Can I Share My Bank and Credit Accounts?

 Money Girl explains whether you can share your bank and credit accounts. 

Laura Adams, MBA,
January 31, 2012

Q. My domestic partner and I want to share our bank accounts and credit cards. What’s the best way to do this and how will it affect our credit scores? 

A. You can have a joint bank account with anyone—simply contact your institution and let them know what changes you’d like to make. Joint bank account owners each have access to 100% of the money in the account no matter who opened it or makes deposits. If one joint bank account holder dies, the full account balance automatically goes to the surviving owner(s). Bank account activity isn’t reported on your credit file, so this change would have no affect on either of your credit scores. 

For credit cards, it’s also easy to add an authorized user to an existing account by contacting your card company. However, you’ll have to jump through more hoops to become joint card owners. That’s because you must co-sign an application for a brand new account.

Each credit card co-owner is 100% responsible for the debt, no matter who makes the charges. Also, the payment history and available credit limit on a joint credit card is reported to each owner’s credit file. Therefore, positive transactions would boost both of your credit scores any late payments would damage them.

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