mortgages are not regulated by the FCA. Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. As a mortgage is secured against your home, it may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments on your mortgage. Equity released from your home will also be secured against it.

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