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I’m thinking of taking out a joint loan. What do I need to know?

Many couples, or some parents and children take out a joint loan or debt. The advantage is that you could borrow more than one person individually. But the down side is that each of you could be asked to pay the full loan if the other person doesn’t.

Joint loans can include:

• Secured loans – such as a mortgage

• Unsecured loans – for example a bank loan

• Overdraft on joint account 

Contrary to popular belief – if you take out a joint loan you are not responsible for your half or share of the of the loan. If you take out a joint loan you are agreeing to pay all of it if the other person can’t or won’t pay their share.

There is no difference either what kind of relationship you are in – for example married, in a civil partnership or no relationship at all.

If you have a joint mortgage and your husband, wife or partner dies you will be responsible for all of it. If you break up with a partner you have a joint account with and they run up the overdraft, you could face the bill for it. 

You need to be very careful about any joint agreements you enter into.

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