From paying for a wedding to purchasing a property, there are loads of reasons why you may want to borrow money with your partner. But before you take out a joint loan, or any other form of joint credit, it’s important to know there are benefits and risks involved.
Advantages of borrowing money together
There are several advantages to taking out joint finance. For example, you may be able to get a larger mortgage if there are two of you applying, or you may have a better chance of being approved for a loan if there are two people who can comfortably make the repayments.
It may also be easier to handle repayments down the line if something happens that prevents you earning an income for a short period of time. If there’s two of you, you’ll ideally still have one income to fall back on.
Risks of taking a loan or overdraft as a couple
If you take out a joint loan, you’ll both be responsible for paying back the total amount of the loan, not just your half.1 So if one partner decides not to pay, the other will need to ensure the repayments are still met.
You may have a joint overdraft linked to your joint current account. Again, it’s important to remember that if you use your joint overdraft, you’ll both be responsible for paying back all the money which is overdrawn.
Risks of sharing a credit card
In the UK, you can’t get a joint credit card. This is because the credit agreement is only signed by one person.1 However, you can give your partner access to your credit card account by adding them as an additional card holder. They’ll get their own card to use which will be linked to your credit account.
Adding an additional card holder doesn’t make them responsible for anything they buy using the credit card. So, it’s important to only add people you really trust as you could be left having to repay the full debt.
Joint debt after separation
A relationship breakdown can be difficult and may affect your finances. Paying the mortgage after a separation and making repayments on any joint loans will still need to happen, but it’s worth letting your bank know if you have separated.
If you need to, your bank may be able to freeze any joint accounts. They may also be able to remove your partner from your credit card account if they've been added as an additional card holder. However, you'll still be responsible for repaying anything they may have spent on your credit card.
If you don’t need access to the funds right away, why not look at building up some savings in a joint savings account first? There are things you can do to help grow your savings quickly and it may reduce how much you need to borrow.