Joint credit cards – great idea or huge mistake?

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6-secrets-joint-creditWhen you enter into a long-term relationship, either co-habiting with your partner or getting married, you might start thinking about taking out financial products together. Many couples have shared bank accounts, but there is also the option to apply for joint credit cards. There is protection on the credit cards UK residents take out, but is it a good idea to get one with your partner? Let’s take a look at the main advantages and disadvantages you need to consider.

Reasons to get a joint credit card

When you and your partner share a credit card account, you will be able to:

  • Share bills. If you and your partner already share joint electricity bills, rent payments and a bank account, it is only natural that you would also share a credit card bill. You are also likely to use credit cards to purchase larger items (i.e. cars, home appliances) together.
  • Manage finances more easily. Having just one bill to pay can also make managing your finances easier, and knowing that the other person will see the bill can make both partners more aware of what they are spending each month.
  • Help your partner build up a good credit rating. If your partner has a poor credit history, you can help them improve it by taking out a joint credit card with them. This only works if you are able to pay all your bills on time and keep your credit card balance low.

Drawbacks of credit cards

Before you start to compare credit card products for couples, you need to think about the potential drawbacks as well as the advantages. Things to consider include the following:

  • When it comes to making payments, both of you are legally responsible. This means that if you fail to make payments, even for a transaction your partner made, you could be pursued for the money.
  • Arguments over joint credit cards could cause problems in the relationship. If one partner spends recklessly on a joint credit card, it could cause arguments and fallings out over who pays the bill. You should only take out a financial product of any kind with a partner if you have asked yourselves some important questions and have laid down some ground rules.
  • If you break up, managing the credit card could be very difficult. If you and your partner split up, the original terms for the joint credit card will still apply. You still need to make payments, but splitting the bill between you and your partner when you are no longer together can be a nightmare.
  • Your credit rating could be damaged. Taking out a credit card with someone who has a bad credit rating can harm your own score, especially if you split up and the other person doesn’t keep up with their payments.

 

 

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15 COMMENTS

  1. Both my husband and I have credit cards in our names with the other having a card for each account. We’ve only done this to secure credit on our own. Legally the main credit card we use is in his name, but a number of years ago I got one in my name so that if something happened to him I’d have an established line of credit in case I ever needed a loan of some kind.

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Meghan Cooper is a writer, content creator, movie critic, and geek living in Atlanta, Ga. She loves movies, traveling, and lots of coffee. Member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association, Georgia Film Critics Association, and Atlanta Film Critics Circle.

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