Personal guarantees are a financing tool designed to reduce the risk to a lender if a borrower defaults on a loan or line of credit. As with all things related to risk, personal guarantees don’t eliminate it. They merely shift it from one party to another. In this case, the risk shifts from the lender to the person signing the guarantee.
The crux of the agreement is that the person signing the guarantee, called the guarantor, will pay the lender an agreed-upon amount no greater than the outstanding amount of the loan or line of credit if the borrower defaults.
For various reasons, people tend not to want to be guarantors for a business loan or line of credit. Continue reading to see some of the risks involved in signing as a personal guarantor.