In today’s competitive housing market, it can be hard for people who want to buy a home to get a mortgage, especially if they have bad credit. Guarantor mortgages are becoming more and more popular among UK homebuyers who may have trouble getting a mortgage because of their credit history. This article will explore the ins and outs of guarantor mortgages, how they work, and the benefits and drawbacks for both borrowers and their guarantors.
What is a Guarantor Mortgage?
A guarantor mortgage is a type of home loan that helps people with bad credit or not much of a credit history buy a house. It involves a third party, called the guarantor, who agrees to be legally responsible for the mortgage payments if the borrower doesn’t meet their obligations.Guarantors are usually close family members, like parents or siblings, who have good credit and a stable financial situation.
How Does a Guarantor Mortgage Work?
When applying for a guarantor mortgage, the borrower must meet the basic requirements set by the lender. These may include minimum income requirements and proof that the loan can be paid back. During the application process, the credit history, stability of finances, and assets of the guarantor are also taken into account.
Once approved, the borrower can get a mortgage, and the guarantor’s assets, usually their property or savings, are used as collateral. If the borrower doesn’t pay back the mortgage, the guarantor is required by law to pay off the remaining balance.
Benefits of Guarantor Mortgages for Borrowers
Access to Mortgage Financing: Borrowers with bad credit or a short credit history can use a guarantor mortgage to get a mortgage that they might not be able to get otherwise.
Higher Loan Limits: With a guarantor mortgage, borrowers may be able to borrow more money than they could with a traditional mortgage.
Lower interest rates: Some lenders may offer lower interest rates if the borrower has a guarantor. This could save the borrower money over the life of the loan.
Drawbacks of Guarantor Mortgages for Borrowers
Limited Lender Options: Not all mortgage lenders offer guarantor mortgages, which may limit the borrower’s choice of lenders and mortgage products.
Potential Strain on Relationships: Having a family member or close friend act as a guarantor ties their financial well-being to the borrower’s ability to repay the loan. This can put stress on the relationship, especially if the borrower runs into money problems and can’t pay back the loan.
Reduced Financial Independence: Using a guarantor to get a mortgage can make the borrower feel less financially independent, since they are depending on someone else’s financial stability to get their home loan.
Difficulty Removing Guarantor: If the borrower’s financial situation gets better, it may be hard to get rid of the guarantor from the mortgage agreement. This could mean the guarantor remains financially tied to the loan for an extended period.
Potential for Higher Fees: Due to the extra risk and paperwork that come with guarantor mortgages, some lenders may charge extra fees. This can mean that the borrower has to pay more up front than with a regular mortgage.
Considerations for Guarantors
Financial Risk: The guarantor must be willing to take on the financial risk of the mortgage, including the possibility of having to pay back the loan if the borrower doesn’t pay.
Impact on Future Borrowing: Being a guarantor may make it harder for the guarantor to get loans or mortgages for themselves in the future, because lenders will look at their existing obligations.
Legal Advice: Guarantors should seek independent legal advice before agreeing to act as guarantors to ensure they fully understand the risks and responsibilities involved.
Guarantor mortgages can be helpful for people in the UK who want to buy a home but have bad credit, giving them a way to do so that might not be possible otherwise. But both the borrower and the guarantor should carefully think about the extra responsibilities and possible risks. Talking to a mortgage broker or financial advisor can help both parties decide if a guarantor mortgage is a good choice for their individual situations.