Debunking Common Myths About Mortgage Guarantors – A Guide

by | Dec 13, 2023

In the dynamic landscape of real estate and property investment in Australia, the concept of mortgage guarantors often comes with several widely believed misconceptions.

Homebuyers, property investors, and even legal clients can find themselves navigating the real estate market with a lack of clarity on the role and responsibilities of mortgage guarantors.

As legal experts based in Perth, we aim to debunk the most common myths surrounding mortgage guarantors. We’re shedding light on some crucial aspects that can empower individuals to make informed decisions.

With that in mind, let’s begin with a summary to give you some initial guidance, and then we’ll dive into more details.

Mortgage guarantors in Australia are not exclusive to high-risk borrowers; their commitment is not lifelong, with obligations limited to the loan term; liability is not always for the entire loan amount either, but a specified portion; guarantors do have a say in property purchases; and it’s not exclusively for family members.

Read on to find out more…

Debunking Common Myths About Mortgage Guarantors

With the summary in mind, let’s now look more in-depth at debunking common myths about mortgage guarantors.

Myth 1: Mortgage Guarantors Are Only for High-Risk Borrowers

We’ll begin with myth number one – which is ‘who’ this is aimed at.

The truth about who needs a guarantor

Contrary to popular belief, mortgage guarantors aren’t exclusive to high-risk borrowers.

Yes, while it’s true that individuals with a ‘less-than-perfect’ credit history may benefit from having a guarantor, this doesn’t mean that only those in financial distress require one.

Guarantors can play a vital role in various scenarios, providing support to first-time buyers, self-employed individuals, or those with irregular income.

How guarantors benefit a diverse range of borrowers

Guarantors serve as a financial safety net for borrowers, a lifeline in some situations, enabling them to secure loans that they might not otherwise qualify for.

Of course, this assistance extends beyond risk mitigation, supporting a diverse range of borrowers who may face challenges in meeting traditional lending criteria.

Myth 2: Being a Guarantor Is a Lifetime Commitment

Now let’s look at how much commitment being a guarantor entails.

Understanding the duration of a guarantor’s responsibilities.

One prevalent misconception is that being a mortgage guarantor is a lifelong commitment.

In reality, a guarantor’s obligations are typically limited to a specific period. This is often linked to the repayment term of the loan.

Understanding these time constraints is important for both guarantors and borrowers, providing some clarity on the duration of financial responsibility.

Often this provides confidence that this is not a lifelong arrangement – particularly for the lending party.

Mitigating long-term risks for guarantors

However, as with most financial arrangements, while the commitment may not be lifelong, potential risks still exist for guarantors.

Exploring strategies to mitigate mortgage guarantor risks, such as establishing clear communication and a viable exit strategy, is essential for those considering taking on the role.

Legal advice becomes particularly crucial during the initial stages of becoming a guarantor to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the associated mortgage guarantor risks and obligations.

Before embarking on this path, we would highly recommend getting in touch with us at Genuine Legal WA where we can offer some professional assistance.

Myth 3: Mortgage Guarantors Are Liable for the Entire Loan Amount

As number three on our journey of debunking common myths about Mortgage Guarantors and mortgage guarantor liability, we’ll explore the liabilities side of the mortgage guarantor.

The extent of a guarantor’s financial liability

One of the most widespread myths about mortgage guarantors is that they are liable for the entire loan amount.

A guarantor’s responsibility is usually limited to a specified portion of the loan, often corresponding to the guarantee they provided.

Understanding the fine print in the guarantee document is key for both borrowers and guarantors.

Of course, the aim here is to prevent misunderstandings and legal complications, one aspect of this is around mortgage guarantor liability.

Legal safeguards for guarantors in loan agreements

Australian law provides specific legal safeguards for mortgage guarantors.

Guarantors need to be aware of these protections …including the right to seek legal advice before signing any documents.

Legal professionals specializing in property law are equipped to guide guarantors through the intricacies of loan agreements, ensuring that their rights are protected and that they understand the potential financial implications.

Myth 4: Guarantors Have No Say in the Property Purchase

Now for myth number four … Guarantor involvement in the property purchase.

The rights and involvement of Guarantors in property transactions

Firstly, contrary to the myth that guarantors are mere financial backers with no say in the property purchase, they can have a significant role in the decision-making process.

Indeed, while guarantors may not have direct ownership rights, their input can be valuable, especially in situations where their financial assistance is critical to the transaction.

How guarantors can protect their interests

To protect their interests, guarantors should ensure open communication with borrowers throughout the property purchase process.

Additionally, legal professionals can assist guarantors in negotiating terms that align with their expectations and provide clear mechanisms for dispute resolution.

Having these mechanisms in place will serve to safeguard their interests in the property transaction.

Myth 5: All Guarantors Must Be Family Members

Finally, we’ll tackle the myth around family members and being a Guarantor.

Who can be a mortgage guarantor? 

While family members are commonly chosen as mortgage guarantors, there is no legal requirement stipulating that guarantors must be relatives.

Friends, business associates, or even acquaintances can easily fulfill this role …provided they meet the financial criteria set by lenders.

Understanding the flexibility in choosing guarantors opens up possibilities for a broader support network.

The role of relationships in guarantor agreements

So, as we’ve outlined above, despite the flexibility in selecting guarantors, the nature of the relationship can impact the dynamics of the agreement, whether they are distant acquaintances or your relationship partner.

This is why, on all matters regarding mortgage guarantors, trust and clear communication are vital, regardless of the relationship between the borrower and guarantor.

Legal advice can, of course, help structure agreements that protect the interests of both parties. Thus fostering a transparent and mutually beneficial relationship.

Make Informed Decisions with Genuine Legal WA

Now that you understand the top five myths about mortgage guarantors, let’s look at wrapping this up and offering some next steps for those considering this route.


Debunking common myths about mortgage guarantors is crucial for individuals navigating the Australian real estate market.

Mortgage Guarantors:

  •     Serve a diverse range of borrowers
  • Have specific time commitments
  • Limited financial liability, involvement in property purchases
  •     Can extend beyond familial relationships

Understanding these basic facts, among other aspects, is essential for informed decision-making. For that, you ideally need professional support. This is where Genuine Legal can help…

How Genuine Legal WA can assist in navigating mortgage guarantor agreements.

Genuine Legal in Perth can offer advice and expertise to both borrowers and guarantors.

Seeking legal advice from us before entering into any mortgage guarantor agreement is a proactive step towards avoiding potential pitfalls.

We can provide comprehensive guidance on the legal aspects of guarantor agreements, ensuring that clients are well-informed and protected throughout the process.

Check out our extensive list of testimonials for clients we have helped in obtaining the best outcome for their needs and their situation.