All loans require qualified loan guarantors. Guarantors must meet the following criteria:

  • Guarantors must be at least 25 years old, US citizens and at least one must be a legal resident currently living in California.
  • Have a checking account, a minimum FICO score of 670, and total family income of at least $60,000 a year which can be derived from employment, retirement, or investments.

The following people may not guarantee a loan, even if they meet the requirements above:

  • Persons who currently have an HFLSD loan
  • Pulpit Clergy (Rule exists for Clergy protection)
  • Persons who are unable to repay the loan

Note: Spouses or persons in a domestic partnership do not qualify as two separate guarantors.

If you (or your guarantors) meet some but not all the criteria above, please email us. We are here to help, and we may be able to make exceptions to certain requirements.

Guarantor Frequently Asked Questions

Why do you need guarantors?

Guarantors play an integral role in supporting our lending model. Most loans are repaid by the loan recipients, but guarantors make our loans more secure by ensuring repayment even if unexpected events cause the recipient to default. In our experience, loan recipients are all the more compelled to repay their loans when they know their friends and relatives are counting on them to do so.

How many guarantors are needed?

Emergency Loans: One guarantor is required for loans up to $1K. All other loans: Two guarantors are needed for loans up to $20K. For loans greater than $20K, three or more guarantors are usually required.*

*Do not let guarantor requirements hinder you from applying. We will look at each application individually and work with the potential borrower to the best of our ability.

Who can act as a guarantor?

Guarantors must have a reliable source of income and be willing and able to make payments on a loan, if needed. Some geographical restrictions apply; see below.

Does it matter where a guarantor lives?

On loans with one guarantor, that guarantor must be a permanent resident of California. On loans with two or more guarantors, one guarantor may, as an approved exception, live elsewhere in the United States.

Does a guarantor have to be Jewish?

No, guarantors are not required to be Jewish.

Are parents or other relatives allowed to guarantee?

Yes, parents, relatives, and friends are all welcome to guarantee.

We are an interfaith family. Can non-Jewish relatives and friends guarantee a loan?

Yes, we welcome interfaith family members and friends as guarantors. Guarantors do not need to be Jewish.

Are there any income requirements for guarantors?

In general, guarantors should have a minimum annual gross income of $60,000. As loan amounts increase, guarantors may need higher incomes to qualify. For Emergency loans, we ask only that guarantors confirm their willingness and ability to accept financial responsibility for a loan (regardless of income level).

If I am retired, can I still be a guarantor?

Yes, as long as your net worth and income streams allow you to comfortably take on the financial responsibility of guaranteeing a loan.

Will guaranteeing affect my credit?

We are not a credit reporting agency, so guaranteeing a loan should not affect your credit, unless the loan goes into default.

What is your repayment rate?

Over 99% of Hebrew Free Loan recipients across the country repay their loans.

May I guarantee more than one Hebrew Free Loan at a time?

Yes. A guarantor can guarantee 2 separate loans, as long as you are in a financial position to handle that responsibility.

I am married. Can I act as a guarantor separate from my spouse?

No. Due to community property laws, you and your spouse are jointly responsible for the loan if you are residing in the state of California or another community property state.

If I currently have a loan with Hebrew Free Loan, may I also guarantee a loan?

No. If you are a current loan recipient, you may not guarantee a loan.

May I apply for a loan if I am an active guarantor?

No. You may not apply for a loan of your own until the loan that you are guaranteeing has been paid in full.

Am I allowed to know the balance on the loan I am guaranteeing? How do I find this out?

Yes. Guarantors are entitled to full disclosure on the details of the loan, including the loan’s current balance, the monthly repayment rate, the estimated loan repayment date, and the names of the other guarantors. You may call us at (858) 345-8018 to request this information at any time.