What Is A Guarantor and Do I Need One?

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Off Campus Apartment Tips

Many people who are looking for student housing in Boston are also getting ready to sign their first lease. At Off-Campus Pads, we understand that the whole process can be overwhelming. Boston is a huge city, with tons of off-campus housing options to consider, and there are a lot of factors that go into planning for your new apartment. That is why Off-Campus Pads includes a comprehensive guide to parents and co-signers in our Resources section. Here is a guide to guarantors – or co-signers – from the student perspective.

What is a guarantor/co-signer?

When you sign a lease, you enter an agreement with your landlord to pay your rent on time and in full. The landlord will look at your qualifications – typically this means income and credit score – to decide whether you qualify to sign the lease. Most landlords in major cities like Boston want candidates to make at least 40 times the monthly rent in annual income, a tall order for the majority of students.

So, what can you do if you do not qualify? Get a guarantor, or a co-signer of your lease, who does qualify. The guarantor is responsible for any rent payments that the tenant (you) cannot or does not make. Guarantors are very common, especially in competitive housing markets like Boston. In fact, many Boston landlords do not accept tenants who are undergraduate students unless those tenants have a guarantor.

Do I need a guarantor?

It depends on your landlord. But, if you are a full-time student who does not work, or only works part-time, the answer is probably yes. Even if you will be the one paying your rent with savings or income, having a co-signer on the lease gives your landlord peace of mind. If your parent or guardian will be acting as your guarantor, refer them to our Resources page. Both you and your guarantor should gather your bank account statements, pay stubs, and Social Security numbers for the landlord to run a credit check. Before you know it, you will be done with your application and living in your own Boston apartment!

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