PERSONAL GUARANTEE: Definition and How It Works For Your Business Loans


The majority of small businesses will want to grow, but expansion isn’t always inexpensive. That is why so many businesses will be looking for some much-needed capital to help them reach their objectives. If you’re in this situation, you’ve probably come across the term ‘personal guarantee’ while looking for money. But what exactly is it? How does it function? And what about the dangers? Read on to learn more about personal guarantee business loans and insurance and decide if it’s appropriate for you.

What is a Personal Guarantee?

A personal guarantee is a promise made between the owner or executive of a business and a lender. When a personal guarantee is signed, the individual promises to be responsible for repaying the loan if their business is unable to make the payments. This guarantee adds an added layer of security for the lender, which means they may be more likely to extend credit if there is a backup plan in place in case the company goes bankrupt.

It’s a risky business because if things don’t go as planned, you could be personally pursued to pay off the loan with your own assets. However, if you are confident in your business, the payout may be worth the risk. The following are some of the most prevalent instances in which a lender may need a personal guarantee:

  • Business loans
  • Agreements for invoice financing
  • Agreements for asset leasing
  • Mortgages
  • Leases of real estate
  • Commerce supply

Types of Personal Guarantees

Personal guarantees are classified into two types: restricted and limitless. Limited guarantees enable lenders to collect a specific sum of money or a percentage of the outstanding balance from a principal or a business owner. When there are numerous principals who can pay a portion of the obligation, these guarantees are typical. For example, if a business defaults on its loan, the lender can pursue each principle for 25% of the balance.

Unlimited guarantees, on the other hand, necessitate that the principal be held accountable for the entire outstanding sum. The SBA requires personal guarantees, which are deemed unlimited guarantees. So, if a business fails to meet its commitments on a loan with a personal guarantee, the lender can pursue the principle to reclaim the entire outstanding balance. If there are insufficient liquid assets available (via checking and other comparable accounts), the lender may seize other assets such as real estate or vehicles.

Directors’ Personal Guarantee

A personal guarantee by a director indicates that the director of a company is personally obligated to repay the obligation if the firm is unable to do so. When a company director enters into this agreement, it usually shows that they have a lot of business in their company. Despite agreeing to be personally liable, they will expect that they will never have to utilize their personal assets to repay a loan.

Even if you are confident in your business, signing a personal guarantee is a major choice that should not be taken lightly. After all, most businesses have unanticipated peaks and troughs, so there will always be a danger (however tiny) that repayments must default to the guarantor and their personal capital.

This strategy, on the other hand, can help to access cash that would otherwise be unavailable. However, in order to gain access to it, you risk blurring the lines between personal finance and business finance, which most people want to keep distinct.

Personal Guarantee on Business loan

Small businesses are riskier to lend to, and as a result, obtaining an unsecured business loan may be challenging. However, by agreeing to a personal guarantee, you may improve your prospects because it provides the lender with additional confidence that the amount will be returned. The business will have to pay it back, just like any other business loan. However, if this falls through, the individual will be held liable for the payment.


#1. Could increase your chances of obtaining financing

The most obvious possible benefit of giving a personal guarantee in support of a financing arrangement is that it may raise the likelihood that the arrangement will be implemented. This can be a substantial incentive for small or medium-sized businesses, especially if it means the difference between success and failure in gaining access to capital or loans.

#2. Obtaining funding can be beneficial.

Securing financing may be a critical procedure for businesses of any size and in any industry. As a result, any action made in support of this goal may be regarded as positive, if not even vital. This viewpoint may be correct, but there is a definite risk that directors offering guarantees make judgments based on best-case — rather than worst-case — circumstances.

#3. Enables businesses to attain their full potential

In some cases, a personal guarantee may provide a corporation with critical access to capital. A small business loan, for example, could help a growing company reach its full potential in the short and long term. Individual directors offering those guarantees, however, should carefully evaluate whether they would be happy being pursued by creditors on a personal level for debts taken out by their firm.


#1. The stakes are higher.

The most obvious potential downside of providing personal guarantees in support of corporate finance is that directors’ personal finances may be adversely impacted in very bad ways. Creditors cannot normally pursue individual directors for debt repayment, but personal guarantees allow them to do so.

#2. It requires a personal commitment.

When a company’s directors become insolvent, they may face long-term financial difficulties and, in personal cases, personal bankruptcy. Arrangements to settle these concerns can be established between directors and their company’s creditors with adequate communication, but the process can be exceedingly trying and stressful for the persons involved.

Personal Guarantee Insurance

Personal guarantee insurance is an annual insurance policy that protects directors in the event that their personal guarantee is called upon by a business lender following insolvency.

It is intended to instil trust in directors so that they may conduct business and focus on growth objectives.

Why do you need Personal Guarantee Insurance?

In most circumstances, signing a personal guarantee is an important part of obtaining business financing. As a result, directors are willing to make a personal guarantee to acquire business finance so that their business can follow its growth goals.

Personal Guarantee Insurance Benefits

However, if events beyond your control occur, such as customer or supplier failure, regulatory changes, or negative macroeconomic conditions, you must be prepared to defend yourself as a director.

In the unfortunate event that the business becomes bankrupt, the lender can use the personal guarantee to recover part of the shortfalls due to the outstanding financial commitments that the business owes to the lender. As a result, personal guarantee insurance can help you avoid losing your personal money.

A firm has its own legal existence and is liable for its debts. As a result, lenders are unable to readily recover the company’s obligations from its directors or shareholders. Limited liability partnerships are subject to similar requirements. Injunctions and court action, which can be time-consuming and costly, are two methods of recovery.

As a result, lenders frequently want personal guarantees. If the corporation fails to make debt repayments. A personal guarantee provides additional security to the lender. If the borrower defaults and fails to repay the loan, the guarantor risks losing his or her home and personal assets.

Personal Guarantee Risks

Among the provisions that catch out guarantors are:

  • If the loan is repaid early, the borrower is obligated to pay the bank’s expenses.
  • On-the-spot repayment;
  • There is no ability to negotiate repayment conditions.

Personal Liability Under the Personal Guarantee

If the business fails to make the payments or duties outlined in the guarantee, you, as the guarantor, will be personally liable. Among the dangers are:

#1. Joint and multiple responsibilities

If numerous directors “jointly and severally” issue a personal guarantee to the same bank, the bank:

  • Does not have to take action against all directors, for example, but
  • Can obtain the entire amount from a single guarantor.

#2. Personal Guarantee Protection

The bank frequently takes security over the guarantor’s assets. The bank can then sell the guarantor’s assets to satisfy the debts without having to go to court. Your family home is usually one of these assets. However, if the guarantor co-owns their house with their spouse, banks typically ask co-owners to provide security as well.

Before issuing a secured guarantee, banks typically require the guarantor and co-owner to obtain independent legal advice. This limits a co-capacity owner’s to challenge the enforceability of the guarantee by claiming undue influence or deception.

#3. Personal guarantees in addition to security

A ‘third party charge’ is a personal guarantee combined with asset security in a single document. The guarantor’s liability is normally unrestricted under this agreement.

Charges that are “non-recourse”

A non-recourse charge is advantageous. This is due to:

  • Liability is restricted to the value of the charged property, which means
  • If the property sale does not yield enough revenue, the director and his remaining assets are out of options.

Indemnities arising from Personal Guarantee

Personal guarantees are frequently accompanied by indemnities from lenders. Indemnities, as opposed to guarantees, can have a higher influence on personal culpability. This is due to the fact that a guarantee is contingent on the business repaying the obligation.

The sum insured should not be greater than the amount owed to the lender by the business. An indemnification, on the other hand, is unrelated to the connection between the business and the lender. It may even apply after you have paid off your debt.

The following is how a personal guarantee indemnity works:

  • If a business fails to meet its responsibilities, and
  • As a result, the lender loses losses. then
  • The indemnification guarantees the lender;
  • Those losses are paid for by the person providing the indemnification.

For example, an indemnity may oblige you to pay the banks’ legal and court fees in order to pursue debt repayment.

Are personal guarantees provided for business credit cards?

You may be requested to sign a personal guarantee when applying for a business credit card. This will be especially true for small businesses, as the credit card company is taking a bigger risk. However, this will not always be the case. There are no personal-guarantee business credit cards available, do your homework.

What effect does a Personal Guarantee have on Credit?

If all loan repayments are made on time, signing a personal guarantee should have no effect on your personal credit. This may not be the case if your business falls behind on its payments. You would be obligated to pay the obligation in this circumstance. This could result in the loss of your funds, the loss of your home, and the freezing of your bank accounts. If your personal assets are insufficient to cover the outstanding debt, you may be declared bankrupt, which will have a negative influence on your credit rating.

Personal Guarantee FAQs

Can I lose my house with a personal guarantee?

A security interest in your personal assets is included in some personal guarantees. In that instance, the lender will almost certainly have a lien on your property. Regardless of your bankruptcy discharge, the lien allows the lender to foreclose or repossess the collateral.

How long does a personal guarantee last for?

The personal guarantee will expire 5 years after it becomes enforceable, at which point the bank will no longer be able to enforce it. This is 5 years from the date of signing the personal guarantee, not from the date the bank calls in the debt. The precise date when the guarantee became enforceable is debatable.

How do you get out of a personal guarantee?

A Release of Personal Guarantee is not required by the banking institution. If the Release of Personal Guarantee is not secured, the most common option to obtain it is to repay the business loan or refinancing the business through a private equity firm.

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A Release of Personal Guarantee is not required by the banking institution. If the Release of Personal Guarantee is not secured, the most common option to obtain it is to repay the business loan or refinancing the business through a private equity firm.

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