If you share financial commitments with someone, a joint bank account can make managing your money more straightforward. They can be especially useful for couples that live together or housemates who are good friends.

A Starling joint account can be set up by two people with Starling personal accounts, straight from the app. Both people listed on the joint account can set up payees, make payments and spend from the account.

You’ll each be sent a debit card (with our new distinctive design, featured in the image above). And you’ll have full transparency of each other’s payments into the account and outgoings, which should save time on seeing who owes what for your shared holiday or house bills.

Opening a joint account is not something to rush into though; you need to trust the person you’re applying with. Before applying, we suggest having an open conversation about money, ideally covering the following points.

Credit scores

Credit scores measure how well you pay back debt. And can impact how much and what type of credit you can secure, including a potential mortgage.

When you open a joint account with someone, your credit histories will be linked, meaning that your credit score could be impacted by theirs and vice versa. Before you apply for a joint account, why not check and compare your credit scores?

Savings

If you’re planning to renovate a co-owned flat or buy a new car with your partner, you may want to save for these goals together. With a Starling joint account, you can keep savings for joint projects organised, with Saving Spaces. This feature enables you to ring-fence money from your main balance.

Before moving any savings across, talk about the approach you want to take - will you both add the same amount into the account? Remember that both people will be able to spend whatever you put into the account, so you may feel more comfortable keeping savings in an individual current account and only moving funds across for specific joint payments, such as a holiday.

Budgeting

To gain more control and insight into your joint monthly spending, you might want to create a joint budget. To do this, you should calculate how much you need for essential outgoings such as rent/mortgage, electricity, council tax, WiFi and childcare.

Next, talk about how you plan to split these outgoings. Will it be 50-50, with each person adding the same amount each month? Or do you want to make payments proportional to what each person earns? For example, if you’re sharing the rent with your partner and you earn a third more than them, will you pay a third more rent?

Spending habits

It’s worth knowing what each other’s spending habits are before making a financial commitment to someone by opening a joint account. Otherwise, you could end up arguing about what the joint account should and shouldn’t be used for after money has been spent.

With a Starling joint account, you’ll both receive instant notifications whenever money leaves or enters the account. These can prompt further conversations about spending habits once you’re up and running.

Trust

Joint accounts are for two people who trust each other. Will you be happy for someone else to see your spending? Do you think they’ll check in with you before making a large payment? It’s worth noting that if your joint account goes overdrawn, you’ll both be responsible for the debt.

Make sure that you feel comfortable talking to each other about your worries, financial priorities and goals. And keep that conversation going, especially if you decide to set up a joint account together.

How to apply for a joint account

Two Starling personal customers can apply for a Starling joint account in minutes. There’s no need to visit a branch or fill out any paperwork - simply open the main menu of your Starling personal accounts, click ‘Open a new account’ and follow the instructions, all from the comfort of the sofa.

The above article is intended as general information and does not constitute advice in any way. You should take independent legal advice if you have any questions about your specific circumstances.

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