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What to know about shared accounts with your partner

August 18, 2020

There are lots of ways to manage your money when you’re a couple. Do you join accounts or keep them separate? Combining finances is a big decision and a discussion that nearly all couples will have at some point. Here are a few things to consider.

What’s your money management style? And what’s the style of your partner?

This question may drive how or if you decide to share financial accounts. If your styles are drastically different, it may make sense – and keep the peace – if accounts are kept separate. Other couples feel that combining accounts brings them closer and strengthens their relationships. What’s most important is that you find what works best for you and your partner.

Create a budget you can both agree to

Compromise applies to so many aspects in a relationship and your finances are no exception. Working on a budget together ensures you’re both on the same page when it comes to earning and spending money. Agree to a spending limit and make sure to communicate if one of you plans to go over it.

Credit impacts

Usually, credit scores belong to you alone. If you decide to open a joint account or sign a lease together, then your credit rating may be affected. Have honest communications early so you both fully understand each other’s credit history. For credit cards, understand the difference between a joint account holder and an authorized user.

Joint account holder: just as liable for the credit card balance as the
primary account holder.

Authorized user: not liable for the credit card balance.

Learn more about adding an authorized user to your credit card by visiting our Help Page > Additional Cardholders.

Blended options

It doesn’t have to be a clear choice between sharing or not sharing. You also have the option of doing both an individual account and a shared account. Many couples choose this option for a variety of reasons:

  • An easy way to pay shared expenses
  • Maintains some privacy in spending habits
  • Access to money if you or your partner die

No matter what path you choose, communication with your partner about your financial future is important. These conversations not only provide clarity about money but can also strengthen your relationship.

This information is presented for educational purposes only. It is not intended as, nor should it be construed to be, legal, financial or other professional advice. Please consult with your attorney or financial advisor to discuss any legal or financial issues involved with credit decisions.

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