Can my spouse/partner guarantee my loan?

No, your spouse/partner cannot guarantee your loan. Spouses must apply as co-applicants, though. Our loans require a guarantor that is completely separate from the financial situation, meaning they must reside in a separate household and have their own income.

Qualified guarantors are people living in Northeast Ohio, with a verifiable income and the ability to make a payment if the borrower could not do so, who live in a separate household from the loan applicant(s).


Why do I need a guarantor/cosigner?

HFLA of Northeast Ohio is a nonprofit organization. We do not charge interest or make money off of our loans, and we rely heavily on our loans being repaid so that we can make new loans to people in need.

Guarantors and cosigners are our one form of “backup” in the unlikely event that a borrower defaults on a loan. We have had several guarantors/cosigners who have paid off loans because the person that they guaranteed the loan for/cosigned the loan for fell ill, experienced extreme financial setbacks, or passed away. HFLA is grateful for our guarantors and cosigners, who have allowed us to exist for over 100 years.


What is the difference between a cosigner and a guarantor?

Our education loans require one cosigner. Cosigners share a joint responsibility to the debt, and we can consider the cosigner’s income if the student does not have any. Cosigners may live in the same household as the applicant (ex: mom can cosign for a child; a spouse/partner—with income—can cosign for their spouse/partner).

Our standard loans require at least one guarantor or guarantors. Guarantors must live in a separate household and must have income and the ability to repay the debt, in the event that the applicant defaults on the loan.

We make business loans directly to the business. Any owner who owns 20% or more of that business will sign a personal guaranty and will still be responsible for that debt, even if the business ceases to exist.