26 Sep 2016

Important facts you need to know about before opening joint account with anyone

With a joint bank account, two or more people are able to access the money in the account. Joint account holders can all pay into the account and pay bills, write cheques or withdraw cash from it (although sometimes more than one person needs to agree), according to

If you have any doubts about whether to set up a joint account, don’t do it. Even if you want to split everything 50:50, you don’t need a joint account to do this.

Joint accounts are mostly used by:Married couples, civil partners and couples who live together.

It is also used by housemates who have shared expenses.

If you need longer-term access to someone else’s finances, for example, if you have an elderly relative who’s having trouble keeping on top of their money, a joint account is not your best bet.

Opening a joint account isn’t so different from opening a normal current account. Each account holder just needs to fill in their section of the application form and provide proof of address and proof of identity.

Some couples find that having a joint account and having clear guidelines for how to manage it can help prevent arguments about money.

Speak to your bank during the application process and ask them to explain:

Who, if anyone, can take out money without getting permission from others from the account.

How overdrafts will be handled –typically, each account holder is responsible for paying back all the money owed and the bank may take money from someone’s sole account to cover the overdraft in the joint account.

How to handle disagreements or the end of a relationship between joint account holders.

How to know if you need a joint account

Talking about money and managing finances is often the last topic couples want to discuss. It can lead to a fair amount of stress in even the best relationship, according to

You and your partner may be considering opening a joint bank account together but worry it may get too complicated. Or you may think that keeping things separate is easier until you realise that you have too many shared expenses.

There are several different joint account options for you and your partner to explore in order to find the best system for your lifestyle and needs. These include a joint bank account, linked accounts, or keeping your accounts separate. Choosing the right option can help make managing your finances as stress-free as possible for both of you.

A joint bank account is just like a standard banking account, except that two or more people own the account. You and your partner can pay shared household expenses such as mortgage, car payments, utilities and groceries from the same place.

Withdrawing cash, writing cheques and making online payments from one account also allow both of you to see how the money is being spent. With account activity visible to both of you, you may be less likely to splurge on discretionary items or make purchases in secret, and more likely to budget together as a couple.

Joint bank accounts can also help you plan and save toward shared goals such as a new home, a vacation, a household project or a new car. Pooling your money may help you meet minimum balance requirements that qualify you for features like waived maintenance fees, a higher interest rate or rewards.

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