A Guide to Guarantor Home Loan Requirements

First time buyers, Home buying & selling, Melbourne, Sandringham (Melbourne), Sydney
comment44 Comments

The main issue for many first-time homeowners and investors in the current property market is the ability to save a deposit.

With rapidly rising house prices, pulling together a deposit remains a struggle for many would-be property buyers, especially when most still have to pay ongoing standard living expenses, such as rent, utilities and groceries. 

However, with interest rates at historic lows, it is important to understand that the ability to afford mortgage repayments once you’re in the market has improved significantly. So, it’s worth pushing on, even though it’s difficult!

One way to get a start on the property ladder sooner is by using guarantor home loans that can help get more prospective buyers into their first property. Understanding the guarantor home loan requirements will help you decide if this is an option worth pursuing.

Guarantor Loan Requirements

Guarantor Loan Requirements

What is the structure of guarantor home loan?

Guarantor loans can be a great way for young people to achieve a deposit, but their ins and outs must be understood from the outset.

  1. A guarantor home loan is when someone else provides equity or security from their own property to fund part, or the whole, deposit of another person’s property.
  2. A simple way to define guarantor is a person or persons who assumes responsibility for paying off the loan if you’re no longer able to meet your financial commitment. Essentially, the guarantor takes financial responsibility for servicing the home loan in the event that you default on your repayments. Even if the guarantee is only for 20 per cent of the entire loan, the guarantor will be wholly and severally responsible for the entire loan but doesn’t have ownership rights to the property.
  3. A guarantor loan requirement is that there is sufficient equity in the property being offered as security (that is, sufficient equity in the guarantor’s own property).
  4. A guarantor doesn’t need to be involved in the loan for the entire duration of the loan. Instead, it’s advisable that the property owner actually works towards getting the guarantor released from the loan, by increasing equity, which can be achieved by paying down the mortgage or improving the property via renovations and therefore increasing its value.

The most common types of guarantee are:

Servicing Guarantee – Where the guarantor supports the borrower’s loan facility with their income, and;

Security Guarantee – Where the guarantor offers additional security, such as part of the equity in the family home, to provide adequate security to the lender for their loan requirements.

A security guarantee is the most common and often used to help lower the loan-to-value ratio (LVR) below an 80 per cent threshold thus allowing the borrower to avoid paying lender’s mortgage insurance (LMI).

The upside of the facility is that the guarantor doesn’t need to physically hand over any funds to the lender at the time of the approval. Instead, they simply assure the lender they will cover the shortfall if the borrower defaults.

Of course, for the facility to work, the guarantor must have sufficient equity in assets offered as security.

Guarantor home loans do require a number of checks and balances, however working with an expert finance broker will help smooth the process.

An example of how a guarantor loan can work is:

John and Jill want to buy a $750,000 home but have struggled to save a big enough deposit. In fact, they have only managed to save enough to pay the stamp duty and associated costs. As newly-weds, they approach John’s parents who have paid off their own home, who then agree to use $150,000 of their own equity to finance the required 20 per cent deposit for the couple.

Who can be a guarantor?

Checklist Flat Illustration

Meeting the guarantor home loan requirements is a matter of understanding who can provide guarantor capability. The main consideration with guarantor home loans is that they must be provided by someone who has a strong relationship with the buyer or buyers, which generally means immediate family members such as:

  • Parents
  • Siblings
  • Grandparents
  • Spouses
  • De facto partners.

It’s not the case that just anyone can act as a guarantor.

One of the guarantor home loan requirements is that the rules stipulate there must be a link between the guarantor and the guarantee, and there must also be a financial benefit for the party offering the guarantee.

Family guarantors are common because of the obvious familial link. Among the usual parties acting as guarantor are parents, siblings, grandparents, spouses and de factor partners. 

The financial benefit to family members is that they don’t need to dispose of their own asset in order to assist their relative (for example, their child). Instead, the guarantee means they can put up equity while still retaining ownership and control of that asset.

Another way to look at it is that it’s a way for a parent to pay forward some future inheritance without penalising them financially in the present.

Another guarantor/guarantee relationship is one around legal entities such as a companies or trusts. In this case, the entity itself may not have sufficient assets to qualify for a loan, however those linked to the trust or company do. In this situation, a company director or trustee guarantees the legal entity’s loan arrangement.

There are a number of considerations for guarantor home loan requirements that the lender will take into account. These include:

  • Their age
  • Whether their property is in Australia
  • If they have sufficient equity
  • Whether they are currently employed

A guarantor also needs to be of sound mind and will need to seek both legal and financial advice before making the decision to act as a mortgage guarantor.

Before asking a relative to go guarantor you may also want to consider how long does a guarantor stay on the mortgage? Being able to plan and budget mortgage repayments to give an indication of when they will be released may also support your request to a potential guarantor. 

Also, being able to answer their questions, such as, ‘how does a guarantor work?’, or ‘how long does a guarantor stay on the mortgage?’, may also support your request and help potential guarantors understand the risks.

How much can you borrow?

First home buyer New

While the lending environment remains tight, there are more loan products on the market now that suit first home buyers

These are generally loans that offer higher loan-to-value ratios (LVR), which ultimately means that the deposit can be lower. 

For example, there are loans which require only a five to 10 per cent deposit, which makes it easier to save the required amount. 

On top of that, many first-timers might then use a guarantor to increase the deposit to 20 per cent of the purchase price which will remove the requirement to pay Lenders Mortgage Insurance or LMI.

In fact, by using a guarantor home loan, lenders are generally more flexible with their lending criteria, which means that prospective property buyers can usually access loans with LVRs in the 90 per cent range.

Of course, guarantor home loans do require a number of checks and balances, such as a requirement that you hold documentation for three days. This will mean you have been deemed to have read and understood the requirements.

How does a guarantor work? 

When considering a guarantor mortgage, both the borrower and the potential guarantor need to understand the risks involved in order to make an informed decision.

A guarantor must have a good credit score, have equity in the property to used as security and a stable income. In other words, the bank must deem the guarantor a safe risk when assessing the borrower’s application. 

Choosing a someone to go guarantor for you when you are applying for a guarantor mortgage can be difficult because the options are quite limited. Generally, the banks will only accept a close relative, and usually only an immediate family member, as a guarantor. This means it’s likely only a parent or sibling, often (but not always) a grandparent can be accepted. Distant cousins who live overseas are unlikely to be an acceptable guarantor prospect for most lenders.

The risks of going guarantor

The primary risk of going guarantor is if the borrower defaults on the loan arrangement, you are legally required to make repayments, or cover the outstanding loan amount. This means the lender may choose to foreclose on that guarantee asset and sell it in order to recoup their losses.

The best way to mitigate this risk is simply through due diligence. Even when going in to bat for your own kids, do a level-headed assessment of their ability to continue meeting their requirements before choosing to risk your own financial security.

Another consideration is that if you are guarantor on a loan facility, this encumbrance will be factored in as part of any loan application you make for yourself. Whether it be a servicing or security guarantee, your own lender will be assessing the effect of that commitment and its potential risk as part of their processes.

It’s wise to get your own advice to understand all the guarantor home loan requirements before being party to a guarantor home loan for your children or other relative.

How long does a guarantor stay on a mortgage?

A guarantor doesn’t need to be involved in the loan for its entirety. Instead, it’s advisable that the property owner actually works towards getting the guarantor released from the loan.

Releasing a guarantor is not a difficult process, and often occurs when one of two things happen:

  • Increasing equity in the principal property: Say, the guarantor home loan was used to help a family member avoid LMI by introducing security that lowered the LVR to 80 per cent or less. If, after a year or two, the value of the home increased and/or the outstanding balance of the loan decreased to the point that the LVR fell below the 80 per cent threshold, regardless of the guarantee security, then the guarantee can be released.
  • Refinance: If the prime borrower refinances the property with a new lender who does not require the guarantee, the security can be released as part of the normal refinancing process. Keep this in mind too – the borrower’s financial situation will probably change over the coming years. They may receive a pay rise or build another asset base. Multiple events can occur which eventually render the guarantee unnecessary, and arrangement can be made at any time to release the beholding party.

How to find and compare guarantor home loans

The home loan market is broad and diverse, and most lenders offer the guarantee facility or some kind of guarantor mortgage product across most, if not all, of their product range.

Also, with a guarantor home loan, having a guarantor doesn’t affect the basic terms of a loan, such as the interest rate. It’s more about assisting the outcome of the loan application.

That means your primary goal is to first choose a loan facility that provides the best terms and conditions for your particular situation. Once you’ve unearthed your ideal loan, it’s a matter of discussing the use of the guarantee as part of the application process.

But selecting the right loan for you can be challenging without the assistance of an experienced mortgage broker.

The world of banking can be a pretty daunting one for both novice and sophisticated investors, and since our establishment in 2002 we’ve focused on providing outstanding service and business standards.

This approach was vindicated when we were named Victoria’s favourite mortgage broker at the Investors Choice Awards.

So, if you’re considering buying a property, why not contact Intuitive Finance today to ensure you have the right information and expert support on your side from the very beginning.

Discuss your specific needs and formulate the right strategy for you. Get in touch to organise your complimentary 60-minute session today!

 

Discuss your specific needs & formulate the right strategy for you. Get in touch to organise your complimentary 60min session today!

The information provided in this article is general in nature and does not constitute personal financial advice. The information has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information you should consider the appropriateness of the information with regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs.

Andrew Mirams

44 Comments. Leave new

  • Hi there,

    Would like to ask if a credit check is still required even my love ones is the guarantor of my loan. reason behind this is my credit back ground is not too healthy when i was going though a separation with my defacto 8 years ago.

    Reply
    • Andrew Mirams
      May 3, 2018 7:28 pm

      Hi Joe,
      Thanks for your question, it’s a really good one.
      Just to clarify, are you asking if you are the guarantor, do you need a credit check? If so, the answer is that it depends on the lender who you approach and what is required as some do and others don’t.
      If your question is as the borrower, then in every instance a credit check is required.

      I hope this helps.

      Reply
  • Hi,
    My brother and I are both looking to buy houses within the next year. My parents have offered to go guarantor for us both. Can someone be a guarantor for 2 separate properties at the same time?

    Reply
    • Andrew Mirams
      August 8, 2018 4:59 pm

      Hi Lucy,

      That’s a great question. There are a few things to consider but the short answer (and good news) is Yes, they absolutely can be guarantor for more than 1 person at the same time.

      If you wanted more information, we’d be thrilled to be able to assist you.

      Reply
  • How much of the property do your parents need to own ? My mum and her partner re financed his property that he had previously owned with his ex wife, they re brought the home nearly 12 months ago. They own about 120000 of the home would they be considered to be a guarantor for me and my husband to buy a house ?

    Reply
    • Andrew Mirams
      August 31, 2018 1:32 pm

      Hi Bec,
      That’s a great question, thanks. What they need to have is enough equity in the property to be able to support the shortfall you have in your purchase. So it’s hard to give exact numbers here as we don’t what the figure is that you are looking to buy for but in principle, Yes, that could be sufficient to assist you and your husband buy your home.

      Reply
  • If my parents have property overseas (UK and NZ) could the still act as guarantor?

    Reply
    • Andrew Mirams
      October 12, 2018 8:03 am

      Hi Nick,
      That is a great question.
      The answer is Yes, they can act as a guarantor still, however they cannot use the overseas property as security to assist. And property security would have to be here in Australia.

      Reply
  • Hi, I currently have a rental property & looking at getting another rental with the assistance of my parents going guarantor for the 2nd property. Do I, as the purchaser still need to meet criteria to the bank in regards to my lending / earning capacity as the banks have previously advised my earning capacity is not sufficient enough for 2 rental properties

    Reply
    • Hi Adelle,
      Thanks for your question, it is a very good one.
      Yes, as the purchaser/owner, it is your responsibility to meet the lending criteria to see if you can meet the requirements for another loan.
      We’d be more than happy to undertake a review of your current position and advise our thoughts on your capacity if that would be of interest to you?
      Feel free to email us at info@intuitivefinance.com.au or call the office on 1300342505 and one of our experts will be happy to chat to you.

      Reply
  • Hi Andrew,
    Can parents with a cross-collateralized property portfolio still act as a guarantor? If so, who pays for the bank valuations for the multiple properties as i assume the bank would want to see the whole picture.

    Reply
    • Hi Ben,
      You question is quite a specific one to your situation but in principle, Yes they can still assist and be guarantors.
      In the case of valuations, this is very specific to different lenders but as rule, the banks will pay/absorb the costs of a valuation or valuations.
      I hope this helps?
      Reach out if you’d like more information or to discuss further.

      Reply
  • Krystall Harvey
    April 30, 2020 1:37 pm

    Hi can you please explain to me more about how somebody can still go guarantor if they are in nz but can’t used their property to offer security? What’s the point in then going guarantor? I only ask this because I have many people in nz who could do this for me.

    Reply
    • Hi Krystall,

      Any guarantor and/or property needs to be in Australia in case a lender had to act on this.
      Australian authorities don’t have jurisdiction in other countries.

      Reply
  • Hi,

    My dad has agreed to be my guarantor, but he does not work at all. Does he need to be working full time, or at all?

    Reply
    • Hi,

      This is a great question. If your Dad is guarateeing you from just a property or secuirty position then No, he doesn’t necessarily need to be working.
      However, if he’s looking to assist you from a bank servicing position then he’d need to have income to be able to support your application.

      I hope this helps?

      We are happy to discuss if you’d like?

      Reply
      • My dad retired …more than 5yesrs… but he got the job 3month ago. Part time . Is he can guarantor ??

        Reply
        • Andrew Mirams
          February 4, 2021 4:01 pm

          Hi Jae,
          It depends. If it for a security guarantee i.e. he’s using his property to help you out, then Yes.
          But if it’s for servicing i.e. you need his income to support your application, then unfortunately the answer is No.

          Reply
  • Hi, I recently enquired with my bank (CBA) about getting my parents released from being guarantors on my home loan.
    I was told that the bank has now changed the LVR to 30%, locking them in for years more!
    Is this even legal, and is there anything I can do about it.
    I’m disgusted with their behavior, to say the least!

    Reply
    • Andrew Mirams
      November 6, 2020 7:29 am

      Hi Scott,
      That does not sound right to me at all.
      The only way they could enforce that would be if your property value had fallen, otherwise there doesn’t appear grounds to just hold your parents to the guarantee.
      We’d be more than happy to review your position for you and try and assist if you’d like to take up that opportunity?

      Reply
  • Madison Russell
    November 18, 2020 2:36 pm

    Hi,

    If my parents agree to go guarantor on my mortgage, do I need to have any part of the deposit myself. I am interested in purchasing off the plan and will not need mortgage pre-approval until 3 months prior to settlement. So I have the ability to save a significant amount before then.

    What are the loan options for me in this situation?

    Reply
    • Hi Madison,
      It’s a great question that you’ve raised.
      Whilst your parents can guarantee you up to the full purchase price, the majority of lenders will require you to be able to prove that you have saved 5% of the purchase price. They call this “genuine savings” and it proves that you have a saving capacity and ability to meet your commitments.
      I hope this helps.

      Reply
  • Gustav Nicholas Kroyherr
    December 7, 2020 1:12 pm

    My wife, as guarantor, is using her rental property as security and has already provided all the relevant details. Now the bank is asking for the original Title document for the rental property to be handed to them for the duration of the Guarantor loan. Is this usual?

    Reply
  • Hi, my husband and I would like to help our daughter into her own home, purchase price around $450,000, including stamp duty,
    She will be first home owner, she has nil deposit, currently paying $530, rent , we own our home at value to around $750,000, is it possible to help get into her own home please?

    Reply
    • Hi Glenda,
      Yes we would be happy to assist your daughter with that purchase.
      There’s a bit more information we would need, if you can forward an email to us at info@intuitivefinance.com.au then we can make a time to discuss and advise you what information we need to be able to assess and advise our thoughts.

      Reply
  • Jessica Swindale
    December 18, 2020 9:24 pm

    Hi my husband and I sre going guarantor for 20% our daughters home loan. We are awaiting the guarantor documents and eere told we have to hold on to them for 3 days before getting them signed. It will be Christmas day by then and Solicitors are off for 2 weeks can we ask for a waver on the 3 days.

    Reply
    • Andrew Mirams
      January 5, 2021 3:02 pm

      Hi Jessica,

      Unfortunately not but if you have to hold them for 3 days then you don’t need legal advice. If unsure, check with your existing lender about exact requirements.

      Reply
  • we are currently looking to purchase a property $300,000 we have about 10K saved a great rental history and my inlaws have offered to go guarantor for the deposit portion. They own their home out right value of $650,000, they are however retired and over 65 will it be possible for them to go guarantor?

    Reply
    • Andrew Mirams
      January 5, 2021 3:04 pm

      Hi Candice,

      Yes, they are able to go guarantors as it’s the equity in their home that matters, not their incomes. A couple of lenders have restrictions on this but we still have plenty that would be able to assist you.

      We’d love to help!

      Reply
      • Mary-Ann Sunglao
        September 12, 2021 6:02 am

        My sister decided to be my guarantor what kind of forms they need to fill or provide to the bank and how long does it take

        Reply
        • Hi Mary-Ann,
          The bank that you proceed with will advise their requirements at applications stage and similarly, depending on the lender you have chosen, the timing will be depend on their processing.
          We take care of these types of loans all the time and would be only too pleased to assist you if you’d like?

          Reply
  • Glen Widdicombe
    January 8, 2021 2:11 pm

    If I have 5% deposit and am planning on living in the home with housemates does this essentially mean I can claim the First home buyer incentive and also inflate the amount I can borrow as it will double as an investment meaning I will have less money coming out of my own pocket for mortgage repayments? Also can I avoid stamp duty this way as I would be living in the home? Not simply just using it as an investment.

    Lastly, my parents are on a property which a broker told me that the bank may not allow them to act as a guarantor due to the farm being considered as commercial not residential when in fact it acts as both?

    Reply
    • Andrew Mirams
      February 4, 2021 3:56 pm

      Hi Glenn,
      Some great questions here.
      Firstly, the 1st home buyer incentives are all based on you buying the property as your home, irrespective of whether you’ll have people living with you. But in saying that, No, you cannot use the rent or board you’d be earning as then the property may be deemed as an investment property and you’d then be ineligible.
      If it is your home, you will pay no stamp duty if you buy for less than the state government tiers for stamp duty reductions.
      And finally, Yes, unfortunately a farm is not able to be used as a guarantee property due to it’s commercial use.

      I hope this helps?

      Feel free to get in touch if you’d like more information.

      Reply
  • We have a pre approved loan using my parents as guarantors for the loan. When it comes time to sign a contract, how do we pay the deposit to the real estate agent?

    Reply
    • Andrew Mirams
      March 3, 2021 4:03 pm

      Great question Amy,

      You’ll need to discuss those option s with the real estate agent and negotiate an acceptable outcome. You will likely need to put down some cash to secure the property but how much is the negotiable part.

      Reply
  • Applying for a loan, with a guarantor… Does the bank valuation of the property still come into consideration, or is this just a formality? If the value is lower than the purchase price, will the loan still be approved? Will the guarantor need to guarantee an increased amount?

    Reply
    • Andrew Mirams
      May 18, 2021 12:05 pm

      Hi Lisa,
      Great questions.
      Yes, the valuation is important and it is part of the application process. The majority of valuations purchased “on the market” do come in at the purchase price.
      If it didn’t however, then Yes, the guarantor would need to cover any difference.
      If you’d like help with the process, we’d love to be able to assist you.

      Reply
  • Louise McDonald
    June 16, 2021 12:23 pm

    I have bought a 20 acre property with 2 other people as joint owners. I borrowed cash from family for my share (3rd) as settlement was very short and unable to get a mortgage over the line in time. The 2 other owners paid cash. I now need to get a loan for my share to pay family back. I work fulltime and have a separate investment property which I want to keep separate. Three questions- can I use the shared equity in the property (fully paid 750000) to get a home loan on my share in my name only? (only me living onsite) Do the others need to be on the mortgage or are they guarantors? Both are wealthy retirees & I don’t want to know everything about their finances, what is the minimum documentation required as guarantors? Thanks.

    Reply
    • Andrew Mirams
      June 23, 2021 2:17 pm

      Hi Louise,
      Thanks for your enquiry, you’ve raised some very good questions.
      Firstly, Yes, you can use the equity in the property for sure. It can be in your sole name, however the other 2 owners will need to be a guarantor on your loan as they are co-owners.
      As mentioned, the other owners can either be co-borrowers or guarantors, it depends on you and the situation you are in. Likely that guarantors will be better in your circumstances.
      And finally, depending on the lender or broker, the other 2 parties could make their information available without you knowledge or knowing if you want to protect all parties from a privacy perspective.

      I hope this helps, anything further, we’d be happy to discuss with you.

      Reply
  • Paul Stewart
    June 18, 2021 1:15 pm

    Hi are there any banks that will allow non family Guarantors??

    Reply
    • Andrew Mirams
      June 23, 2021 2:13 pm

      Hi Paul,
      Rarely, the reason being that there has to be “an interest” or “financial benefit” for the party guaranteeing the loan and in most cases this is very hard to prove.
      If you want to discuss in more detail, we’d be happy to do so.

      Reply
  • Can you tell me which banks provide the facility for the guarantors to provide a fixed term as security so a family member can achieve a 20% deposit and so not be liable for mortgage insurance. It seems illogical to use your property as security which is worth ten times the security required. Hope you can help.

    Reply
    • Andrew Mirams
      October 11, 2021 5:54 am

      Hi Ray,
      You question is very specific and likely requires more details into those. We’d be happy to assist you further if you’d like?

      Reply

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