Many or all companies we feature compensate us. Compensation and editorial research influence how products appear on a page. Personal Loans Joint Personal Loans for Married Couples Updated Feb 05, 2024   |   7-min read   |   This article has been reviewed by a Certified Financial Planner™ for accuracy. Written by Jerry Brown Written by Jerry Brown Expertise: Credit, debt management, personal loans, student loans Jerry Brown is a freelance personal finance writer who lives in New Orleans. He covers a range of personal finance topics, including credit, personal loans, and student loans. Learn more about Jerry Brown Reviewed by Erin Kinkade, CFP® Reviewed by Erin Kinkade, CFP® Expertise: Insurance planning, education planning, retirement planning, investment planning, military benefits, behavioral finance Erin Kinkade, CFP®, ChFC®, works as a financial planner at AAFMAA Wealth Management & Trust. Erin prepares comprehensive financial plans for military veterans and their families. Learn more about Erin Kinkade, CFP® Our top pick for lenders offering joint personal loans is LightStream due to low rates and no fees. The company requires good credit to get a loan, so if you have fair credit we suggest starting with Upgrade. If you’re married and want to improve your chances of qualifying for a personal loan and securing a lower rate, adding your spouse as a co-borrower on a loan application is a possible solution—if you apply with a lender that offers joint personal loans. We researched the best joint personal loans for married couples and other options to help with your search. And we cover the pros and cons of these loans to help you assess whether they’re a good fit for you and your partner. In this guide: Lenders offering joint personal loansHow are joint loans unique for married couples?How do lenders consider credit scores for joint loans?Pros and cons of a joint personal loanJoint personal loans vs. using a cosignerShould you apply for a joint personal loan? Lenders offering joint personal loans It’s important to remember that not all lenders offer joint personal loans. If you’re interested in applying for one, find an accommodating lender whose loan terms meet your needs. Lenders have different criteria for who qualifies for joint personal loans. As with other loans, the higher your credit score, the lower the interest rate the lender will offer. Below are our top picks from partner lenders offering unsecured joint personal loans. Unsecured loans don’t require you to put up collateral (such as your home, investment property, or bank account) to back the loan. LenderBest forKey featuresLightStreamExcellent creditAPRs starting from 7.99% (with autopay) and excellent creditFunds available as soon as the same dayMinimum credit score of 660UpgradeFair creditAPRs starting from 8.49%Check rates without hurting your credit scoreQuick fundingSoFiGood creditAPRs starting from 8.99%Large loan amountsUnemployment protectionAchieveChoosing payment dateAPRs starting from 7.99%Accessible to borrowers with fair credit Flexible repayment terms Best for excellent credit: LightStream View Rates Editorial rating: 4.8 out of 5 Rate Beat program: Will beat a competitor’s offer by 0.10% APR if approved for a lower rate elsewhereUnique satisfaction guarantee: Borrowers who are not satisfied with their loan experience can get a $100 refundLoan amounts: $5,000 – $100,000 LightStream ranks as our best overall personal loan lender offering joint loans. With low rates, no fees, and a Rate Beat program that will beat any rate a competitor offers by 0.10 percentage points, LightStream is a terrific option for those with excellent or good credit. When you fill out a LightStream application, you can select “joint application” for the application type to apply with your spouse. Credit score category: Good to excellent (660+)Soft credit pull to check rates? NoDeposit time: As soon as the same dayOrigination fee: 0%Late fee: NoneAPR range: 7.99% – 25.99%Discounts: 0.50% interest rate reduction for enrolling in autopayRepayment terms: 24 – 144 months Best for fair credit: Upgrade View Rates Editorial rating: 4.9 out of 5 Credit health tool to monitor your credit score and get personalized recommendationsLoan amounts: $1,000 – $50,00015-day grace period before late fee is assessed Upgrade is a solid joint loan option for borrowers with bad or fair credit and those who need smaller loans. You can check rates without affecting your credit score, and eligibility is based more on free cash flow than other lenders. You can add your spouse as a co-applicant while filling out a prequalification application. Credit score category: Fair, bad (560+)Soft credit pull to check rates? YesDeposit time: As soon as the next dayOrigination fee: 1.85% – 9.99%Late fee: $10APR range: 8.49% – 35.97%Repayment terms: 24 – 84 months >>Read more: Should you apply for a personal loan with a co-applicant? Best for good credit: SoFi View Rates Editorial rating: 5 out of 5 Unemployment protection allows pausing loan payments in case of job lossFast, easy application: Get a decision in minutesLoan amounts: $5,000 – $100,000 SoFi might be a fit for applicants with good to excellent credit who need to take out a large loan amount. SoFi offers loans up to $100,000, offers competitive rates, and there are no fees required. Plus, if you make on-time payments for at least nine months and lose your job through no fault of your own, you may qualify for its unemployment protection program. You can add your spouse as a co-borrower while completing the application process, according to a SoFi representative. Credit score category: Good to excellentSoft credit pull to check rates? YesDeposit time? As soon as the same business dayOrigination fee: 0% to 6%Late fee: NoAPR range: 8.99% – 23.43%Repayment terms: 24 – 84 months Best for choosing payment date: Achieve View Rates Editorial rating: 4.8 out of 5 On the phone or online, get help from a dedicated loan consultantLoan amounts: $5,000 – $50,000Same-day decision, with funds sent in 24 – 72 hours With a minimum credit score requirement as low as 620, Achieve is an accessible option for borrowers with fair credit. Repayment terms range from two to five years, and it offers a competitive starting APR. Achieve allows you to add your spouse as a co-applicant while filling out its prequalification form. Credit score category: Fair (620+)Soft credit pull to check rates? YesDeposit time? As soon as the next business dayOrigination fee: 1.99% – 6.99%Late fee: $15 (grace period of 10 days)APR range: 7.99% – 35.99%Repayment terms: 24 – 60 months How are joint loans unique for married couples? When you apply for a joint personal loan for married couples, the process is similar to completing an individual application. The difference, however, is that a lender evaluates your and your spouse’s credit scores, incomes, and debt-to-income ratios. A joint personal loan will appear on your credit report and your spouse’s. You’re also legally responsible for this shared debt regardless of what happens to the marriage. For example, if you and your co-borrower file for divorce, the debt often remains in both names. If you and your spouse default on a joint personal loan, it could cause significant harm to both of your credit reports. The loan will remain on both of your credit reports even if you or your spouse can no longer access funds or the goods you purchased with them. In addition, if one partner files for bankruptcy or dies, the other partner still has to repay the debt. How do lenders consider credit scores for joint loans? When you apply for a joint personal, most lenders weigh your and your spouse’s credit scores equally. According to the lenders we contacted, they don’t average your credit scores together. How each credit score affects your rate depends on the lender’s proprietary credit scoring model. Pros and cons of a joint personal loan Before you and your spouse take out a joint personal loan, weigh the pros against the cons. Pros Possible lower interest rate Applying with your spouse might help you qualify for a lower rate, especially if they have better credit than you. Possible higher loan amount If your spouse has a steady income, adding them may help you qualify for a more significant loan amount. Shared responsibility By using a joint personal loan, you and your spouse can plan and budget for repayment together. Cons Can harm both of your credit scores If the loan isn’t repaid on time or if you default, it will cause serious harm to your credit and your spouse’s. Both applicants must meet a lender’s eligibility requirements When you apply for a joint personal loan, you and your spouse must meet a lender’s requirements to get approved. Surviving partner must repay the loan If one partner dies, the other is responsible for repaying the debt. Joint personal loans vs. using a cosigner When you apply for a joint personal loan, you take the same steps as you would to apply for a personal loan with a cosigner. However, a crucial difference is that if you take out a joint personal loan for married couples, you and your partner can both access the loan funds. But if you apply using a cosigner, only the primary borrower has access to the loan funds. Below is a table highlighting key differences between co-borrower and cosigner personal loans. JointWith a cosignerWho can access the money?Both applicantsPrimary borrowerWhose credit information affects eligibility?Both applicantsBoth applicantsWho carries the debt?Both applicantsPrimary borrower, but the cosigner is responsible for repaying the debt if the primary borrower defaults Should you apply for a joint personal loan? Whether you should apply for a joint personal loan depends on your and your spouse’s financial situation. It might be wise if your household could repay a joint personal loan. However, if taking one out would stretch your budget too thin, it makes better sense to explore alternative options. If you and your spouse decide a personal loan makes sense, compare rates and terms from multiple lenders to find the best deal for you before submitting a loan application.