Updated: May 11, 2023

The Pros and Cons of a Joint Checking Account

Outweigh both the pros and cons of a joint checking account before you decide to make the commitment of opening one.
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If you are familiar with banking, you have probably heard of a joint checking account. Whether you were recently married or are considering opening one for you and a loved one, it's important to carefully weigh the pros and cons of this type of account.

Before making a commitment, there should be a great deal of discussion, thought, and research dedicated towards considering this option. It's understandable to have reservations as opening an account with someone else can lead to either a newfound trust or a series of headaches and a strained relationship.

Therefore, it's crucial for both parties involved to analyze the pros and cons of a joint checking account.

1. Multiple sources of income

A big benefit of a joint checking account is that when both people make regular contributions, there are more funds available in the account. This could make it easier to avoid paying for things like overdraft fees.

2. Work towards financial goals

Chances are if you decided to open a joint checking account with a spouse, family member, or close business partner, you have some type of financial commitment both of you must uphold. Creating a joint checking account can further solidify that bond and obligation and help you feel comfortable in sharing financial goals. The two of you could create these goals together. A big benefit of a joint account is that it holds you both accountable to actually meet financial goals.

3. Build Trust

It is crucial that you trust the other person you are opening an account with. See if you can successfully manage a joint checking account for at least one year. Both people involved can feel at ease in knowing the other person is a responsible individual when it comes to money management.

4. No limitations

Be aware that if you open a join account, the money is accessible without limitations. So the only time you want to open a joint checking account with someone is when you have absolute trust that they won't take advantage of you. The other account holder could easily wait for you to make a big deposit and then take out all of the money and close the account.

5. Irresponsible children could empty an account

Opening a joint account with a child may sound promising to help teach him or her the value of money, but this can quickly backfire. Your child could splurge on things like shopping or an expensive meal. Think twice before opening a joint account with a child. You may first want to test him or her with a credit card that has a manageable limit, or even with a prepaid card. Once they prove themselves worthy and can show they are responsible with spending, then you may want to consider opening a joint account.


6. Credit repercussions

Opening a joint account with an irresponsible person can force you to deal with debt collectors. These people could threaten the funds in the joint account if one person uses the account as collateral after defaulting on a loan. Poor management of the funds could also lead to a delinquent checking account. Negative marks on the checking account could result with both parties ending up in ChexSystems, which is a network is comprised of member financial institutions that regularly contribute information on closed checking and savings accounts.

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