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Joint bank accounts

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What is a joint bank account?

 

A joint account is a way of sharing a bank account between two or more people – usually yourself and your partner, or others you live with.

A joint current account can be a convenient way to manage your finances with someone else, especially if you have shared outgoings like rent, utility bills or mortgage payments. If you’re looking to open a joint bank account, it can feel complicated as there are so many different accounts with various perks and benefits.

When you compare current accounts with MoneySuperMarket, we’ll do the hard work for you. We can compare joint bank accounts from a broad range of providers, helping you  find a joint bank account that best suits you and your financial goals.

How do joint bank accounts work?

If you’re considering opening a joint account here are some things to consider:

  • Control of your finances

    With a joint account, both people can have their income paid into the account. You’ll both have joint access and be able to make debit card or contactless payments and set up direct debits or standing orders

  • Separate spending

    You can choose to have a separate bank account for your personal spending and a joint account for shared household bills like your rent, mortgage payments, utility bills and food shopping

  • Joint responsibility

    If your joint account goes overdrawn, each joint account holder is responsible for paying back the amount owed. This effectively means you could end up responsible for paying the other person’s debts

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Can I set up a joint bank account online?

It’s quick and easy to compare current accounts with MoneySuperMarket and find the best one for you. Click directly through to your chosen provider to complete your online application for a joint account. 

 

 

You and other account holders will just need to:

  • Provide proof of address, such as a utility bill or other bank statement

  • Provide proof of identity, such as a passport or driver’s licence

For a joint account all account holders will need to be 18 or over and live in the UK.

How to choose the best joint bank account

The best joint account for you will depend on your personal circumstances and financial goals – so, before you apply, you’ll need to decide what bank account features are most important to you. Here are some of the key factors to consider when choosing a joint account:

  • Access and convenience

    Most banks will let you access your joint current account online or with their app, where you’ll be able to see your balance and transactions at any time. You should also be able to set up standing orders or direct debits, and transfer money to a savings account if you wanted to. 

  • Rewards on your banking

    If you never go overdrawn, a joint account that pays cashback or rewards could suit you best. Some current accounts offer you cashback when you pay your bills or make certain transactions. Some banks offer a cash incentive when you switch so this may be worth looking out for.

  • To earn interest on your balance

    If your account is typically in credit (meaning you don’t go overdrawn), you may want a joint account that pays interest on your credit balance. Some joint accounts pay a better interest rate than savings accounts. But there are usually limits on the interest paid.

  • To gain extra benefits

    You may prefer to open a joint account that comes with extra benefits like travel and mobile phone insurance – known as a packaged account. And with a joint packaged account, both account holders should get the add-ons and you’ll only need to pay one fee

Pros and cons of a joint bank account

Not sure if a joint account is the right option for you? Here are some potential advantages and disadvantages of joint accounts:

  • Easy to manage household finances

  • Must be able to trust the other account holder with your money

  • Earn more interest as there’s often more money in a joint account than a sole account

  • You’ll be jointly responsible for overdraft debt even if you didn’t spend it

  • If you decide on a joint packaged account, you’ll get extra benefits and only pay one account fee

  • Your credit history will be linked to other account holders and could be negatively affected

 

 

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Will a joint bank account affect my credit score?

When you open a joint account, the credit record of the other account holder will have an impact on your own score. So, if they have a history of bad credit or run into financial problems, it could affect your eligibility for credit further down the line. On the plus side, if they have a spotless credit record it could make it easier for you to borrow money.

There are some simple steps you can take to improve your credit score, such as building your credit history and getting on the electoral role. Looking to improve your credit score? Credit Monitor gives you insight into your credit rating, letting you know what you’re doing well and tips to improve your score.

 

How to compare joint bank accounts with MoneySuperMarket

We can take the hard work out of finding a joint current account to suit you

  • Results

    Browse our providers

    Click through to search the market to find the best joint current account for your needs, including any cash incentives to switch

  • Filter icon

    Filter and sort

    Use our handy filters to narrow down your options based on the type of current account you need

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    Click through to provider

    When you find the deal you want, click straight through to the provider to complete your application. Sit back while your new bank takes care of the switch

 

You don’t need to be married to open a joint bank account. You can open a joint account with any other person, from a partner to a housemate, as long as both of you are aged 18 or over and living full-time in the UK.

 

With a joint account, the money in the account belongs to both joint account holders. This means both account holders have the right to withdraw, transfer or deposit money into the account – and they don’t need the permission of the other account holder to do this.

 

If the relationship breaks down, or your housemates decide to go their separate ways, you may want to close the joint account. You can then divide the money between you, but the bank will need all account holders to agree – usually in writing. Alternatively, you could also change the account into one name only. Again, the bank would usually need the written permission of all parties.

If it’s a joint account with a partner, and you’re struggling to communicate, either one of you can cancel the mandate. The account is then frozen so no one can use it, including you. The bank will only close the account when everyone agrees how to split the money. If you can’t reach an agreement, you may need to go to court for an agreement to be reached.

 

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