Should I get a joint account?

Should I get a joint account?

There may come a time in your life when you might start thinking about getting a joint bank account with your partner, especially if you live together. Before you make a decision, there are a few things to consider. We’ve taken a look at some of the key questions regarding a joint account.

What is a joint current account?

A joint current account is simply an account that you share with one or more people, whether that’s your partner, housemate, or family member etc. It’s an easy way to manage shared finances as you can both have the same access to the account and have the ability to do the same things as you would on your standard current account. For example, have visibility of the balance and transactions, receive a debit card each, and make transactions.

Should we get a joint account?

There are many pros and cons towards getting a joint bank account, so it is worth considering all aspects before you open one.

BenefitsConcerns
Manage shared finances with both account holders having full visibility of the account.Can affect your credit score if the other account holder has a bad credit rating.
Easy way to cover joint bills to avoid missing payments. Trust is important as one person may be able to withdraw money without consulting the other account holder.
Easy way to cover split costs, including meals out, so there’s no arguing of who pays for what. If the account becomes overdrawn, both account holders are held responsible, not just the person who created the debt.
Keeps joint spending separate from the rest of your own money.Could become complicated if the relationship breaks down.

How can I get a joint current account?

Opening a joint account is just the same as opening a standard bank account and can be just as easy too. Each provider will have their own way of opening an account, but here’s a simple step-by-step guide on how to open a joint account.

1. Do your research and apply for the best joint account chosen account for your situation., You can apply online, in branch, or by post.

2. Each applicant will fill out their own section on the application form.

3. Decide on the access of each account holder, for example, who can withdraw money.

4. Provide proof of address and identity requested by the provider.

What features should I look for?

The provider and account you want to open may be decided based on the account’s features. Knowing what features and services are important to you is the first step in working out which is the best joint account for your financial situation.

Some features you may want to consider include:

  • Online banking/app for 24/7 access
  • Local branch
  • Overdraft
  • Cheque book
  • Manage Direct Debits and standing orders
  • Debit/prepaid card
  • High interest rate on balance
  • Rewards
  • Budgeting system

Will it affect my credit score?

One of the main disadvantages of opening a joint bank account can be that it could affect your credit score. If you are opening an account with someone who has bad credit, their rating will then be linked to yours. This could essentially have a negative impact on your credit rating.

Therefore, if you apply for a loan or a mortgage and you are connected to someone who has been bankrupt, this can affect your chances of being accepted or limit the amount you can borrow.

If this is the case, however, there are ways in which you can improve your credit score after opening the account.

Will it affect my credit score?

One of the main disadvantages of opening a joint bank account can be that it could affect your credit score. If you are opening an account with someone who has bad credit, their rating will then be linked to yours. This could essentially have a negative impact on your credit rating.

Therefore, if you apply for a loan or a mortgage and you are connected to someone who has been bankrupt, this can affect your chances of being accepted or limit the amount you can borrow.

If this is the case, however, there are ways in which you can improve your credit score after opening the account.

Who can make withdrawals

Both parties of the joint account can withdraw money from the account, along with having the ability to perform all of the other features that come with the account.

However, if you want one person to have more access to the account, then you can sometimes set up a mandate and they will be in control of it. You can also opt for ‘either to sign’, which means anyone named on the account can withdraw money or make changes. Or you can opt for ‘both to sign’, which will require the permission of both/all account holders before any money is withdrawn or changes made.

For more details, you can check out our guide on how to use a joint account.

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