Joint loans for couples: Can you apply for a loan with your partner?

Considering a joint loan as a couple? Can you apply for a loan with your partner? Freedom Finance's latest guide to Joint Loans for Couples sorts it all out for you.

Can I make a joint application? Of course, you don’t have to tackle everything alone in life, especially with opportunities like joint loans for couples available to you.

Whether it’s living costs, rent, or insurance – when you’re in a relationship, your finances often come together as one.

If you’re looking to borrow money—particularly if you’re planning to spend it together—it’s only logical that you borrow together too. But is it the best way to borrow?

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about applying for joint loans for couples. This includes the benefits, key things to consider, and how to start your application.

What are joint loans for couples?

A joint loan is very much the same as a typical loan, only two people are included on the application instead of one.

A couple may choose to make a joint loan application for a number of reasons. Some of the most common include:

  • If you want to spend the money on something that’s for you both, such as a car, holiday, or making home improvements;
  • If one person cannot get approved for a loan on their own;
  • If one person is unsure they will be able to keep up repayments on their own;
  • If you’re looking to borrow a higher amount than one of you is likely to be granted on your own.

How do joint loans work?

Joint loans work very much in the same way as any standard secured loan or unsecured personal loan.

First, you select a lender, and make an application. The lender will then run a hard check on your credit report to determine whether you are eligible. Once the loan is approved and you accept the terms, you receive the funds and are required to repay the debt in an agreed series of monthly repayments. Once the debt is repaid, along with any interest or additional fees, the account will be closed.

The big difference when it comes to joint loans for couples is that you make the application together. This means the lender will run a hard credit check on both of you, evaluating your application as a combined whole.

If you are approved and accept the loan agreement, it also means that you will be jointly liable for the debt. This part in particular is important to keep in mind.

Who is liable for joint debt?

When you have joint liability for a debt, it means that you are both equally and individually responsible for the full amount—not just your half. If one of you stops repaying the debt for any reason, the other is still liable to repay it all.

It’s also worth noting that, if a repayment is missed, both of your credit scores will be affected.

For this reason, it’s important to communicate with your partner, agree on how things will work, and make sure you are on the same page.

Advantages of joint loans for couples

  • Could help you to get approved, if your partner has a strong credit score;
  • May enable you to borrow a higher amount;
  • Can help to make managing monthly repayments easier, if two people are contributing.

Disadvantages of joint loans for couples

  • You are both responsible for repaying the full amount, not just your half;
  • Both of your credit scores are affected if loan repayments are missed;
  • You will still need to repay the debt if you end the relationship.

Are joint loans for married couples different than if you’re not married?

There is no difference between taking out a joint loan as a married couple, or if you are not in a relationship at all. Ultimately your application will be based on your combined credit history and income, and you will both be liable to repay the debt.

Which types of loans offer joint applications?

When borrowing jointly as a couple, you will generally either be taking out a secured loan, or an unsecured loan together.

Secured loans for couples

A secured loan is the most common form of loan that a couple might take out.

These are loans offered to homeowners, which “secure” the debt against your property as a form of collateral.

This means lenders will be more willing to offer larger amounts, or are more likely to approve if you have a lower credit score.

Secured homeowner loans range from £5,000 to over £500,000.

It is important to note that your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments.

Unsecured loans for couples

An unsecured loan primarily uses your credit score as an indication of your eligibility. If as a couple you each have good credit scores, and you’re not looking to borrow higher amounts, then an unsecured loan may be the way to go.

Unsecured personal loans typically range from £500 to £35,000.

If you have a lower credit score, it doesn’t mean you won’t be able to borrow. Instead, you may be offered less than you had hoped, or with a higher interest rate.

Can a couple apply for a joint credit card?

In the UK, you cannot apply for a joint credit card. Ultimately the credit card will have to be in one person’s name.

However, in some cases you can add a partner to your credit card account as an additional cardholder, though the account will still be in your name and only your credit score will be affected by any activity on the account.

When should you consider a joint loan for couples?

Here are the common reasons why you might want to consider a joint loan application:

  • You want to borrow money, but are unsure whether you’ll be able to manage the repayments on your own;
  • You have a lower credit score, but your partner has a high credit score;
  • You want to borrow a higher amount than you’re able to alone.

Generally speaking, it is easier for one person with higher credit to take out an unsecured personal loan. With secured loans, the process will be similar, regardless of whether one or two people are applying—like taking out a mortgage.

A joint loan application makes the most sense when you are trying to borrow a higher amount than either of you could alone. For this reason, it’s also common for joint loan applications to be for secured homeowner loans.

Are joint loans available for couples with bad credit?

Your credit score is a representation of your borrowing history, based on your credit report. Lenders use this to determine whether your application fits their eligibility criteria for approval.

A good credit score will indicate to lenders that you have a history of reliable borrowing and repayment. As a result, they will be more likely to approve your application and offer favourable rates.

A low credit score may tell lenders that you’ve missed repayments on debts in the past, or simply that you haven’t borrowed before.

It doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be approved for a joint loan as a couple with bad credit, but it may result in a lower offer than you had hoped, or higher interest rates.

Fortunately, as a broker, we help to search the market for lenders that are most suitable for applications with a low credit rating. You can easily check your individual loan eligibility with our eligibility checker, which uses some basic information to perform a soft search that won’t affect your credit report.

What can couples use a joint loan for?

It’s up to you how you want to use your money, but some of the most common reasons a couple might apply for a loan together include:

Buy a new car

If you’re planning to share your new car, then you might prefer to take out a joint loan as a couple.

For more information on car loans, be sure to check our guide to car finance options.

Cover the costs of a home renovation

A joint loan can be a great way to cover the costs for a big home renovation, like an extension or an interior remodelling.

To learn more about home renovation loans, you can read our guide on how to finance home improvements.

Pay for a wedding

If you’re planning your big day and looking to take out a loan to cover the costs, a joint loan can help you get the funds to make your dream wedding a reality.

You can learn more about wedding loans in our guide to wedding finance.

How do you apply for a joint loan?

When it comes to joint loans for couples, the application process is very similar to the process of applying for a loan on your own.

Get help finding a lender

First you will need to find a lender that suits your circumstances and needs. We can help with this, by running a soft search against your credit history to identify suitable lenders, without affecting your credit score.

To check your joint eligibility, you can give us a call on 0800 432 0142 and the team will talk you through your options.

Make a joint loan application

Once you’ve found your ideal loan provider, you’re ready to make a joint application. The lender then will usually run a hard check on both of your credit reports to determine whether your combined application is eligible.

Review and accept the lender’s offer

If they are happy with their evaluation, the lender will then make you an offer, which will include the loan amount, the interest rate, the repayment schedule, and other details.

You should both carefully consider these terms and discuss whether they are practical and affordable, and ensure you are both confident you could continue to meet the requirements if you had to cover them yourself.

Once you are happy with the terms, you can jointly accept the agreement and the loan will be transferred to your account.

The agreement isn’t binding until you formally accept the offer, so you can take time to decide together whether you’re happy to go ahead.

Make use of your joint loan and start repaying

It’s then simply a case of repaying the joint debt according to the agreed repayment schedule. Once the debt has been repaid, along with any interest or additional fees, the process will be complete and your lender will close your account.

Start comparing lenders and find your perfect joint loan

Head to our eligibility checker to start comparing your individual eligibility for loans and lenders right away.

If you’re ready to start looking into your joint borrowing options, give us a call on 0800 432 0142. Our team will answer any questions you have, and can easily check if adding someone to your application will strengthen it.

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