The Meaning of Guarantor: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of guarantor? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word guarantor, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word guarantor mean?

According to Merriam-Webster Unabridged English Dictionary and Investopedia, the word guarantor (pronounced ˈgær ənˌtɔr)  is a noun that refers to a person who promises to pay back a loan if the person on the loan is unable to. This individual promises to pay the borrower’s debt in the form of a pledge of their own assets as a collateral against a loan. This is also often referred to as a surety. For example, a college student may not have income and therefore would not qualify to rent an apartment near their school. However, their parent or guardian may offer to be a lease guarantor so that they can qualify for their lease. This would guarantee that the renter would be able to pay their monthly rent no matter their income level or credit score. The guarantor is a co-signer on the lease and promises that the rent will be paid, and the agreement is valid because the guarantor has the assets necessary and does not have a bad credit score. A young person renting an apartment for the first time might not have the credit history, or may not be able to take on the financial responsibility of a loan when renting for the first time. A person with a poor credit rating who is trying to get back on their feet might not qualify for a loan to buy a car. In this case, a close friend or family member can act as a guarantor in order to allow the person to obtain a loan for their necessary purchase.

Many different languages also contain words that mean guarantor. You may notice that some of these words look a bit like the word guarantor. Often, cognates – which are words that sound, look and mean the same things across languages – are formed when the words share a common root ro ancestral language like Latin or Greek. This list of translations for the word guarantor is provided by Word Sense.

  • Chinese – Mandarin: 担保人‎ (dānbǎorén)
  • Manx: barrantagh‎ (masc.)
  • Hungarian: kezes‎
  • Czech: ručitel‎ (masc.)
  • Danish: garant‎, kautionist‎
  • Turkish: kefil‎
  • Russian: гара́нт‎ (masc.), поручитель‎ (masc.)
  • Finnish: takaaja‎
  • Portuguese: fiador‎ (masc.), avalista‎ (masc.) (fem.)
  • German: Garant‎ (masc.)
  • Hebrew: ערב‎
  • Romanian: garant‎ (masc.)
  • Bulgarian: гарант‎ (masc.), поръчител‎ (masc.)
  • Arabic: كَافِل‎
  • Irish: urra‎ (masc.)
  • Spanish: garante‎ (masc.), guarante‎ (masc.)

What are synonyms for the word guarantor?

There are a collection of different English language words that one can use in place of the word guarantor. These are called synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same definition as another word or phrase. Synonyms are a useful English language grammatical device to know because they can help people avoid repeating themselves, as well as assist in expanding vocabulary. This list of synonyms for the word guarantor is provided by Thesaurus

  • another adherent
  • sponsor
  • backer
  • patron
  • bailsman
  • grubstaker
  • angel
  • promoter
  • advocate
  • bondsman
  • meal ticket
  • endorser
  • underwriter
  • guaranty
  • supporter
  • sustainer
  • follower
  • benefactor
  • godparent
  • insurer
  • champion
  • mainstay
  • well-wisher
  • staker
  • surety
  • money
  • ally
  • protagonist

What is the origin of the word guarantor?

According to Etymonline, the word guarantor has been used since the year 1811 to refer to a person who binds themselves into the obligation of another, often used with regard to financial agreements. This word comes from the word guarantee, in which the Latinate agent noun suffix or is substituted for ee. The word guarantee has been used since the 1670s to refer to a person who gives security. This was altered from the early 15th century word garrant, from the Old French garant meaning a defender or protector. This comes from an unknown Germanic source, but is likely based in the Proto-Germanic root war meaning to guard or protect. This comes from the Proto-Indo-European root wer meaning to cover. The word guarantee has been used to refer to some pledge since the 18th century, along with the alternate spelling guaranty, and the verb form of the word guarantee has been used since the year 1791, from the verb garanten. Related words include guaranteed, and guaranteeing.

How can the word guarantor be used in a sentence?

The word guarantor is often used to refer to a person who agrees to take financial responsibility for someone else. In this example, Jenna has moved to New York for college. She is struggling to find a place that will rent to her when she has no credit history, and large amounts of student loan debt. She calls her older sister, a successful lawyer.

Jenna: Hey Maisie, can I ask you for like… a very big favor?

Maisie: I will not bail you out of prison.

Jenna: It’s not that! I need a guarantor for my apartment lease. I can pay the rent amount, but they won’t rent to me because I have no credit history and student loans. Mom and dad don’t qualify. Would you sign for me?

Maisie: Sure, no problem. Just show me the places you’re applying to and we can call the landlord together. If they need me to come sign in person, I can come into the city this weekend.

Jenna: Thank you!

Overall, the word guarantor is a noun that refers to a person who promises to take financial responsibility for someone else’s commitments. A guarantor must agree that the loan will be paid even if the borrower defaults. Having a guarantor is common for many young people or people who are trying to recover financially. 

Sources:

  1. https://www.wordsense.eu/guarantor/#English https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/guarantor 
  2. https://www.etymonline.com/word/guarantor#:~:text=guarantor%20(n.),%2Dor%20substituted%20for%20%2Dee.
  3. https://www.etymonline.com/word/guarantee?ref=etymonline_crossreference
  4. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/guarantor
  5. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/g/guarantor.asp