What are joint personal loans?
A joint personal loan means 2 borrowers apply for a loan together. They complete a joint application and both people assume responsibility for repaying the loan.
But if one borrower stops making repayments, the other borrower will have to cover the costs. This is the biggest risk of a joint personal loan.
Why take out a joint personal loan?
Borrowing money with a joint personal loan can:
- Increase your chances of getting a loan approved.
- Let you borrow more than you could by yourself.
- Make it easier to cover the repayments.
Borrowers who haven't built up much credit history, or who can't meet a lender's eligibility criteria alone, may find it much easier to apply for a personal loan with a partner, friend or family member.
What do I need to know before applying for a joint personal loan?
Before you start your application, there are a few things to consider:
- If you are approved, you will assume equal responsibility for the loan with the person you are applying with. This means if either one of you becomes unable to repay, the other is still responsible for the repayments.
- Both applicants will need to meet the criteria for the personal loan.
- You may be eligible for a higher loan amount when submitting a joint personal loan application. It's important not to take on more of a loan than you need or can afford, even if you are approved for it.
- Joint personal loans are a serious responsibility. Consider the relationship you have with the person you're applying with and their financial situation. Is their job stable? What is their credit history like? Are they likely to default? These are the things you will need to think about when taking on the responsibility of a loan.
How do you apply for a joint personal loan?
You and the person you’re applying with will provide personal, employment and financial details as part of the application. This may be done in one application or in separate sections. The lender will consider the application details as a whole when considering both your eligibilities for the loan.
Pros and cons of joint personal loans
Here are some of the pros and cons:
- Increase your chances of approval. If you are on a lower income, self-employed or just want to bolster your application, a joint personal loan can be a way to do it. The details of both applicants will be considered by the lender.
- Share an asset. If you're planning to share the asset you're purchasing, such as buying a car with your partner, a joint application could make more sense than one of you applying by yourself.
- Get a larger loan. You may be eligible for a larger loan if you apply with a partner. As you both agree to manage the repayments, the lender will consider the income and financial situation of both applicants.
- Consolidate large debts. If you and your partner have large debts separately, you could both save by applying for a joint debt consolidation personal loan. Just make sure the new loan's fees and repayments work out cheaper than the original debts.
- Joint responsibility. If your co-borrower refuses to or is unable to meet repayments, you will likely have sole responsibility for paying back the loan.
- Risk of over-borrowing. Just because you can borrow more with a joint application doesn't mean you should. Do not borrower more than you can comfortably afford to repay.
- Relationship tension. Money can cause problems within any relationship. It's important to ensure that the person you are borrowing with is capable of repaying the loan alongside you, and emotionally responsible enough to share a debt with.
- Credit rating. If you or your loan partner defaults on the repayments, both of your credit ratings will take the hit.
Who can I apply for a joint loan with?
While people generally apply for joint personal loans with their partner or spouse, you are not limited to doing so. However, please be aware that you are only able to apply for a joint personal loan with 2 people, not more. You can choose to apply with:
- A parent. Getting a joint personal loan with a parent can help younger people to build their credit rating, while making it easier for them to qualify for finance. However, if you would prefer to have your own loan, but with the help of a parent, a guarantor personal loan could also be an option.
- Your sibling or relative. If you want to make a large joint purchase, or perhaps go on holiday with a sibling or other relative, you can take out a joint application personal loan with them to help you both cover the cost.
- A friend. There's nothing to prevent you from getting a joint personal loan with a friend. However, be aware that finances can cause a strain on relationships, and it can be risky to get a loan with a friend.
- Your partner. Getting a loan with your spouse or romantic partner is the most common form of joint personal loan.
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