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How to open a joint bank account

A joint bank account can provide you and your partner, family member or friend, somewhere to deposit and store joint funds.

You’ll also be able to withdraw money and make payments if needed.

Opening a joint account can give you access to online banking and secure banking apps. This can help you, and the other account holders, manage your joint money more easily. All account holders will have a bank card and be able to view any transactions made.

Here are 3 things you’ll need to check before you go ahead:


1. Check you're eligible

With most banks, each of the joint applicants will need to be:

  • 18 years or over
  • Currently living in the United Kingdom (UK) or in the European Union (EU)

Non-UK nationals from outside the EU may need to provide a visa, or residential permit.

2. What do you need to open a joint bank account?

If you decide to open a joint account, you’ll need proof of identification and proof of address. Depending on your bank, you may need more than one proof of address document.

There are a number of different documents you can use which are accepted, some common types include:

  • Passport
  • Driver’s licence
  • EU identity card
  • Utility bill
  • Council tax bill
  • Mortgage statement or rent agreement

Some banks may also ask you for proof of income and your expenses. This would typically be:

  • Payslip or P60
  • Bank statement
  • Letter from your employer
  • Tax return (if you're self-employed)

3. Check your credit score

The bank you’re applying for a joint account with may check your credit score, using information from up to 3 credit reference agencies:

  • TransUnion
  • Equifax
  • Experian

You may want to check your credit scores and the information these credit agencies hold to make sure everything is accurate and up to date. There may be a small fee for doing this.

The credit record of the person (or people) you're applying with will affect your application.

Make sure a joint account is right for you

Weigh up the pros and cons

Before setting up a joint account, it’s worth taking some time to decide if you really need one. While it does have many advantages, there are some risks that merging your money can have. 

For example, if one of you makes the account overdrawn, you’ll both be responsible for repaying the money. The person you open an account with, will also have access to any money you put in. If they spend this money, you won’t necessarily be able to get it back.

If a joint account isn’t right for you, explore our current accounts.

Set some rules for how you'll use the account

Making rules for how you’ll both manage your joint account will help things run smoothly. You may want to make rules, such as:

  • You'll both pay in the same (or a specific) amount every month
  • The account is only to be used for paying bills and rent

It’s useful to agree things upfront, so you’re both clear about what's expected.

Consider how you'll communicate

Agree to keep on top of your cash flow by communicating regularly. By doing this, you’ll both have a clearer idea of how much you’re spending and how much money is in the account.

Discuss how you'll manage any existing debt

If either of you has any existing debt, you’ll need to sit down and discuss how this will be managed in the future. Will you both work together to repay the debt? Or will the person who built up the debt be responsible for it? You'll be ‘co-scored’ when you apply for a joint account, so a poor credit score can affect your application.

Think about a joint saver

Opening a joint savings account is ideal if you have any money left in your joint current account at the end of the month. You could put this money towards a holiday together, or something for your home. It’s always worth agreeing what the money will be used for upfront.

Find out more about how to save money as a couple.