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I am electing to help my daughter secure an apartment by acting as the guarantor. When I fill out and submit, does this impact my credit rating like when I apply for credit?

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  • what country are you at? In most places guarantor is not a real thing.
    – littleadv
    Commented Apr 9 at 1:46

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The worst that can happen just by co-signing a lease is if the apartment runs a hard credit check on you to make sure you have a clean enough credit history. Even then, the effect is small and temporary. It would be like getting pre-approval for a car loan but never taking out the loan. Being a guarantor on a lease is (to my knowledge) not considered a "debt" that is reported to the credit bureaus - only the fact that they requested your credit history is reported.

However, by being a guarantor you are guaranteeing that the rent will be paid. This hopefully is never a problem, but if you were ever to get more than 30 days behind on her rent, then that could get reported as a late payment on both of your credit reports, which would have a much more serious effect.

So as long as she and you make sure her rent is never more than 30 days past due, you should be fine.

My main warning about co-signing is that it's effectively the same as if you signed the lease yourself. You're just as liable for the rent as she is, so make absolutely sure she understands that you are not a "safety net" that she can use to miss some months' rent. If there is any doubt that she will be able to pay the rent completely from her budget, then do not cosign. The harm that can be done is worse than the benefit of having her own place to live.

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  • And if she doesn't pay the rent, the first you will know about it is when the debt collectors arrive at your door demanding all the rent owed, plus interest, plus late payment fees.
    – Simon B
    Commented Apr 9 at 20:24
  • Note the OP is talking about their own daugther, so I feel the advice 'don't cosign if there is any doubt she can pay' is over the top and misleading. It is true and important that OP is just as liable for the lease as the daughter is but her co-signing may be precisely because of that. OP may co-sign because they intend to pay for the daughter if she is unable to pay herself for a given month.
    – quarague
    Commented Apr 10 at 9:53
  • I agree, and I have cosigned for my kids first apartment since they don't have a credit history (they don't have credit cards). My main point was not to cosign if they can't afford it completely on their own - Don't set them up for failure. If the parent agrees to, say, pay half the rent upfront every moth, that's a different story. I've had friends whose kids move out and just stop paying rent because "mom will pay it".
    – D Stanley
    Commented Apr 10 at 13:06

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