There are many reasons a bank would deny an individual a loan or line of credit, and some are more valid than others.
Two people may consider entering into a joint credit application for a myriad of reasons. Perhaps a married couple is looking to purchase a home or vehicle together. Or maybe a father is helping his child get a first credit card to build responsible credit. Occasionally when some people attempt to open a line of credit or take out a loan, the bank will deny them for lack of credit or bad credit.
Those who are just starting to play the credit game have a slim chance of being able to take out a sizeable loan. Even if cell phone bills are paid on time and rent is always delivered a week in advance, in the banks’ eyes, these people haven’t proven yourself financially responsible. People caught in credit limbo are pretty much faced with a Catch-22. Those lucky enough to get a line of credit are usually plagued with high interest rates.
Sometimes the bank will suggest for individuals caught in these circumstances to have another person cosign as a protective measure. The cosigner in this case is not only vouching that the other can and will have the funds for payment, but should the other person default on the loan, he/she will be responsible for the repayment. Share with each other your detailed credit score to get an idea of each other’s financial history. Before entering into a joint agreement, whether it is for a credit card or loan, it’s important to understand the benefits and risks involved.
Low Rate Credit Card Offer
With the St.George Vertigo Visa you will receive a great low rate on purchases plus pay a low rate on any balances transferred from other cards. This card also allows you to apply for joint-account applications.
- $55 p.a. annual fee
- 1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) on purchases
- 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers
- Cash Advance Rate of 21.49% p.a.
- Up to 55 days interest free
Benefits of joint credit card or co-signing a loan
It should go without saying that you better have a healthy and open relationship for anyone you wish to mix money. Involving your partner financially, whether via joint credit card or co-signing for a loan, with purchasing big-ticket items such as appliances, cars or a home is a great way to lock in a competitive interest rate. Moreover, there are two of you to contribute towards repayment. Two parties can both expedite the process and/or lessen the financial burden for each other.
Entering into a joint credit card gives two people the opportunity to consolidate their debts. Because two people are being held accountable, banks will be much more accommodating with larger lines of credit and a lower interest rate. Should the holders of the joint credit card live under the same roof, it’s an ideal situation for allowing both parties to pay for utilities or family memberships.
Sense of responsibility
With joint accounts comes a new sense of responsibility. It is almost easier for a person to accumulate debt when he or she feels like no one else is watching. A joint account may make a person think twice about a purchase since both people are accountable for all charges put on the card. It’s one thing to tell your wife you’re going out drinking with the boys. But it’s another to put it on the credit card where your wife can see just how much you spent. Before a husband orders another round for his buddies, it just might make him consider “What would my wife think when she sees I ran up a $150 bar tab?”
Joint agreements also prove beneficial when one person in the relationship is looking to build (or rebuild credit). If one partner has better credit than the other, it is not uncommon for the better credit partner to co-sign for a loan. This is dually advantageous:
- It allows the low credit person to receive a better interest rate
- It is an opportunity for the low creditor to build good credit.
Of course, consistent repayment will result in the increase of both co-signers credit score.Back to top
Risks of joint credit card or co-signing a loan
Before entering into the agreement, examine how the potential co-signor handles finances. If he or she is already a financial disaster, meaning paying bills late or not at all, it’s strongly advisable to put down the pen and walk away.
Credit card rating
The biggest risk to consider when applying for a joint credit card application is that you are putting your credit card rating in the hands of the co-signer. Any debts incurred after signing that paper ultimately will affect your credit card score. This opens the door for the co-signer to accumulate debt and leave you responsible for paying for it.
In addition to assessing the co-signor’s financial history, evaluate the type of relationship you two have. Marriages are easy to assess since you have already entered into a binding legal agreement. Long-term relationships give you ample time to see your partner’s spending habits. If you are considering co-signing with someone in newer relationships or even friendships, you may be operating on little information, which can be potentially dangerous. Familial relationships are of a completely different breed. Since you can’t choose your family like you can your friends and partners, treat these on a case by case basis.Back to top
Regardless of the relationship you hold with the person asking you to co-sign, if the person on your joint credit card application is late in making payments, then it is also reflecting badly on you and your credit may be tainted.
There is a widely held belief that relationships and money should never mix— this adage includes cosigning on a credit card or loan. Should you end up with debt and the relationship destroyed, it could ruin your credit. It is always better to air on the side of caution with joint credit card applications. If you have no doubts that the co-signer can make the payments, then help the person out in good faith. If someone does ask you to co-sign and you are unsure, then you should say no, and leave it at that. It may be tough for a while, but a good friend, significant other or spouse will get past it.
Joint Account Credit Cards Comparison
Rates last updated October 1st, 2016.
- St.George Vertigo Visa
Balance transfer and purchase offer have been extended until 4 January 2017.
September 30th, 2016
- Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Visa Credit Card
Intro APR of 1% for 12 months and BT offer of 0% for 18 months extended until 4 January 2017.
September 30th, 2016
- St.George Amplify Platinum
New bonus points offer of 30,000 upon sign-up which is valid until 4 January 2017.
September 30th, 2016