The risks of sharing a bank account with housemates

31 . 05 . 17

So you’re moving in with your best mate or partner and are trying to figure out how to manage the money. Opening a joint bank account probably seems like the best option, however there are some risks that you should be aware of before you make this decision.

Not all bank accounts treat both account holders equally.

Sometimes there is a ‘lead’ account holder who may be able to take actions without the agreement or signature of other account holders. You’ll need to make sure that you create an account that gives all account holders equal access. You’ll also need to make sure that everyone understands the authorised permissions you will all have – individually and collectively.

Joint bank accounts can affect your credit score.

If anything goes pear shaped with the joint account that has your name attached, this can adversely affect your credit rating. Furthermore, in some cases if you’re sharing a financial account with somebody else, potential lenders may check any associated persons. If they have a poor credit history, this could affect your suitability for loans.

All names on the bank account can withdraw funds at any time.

Access limits are recommended to prevent over withdrawing funds. However, most banks implement a daily access limit, which would require you to keep track of what is going in and out of the account.