Is it Wise to Opt for a Joint Bank Account?

If you are a fan of the classic Laurel and Hardy comedies, you may have surely watched their film ‘Thicker than Water’. In the film Hardy gets a jolt in the head for withdrawing money from the joint account held jointly with his wife. Although it may be a short film, but the ending of film correctly reflects the consequences of a joint account.

Many couples believe that the joint account is in their best interests. In fact financial experts may tell you that having a joint account is a good way to avoid probate when transferring money to your loved and dear ones. While having a joint account offers benefits, there are certain drawbacks of opting for a joint bank account.

Here you will learn about the risks of having a joint bank account for you and your partner so that neither part feel regret of polling funds later down the road.

Joint Bank Accounts: The Risks Unveiled

A joint account may signify a feeling of mutual trust between the partners, but the consequences can be far beyond what both the partners expect in case things get sour. The foremost risk of a joint bank account is that the poor credit history of one partner will affect the other.

Just living together will not affect credit ratings of the other partner. But once a joint account is opened both the partners will be ‘co-scored’. So, if one of the partners has a not-so-perfect credit score, it might be unwise to opt for a joint bank account.

Another risk of a joint bank account is that the partners will lose some privacy in how they spend the money. All the transactions from the account will be known to both the partners, which may create familial disputes between the partners.

Probably, the worst risk of a joint bank account is that one of the joint partners may secretly take out the money in which case there will be not many options apart from costly legal actions to get it back.

Lastly a risk of a joint account is that things may get messy in case one of the partners overdraws a large sum from the bank. This will make both the partners liable for repayment of the debt. That is why it is absolutely necessary that you close a joint bank account with an ex-partner.


You can open a joint account with anyone in the world including your husband/wife, parents, business partners, and even roommates. However, you should know that once you sign the papers and open the joint account, both of you will have 100% rights to the account. It doesn’t matter who opens the account or whose contributions make the majority of the account. In the legal eyes of the law, both the joint account holders are equal owners of the funds.

Although the wronged party may get back some of the account through legal action, but the time, effort, and tension involved in the process will certainly be great. There’s nothing that the bank can do to protect interest of any of the joint account holder if a person withdraws all the money from the account.