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Guarantee Fees


Guarantee fees are charges that a lender pays to a guarantor for protection against losses if a borrower defaults on a loan. These fees are often paid to government agencies or insurance companies who guarantee loans or mortgages. They’re incorporated into the interest rate of the loan and are typically paid annually.


The phonetics of “Guarantee Fees” is: ɡer-ən-‘tē fēz

Key Takeaways

  1. Revenue Sources: Guarantee Fees (G-fees) are one of the main sources of revenue for government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These fees are charged for guaranteeing the payment of principal and interest on their mortgage-backed securities.
  2. Risk Management: The level of Guarantee Fees often reflects the credit risk associated with the guaranteed loans. Higher risk loans typically incur higher G-fees. This plays a crucial role in managing and mitigating the risks associated with mortgage loan defaults.
  3. Market Impact: Guarantee Fees can also influence the mortgage market’s vibrancy. Changes in these fees can affect lender’s decisions to sell loans to GSEs or retain them, impacting overall mortgage rates. Thus, G-fees are critical for maintaining a stable housing finance system.


Guarantee Fees (G-Fees) are significant in the business/finance sector because they act as a form of risk mitigation for lenders and investors. They’re the charges assessed by mortgage-backed securities (MBS) providers, such as Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, to guarantee the payment of principal and interest on their MBS. These fees provide a layer of financial protection against potential borrower default and thus, can influence the overall costs of lending. High G-Fees may increase borrowing costs, thereby affecting the affordability of loans for consumers. However, they also ensure that the providers have adequate compensation for the risk they take on, allowing for a more secure and robust mortgage lending market.


Guarantee Fees, commonly referred to as G-fees, primarily serve as a kind of protection in financial or business transactions involving loan-associated risks. Essentially, these fees cater to the role of a safety net for a third party that assumes the risks. They are commonly used in mortgage-backed securities, where the guarantee fee is charged by mortgage-backed security (MBS) providers like Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to lenders for guaranteeing the payment of principal and interest on their MBS.The key purpose behind guarantee fees is to mitigate and cover the potential risk of credit loss resulting from the borrower’s default. This fee constitutes a critical source of revenue for the entities guaranteeing the loans, allowing them to offset any losses. With these fees factored in, lenders or financial institutions can devise a risk management strategy which allows them to lend freely while being protected against potential future losses. Essentially, guarantee fees serve as insurance premiums, providing a safety cushion to the guarantor against loan default risks.


1. Small Business Administration Loans: When a business applies for a loan through the Small Business Administration (SBA), it’s the SBA that guarantees the loan to the lender in case of default. As a part of this process, the SBA charges a guarantee fee to the lender, which may be passed on to the borrower. This guarantee fee is a percentage of the guaranteed portion of the loan amount and it varies depending on loan size and maturity period. 2. Mortgage-Backed Securities: Financial institutions that issue mortgage-backed securities often pay guarantee fees to guarantors. These guarantors pledge to cover losses in case of borrower’s default. For example, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two government-sponsored enterprises in the US, charge guarantee fees on their mortgage-backed securities to cover projected credit losses from borrower defaults, administrative costs, and a return on capital.3. Export Guarantee Programs: When businesses deal with international trade, they often face risks such as non-payment due to political or commercial uncertainties. Export Credit Agencies, like the Export-Import Bank of the United States, can provide guarantee programs to mitigate these risks. They charge guarantee fees which act as an insurance premium to cover defaults on export credits.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What are Guarantee Fees?

Guarantee Fees are charges that are imposed by mortgage-backed securities (MBS) providers, like Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, on lenders for packaging, selling, and reporting on the status of loans.

Who is responsible for paying guarantee fees?

Generally, the lending institution or mortgage companies that sell their loans to Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae pay the Guarantee Fees. However, they often pass on these fees to borrowers indirectly.

What’s the purpose of guarantee fees?

The purpose of the guarantee fee is to cover potential credit losses from the mortgages, administrative costs, and a return on the capital of the MBS provider.

How are Guarantee Fees calculated?

Guarantee Fees are generally calculated as a percentage of the total loan value. The rate can vary depending on several factors including credit risk, market conditions, and regulatory requirements.

Do all loans carry a Guarantee Fee?

Not all loans carry a Guarantee Fee. Typically, loans that are sold to financial agencies such as Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae include a Guarantee Fee.

Can Guarantee Fees fluctuate over time?

Yes, Guarantee Fees can fluctuate over time depending on factors like changes in market risk, legislative changes, or modifications in administrative costs.

What happens if a borrower defaults on a loan with a Guarantee Fee?

If a borrower defaults on a loan with a Guarantee Fee, the guarantor i.e., the agency like Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, will pay the investor the principal balance and missed interest. The agency will then try to recover as much as possible by selling the property.

Is it possible for a borrower to avoid paying a Guarantee Fee?

The Guarantee Fee is usually built into the pricing of the loan offered by the lender, so it is generally not possible to avoid. However, shopping around for the best loan terms and pricing may help to ensure a competitive overall cost.

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