Proverbs 6:1-5. Going Guarantee. In short – don’t. However, this Proverb is to the end of getting out of this pledge/guarantee.
But before we look at this Solomon speaks loud and clear on this matter. He tells us it is unsafe to go guarantee – 11:15. Why? If the person can’t pay their debt you will and that may wipe you out. And it has, countless times – hence his advice. He also states it is not good judgment to go guarantee for a friend – 17:18. If the friend defaults at some point the friendship simply won’t go the distance and your family are going to pay for their ineptitude or folly or lack of wisdom? And even if was just that they got caught in a market downturn, through no fault of their own, you are still going to pay. So you face the fact that a friendship will be at very least profoundly affected, and the pressure within your own family could well lead to further harm and sorrow. And it has, countless times – hence his advice.
If you can afford to loose the sum guaranteed, well that is another matter, but in this case it is probably better to make it either a gift or a long-term-maybe-never-to-repay loan. This way you are at the beckon call of no-one.
Going guarantee for a friend is a temptation, but going one for a stranger is extremely unwise. Some people’s mercy speaks louder than their wisdom, and some people’s capacity to get their way drowns out common sense in those they are appealing to.
If you have gone guarantee for either a friend or stranger, and “you have trapped yourself by your agreement and are caught by what you said” then you need to go, swallow your pride, and do all in your power to extricate yourself from that agreement.
This is one place in scripture were your yes should have been a no, and doing something about it is encouraged. This is one agreement you need to break/turn over.
If you can afford the loss then that is another matter, but if you have put up as security your home or livelihood then you are wise to struggle your way out of that snare, because that is what it will become.
Solomon speaks with urgency in this matter – “Don’t put it off; do it now. Don’t rest until you do it.” And to strengthen his advice he uses the analogy of a gazelle escaping from a hunter, or a bird from a net. They exude maximum energy in their life saving struggle – so should you, so should we.