You want to buy a computer table and the store asks one of your parents to sign the contract at the same time as you. The store might doubt whether you can sign alone. After a conversation with your parents, your mother decides to be a “guarantor”, also called a “surety”. What does this mean?
When someone acts as a guarantor, this means that she voluntarily commits to paying someone else’s debts.
In the case of a person under 18 years old, it’s often a father or mother who acts as the guarantor. For example, if a father signs the contract for his son’s cell phone, he agrees to pay if his son can’t continue paying for it.
Here are some situations in which you might be asked to have someone be a guarantor for you:
- You want to buy a cell phone.
- You want to get a credit card.
- You buy something you’ll pay for over a long period of time, such as a new television in a department store.
- You want to rent your first apartment.
- You want to buy or lease a car.
Think twice before signing for a friend!
Have you ever heard the saying “You sign, you pay?”. Well, it’s very true.
If a friend asks you to sign with him for something he buys, this means that you are responsible for paying just as much as he is. In short, you’re being his guarantor! If your friend has trouble making his payments, you could be asked to pay could the full amount your friend owes.
This article explains in a general way the law that applies in Quebec. This article is not a legal opinion or legal advice. To find out the specific rules for your situation, consult a lawyer or notary.