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Guarantor FAQ

All loans require qualified guarantors. If you (or your guarantors) meet some but not all of the criteria below, please check with us. We’re here to help, and we may be able to make exceptions to certain requirements. If you’re applying for a Pollak Student Loan, the guarantor requirements for that program are somewhat different, so be sure to check our Pollak Program FAQs.

How many guarantors are needed?

Two guarantors are needed for loans up to $20K. For loans greater than $20K, three to four guarantors are usually required.

Who can act as a guarantor?

Guarantors must have a reliable source of income and be willing and able to make payments on a loan, if needed. Some geographical restrictions apply; see below. 

Does it matter where a guarantor lives?

The majority of the guarantors on each loan must be permanents resident of California. On loans with two or more guarantors, one guarantor may live elsewhere in the U.S.

Does a guarantor have to be Jewish?

No, guarantors do not have to be Jewish.

Are parents or other relatives allowed to guarantee?

Yes, parents, relatives, and friends are all welcome to guarantee.

I’m married. Can I act as a guarantor separate from my spouse?

No. Due to community property laws, you and your spouse are jointly responsible for the loan, so the household counts as one guarantor. Two spouses cannot count as two separate guarantors.

We are an interfaith family. Can non-Jewish relatives and friends guarantee a loan?

Yes, we welcome interfaith family members and friends as guarantors. They do not need to be Jewish.

Are there any income requirements for guarantors?

In general, guarantors should have a minimum annual gross income of $60,000. As loan amounts increase, guarantors may need higher incomes to qualify.

If I'm retired, can I still be a guarantor?

Yes, as long as your net worth and income streams allow you to comfortably take on the financial responsibility of guaranteeing a loan.

Will guaranteeing affect my credit?

We are not a credit reporting agency, so guaranteeing a loan should not affect your credit, unless the loan goes into default.

Does a guarantor have to submit a credit report or score?

No. Guarantors fill out a short information form and sign the borrower’s promissory note. We rarely request a credit report from a guarantor.

What’s your repayment rate?

Over 99.5% of loan recipients repay their loans.

May I guarantee more than one Hebrew Free Loan at a time?

Yes. You may be a guarantor on up to three active loans at a time, as long as you are in a financial position to handle that responsibility.

If I currently have a loan with Hebrew Free Loan, may I also guarantee a loan?

No. If you are a current loan recipient, you may not guarantee a loan.

May I apply for a loan if I am an active guarantor?

No. You may not apply for a loan of your own until the loan that you are guaranteeing has been paid in full.

Why do you need guarantors?

Guarantors play an integral role in supporting our lending model. Most loans are repaid by the loan recipients, but guarantors make our loans more secure by ensuring repayment even if unexpected events cause the recipient to default. In our experience, loan recipients are all the more compelled to repay their loans when they know their friends and relatives are counting on them to do so.

Am I allowed to know the balance on the loan I am guaranteeing? How do I find this out?

Yes. Guarantors are entitled to full disclosure on the details of the loan, including the loan’s current balance, the monthly repayment rate, the estimated loan repayment date, and the names of the other guarantors. You may call us at (415) 546-9902 x104 to request this information at any time.

May I download a copy of the guarantor form?

No. To avoid confusion, guarantor forms are provided to loan applicants during the interview, either in paper form or as a fillable PDF. The person whose loan you are guaranteeing will give you this form.

Can’t find an answer to your question? Please contact us by email or phone: (415) 546-9902 x110.