The Guarantor

What's a Guarantor?

Guarantors are financially and legally obligated to pay your rent if you fail to pay.

How does a guarantor help?

Anytime you might not meet the landlord's requirements, a guarantor may be required. For example, if your income isn't 40 times the monthly rent, if you have bad credit, or if you have no rental history, a guarantor might help you qualify. Now, not all landlords allow guarantors, so make sure you ask about this before you visit the apartment.

Guarantors' income

Guarantors are required to make at least 80 to 100 times the monthly rent. (If your rent is $2,000 per month, a guarantor needs to make $160,000 to $200,000 per year.)

Asking someone to be a guarantor

sample guarantor letter

Asking a rich friend or relative to be your guarantor can be excruciating. To help you out, we've written a sample guarantor letter with clear instructions that you can use. The more details you provide the potential guarantor, the easier the process might be.

Necessary guarantor documents

A guarantor needs to provide the same documents as a renter: two pay stubs, two bank statements, one or two tax returns, and a letter from his or her employer. If the guarantor owns his or her own business, a certified public accountant (CPA) must provide a letter stating the guarantor's income.

Who gets this sensitive info?

No matter how close your relationship is, your guarantor won't want to share his or her financial information with you. The guarantor can instead send the documents directly to the landlord, but the landlord will want the documents right away.

your guarantor
FIG 1.3: None of these will work at all

Out-of-state guarantors

Landlords prefer and sometimes require guarantors to live in New York, New Jersey or Connecticut. (It's cheaper to track down someone in the Tri-State area when collecting a missed rent payment!) But some will work with out-of-state guarantors. You'll need to ask about this.

Multiple guarantors

Typically you can't have multiple guarantors that add up to 80 to 100 times the monthly rent. Landlords want one person as a guarantor. (Collecting missed rent payments from more than one person is way too complicated.)

Guarantor Services - Insurent

If you need a guarantor but don't have a rich uncle with a sack of gold, try Insurent, a guarantor service. Insurent requires an income of 27.5 times the monthly rent and a good credit history . To act as your guarantor, they'll charge you 75 to 80 percent of one month's rent upfront.