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When couples marry, their financial lives become intertwined. Even with two incomes, sometimes couples need extra money for expenses.
Vehicle repairs, home improvements, medical expenses, credit card debt, and moving expenses can quickly add up. For many couples, applying for a personal loan is the ideal solution, but they must determine whether to do it jointly or individually.
By applying for a joint personal loan, a married couple may qualify for larger loans and better rates than individual applicants. This is often true if the primary applicant has an average or poor credit score.
On this page:
- How are joint loan applications unique for married couples?
- Should you apply for a joint personal loan as a couple?
- Joint personal loans: pros and cons
How are joint loan applications unique for married couples?
When applying for joint personal loans, much of the actual application process remains the same. The difference is that credit score, income, and other pertinent financial information (debt to income, etc.) for both parties is utilized by the lender.
This process is similar to what is required of personal loans with a co-applicant. But the long-term rights and responsibility with a personal loan to married couples is immediately shared. A co-signer, on the other hand, assumes responsibility for the debt if the original applicant fails to pay it, but they do not have any rights to the funds or property.
Further, a joint personal loan will appear in full on both credit reports, meaning the debt is shared, not divided. The shared debt is legally binding regardless of what happens to the marriage. For example, if the couple files for divorce, the debt will remain in both names.
A lack of payment, even if one partner no longer has access to funds or the goods purchased with them, will still impact the credit reports of both parties. Similarly, if one partner files bankruptcy or dies, the other partner remains fully responsible for the debt.
Should you apply for a joint personal loan as a couple?
Whether or not you should apply for a joint personal loan as a couple depends on a variety of factors. Many experts cite the nature and purpose of the loan as a major consideration when evaluating a joint loan application.
However, for items that will be used solely by one party, then an individual loan or a loan with a cosigner may be a better idea. This is particularly true for personal loans for property that is typically considered to be “owned” by one individual, like a car.
While some lenders don’t offer joint personal loans, many do, including Wells Fargo and LendingClub. If you’re considering applying for a joint personal loan from one of these lenders, you can check out our reviews to learn more.
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Joint personal loans: pros and cons
- Potential for lower interest rates than if you applied on your own.
- By using a joint personal loan, both individuals can plan and budget for the repayment of the loan rather than one spouse being left out.
- Defaulting during repayment can impact the credit history of both individuals.
When two people marry, they share financial needs. At times, this means identifying ways to meet financial obligations without cash on hand. Joint personal loans can provide a way to fulfill those obligations.
Several lenders allow married couples to submit joint loan applications online, increasing their chances at obtaining funds. Compare the best personal loans to find an option that best fits your needs.
Author: Jeff Gitlen
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