A joint personal loan could be an option for you and your partner, or other loved one, to consider. But there are benefits and risks to be aware of.
What is a joint personal loan?
A joint personal loan is a loan you take out with another person, such as a partner, family member or friend. The two people are called ‘co-borrowers’. Both people are equally responsible for repaying the loan. That means if one person can’t make repayments, the other person will be responsible.
Why take out a joint personal loan?
There are various reasons why a joint personal loan could be appealing. For example, you might be interested in sharing an asset (such as a car) with your family member, or you could be funding a joint expense (such as a wedding or holiday) with your partner.
Joint personal loans can also potentially give you access to a larger loan amount, as there will be two people repaying the amount borrowed, compared to just one. When you apply for a joint personal loan, the lender will consider the financial circumstances of both applicants, such as income and expenses, when it comes to deciding if they will be able to repay the loan (with interest) over time.
What are the risks of a joint personal loan?
Getting a loan with another person involves sharing financial responsibility. If your co-borrower is unable to make repayments, vanishes or refuses to pay it back, you will be responsible for the repayments. If you don’t, the lender can choose to chase one or both of you for the whole amount and can take one or both of you to court to recover the money.
Your credit score could also be negatively impacted and this can affect your chances of getting approved for a loan or for credit in the future.
It’s important to think about the person you are applying for a joint personal loan with. Are they reliable, or have they had a poor history of managing their money? If they are your current partner, are you likely to be with this person for the duration of the loan? Depending on your circumstances, there may be many different factors to consider before you commit to a joint personal loan.
How do you apply for a joint personal loan?
Applying for a joint loan is similar to applying for a regular loan. Generally, you will both need to provide your personal and financial details, which the lender will assess as one application instead of two. You will both need to meet the eligibility criteria.
Checking your credit score – and asking your co-applicant to do the same – may be helpful before you speak to prospective lenders.
What are some pros and cons of joint personal loans?
If you are considering a joint personal loan, here is an overview of the potential advantages and disadvantages.
- Potentially a greater chance of approval
- You may be approved for a larger loan
- Could be helpful if you are using the loan for a shared asset or expense
- You have to rely on the other person’s repayments
- You can be liable for the whole payment if the other person fails to make their repayments
- It may impact your relationship with your co-borrower
About the reviewer of this page
This report was reviewed by Canstar Content Producer, Caitlin Bingham. Caitlin is an experienced writer whose passion for creativity led her to study communication and journalism. She began her career freelancing as a content writer, before joining the Canstar team.