Joint Bank Accounts

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You may want more than one individual on your checking account. Huntington explains how you can add a person to your account at any time or open a joint bank account together.

a couple looks at their joint checking account on a tablet

What is a Joint Bank Account?

A joint bank account is a bank account that has two or more account holders. How joint bank accounts are arranged depends upon their purpose. Typically, they’re formed by spouses; domestic partners; parents and adult children; parents and minor children, often called student bank accounts; and business partners.

  • Personal joint bank accounts are more standardized and function just like an individual checking account. The only difference is that both individuals on the account can make transactions.
  • Joint savings accounts are a great way to maximize savings efforts with both (or more) people contributing to the savings fund.
  • Joint business accounts are typically used by partners of the business and can have special considerations like the structure of the business, size of the business, and industry.

Why Create a Joint Bank Account?

There’s a lot to consider when looking into a joint bank account. Here are some benefits and considerations:

Benefits of a Joint Bank Account:

  • Combining money with another person may make it easier to qualify for accounts with a higher minimum balance that may offer benefits such as more competitive interest rates, fewer fees, and rewards
  • Parents can monitor the spending and saving habits of their children
  • Shared expenses, such as rent, can be paid with a joint bank account
  • In the event of a death, the other account holder will have access to the account
  • For aging relatives, family members can help manage their finances

Considerations of a Joint Bank Account:

  • Some people prefer to keep their finances private from their partners
  • Since transactions can be made by either account holder without the other’s consent, potential overdraft fees could be charged if account holders aren’t keeping an eye on their account balance
  • Unpaid debts leave both parties vulnerable for creditors to pursue the account for settlements, even if only one party is in debt

Joint bank accounts can make paying household bills easier, and you can create a household budget, so you can see all incoming and outgoing funds. If an account is overdrawn, all account holders are responsible for correcting it, not just the person who made the offending transaction. This is why it can be important to stick to a budget and regularly check the amount of available funds to anticipate future purchases.

To help prevent these situations, account alerts can be set up so that account holders will get a text informing them of deposits, large withdrawals, and account balance thresholds. Mobile banking ensures that all your banking information is right at your fingertips. If you’re a Huntington customer, you can take advantage of The Hub, our digital banking tools.

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How to Open a Joint Bank Account

At Huntington, opening a joint bank account can be simple. New account holders can open a joint bank account online or visit a branch (both parties must be present to open a joint account in person). All account holders will need:

  • Social security number/card
  • U.S. Government issued ID
  • At least one account holder needs to be at least 18 years old

Existing account holders can visit any Huntington branch to convert their personal account into a joint bank account. All account holders, including the existing customers, will need to bring their social security number/card and U.S. Government issued ID.

Joint Bank Accounts for Couples

Many couples open a joint bank account to make it easier to pay shared bills and expenses, or to help save toward mutual financial goals – such as buying a house or saving for a vacation. With a joint account, it’s important to keep in mind your spending habits, and discuss with your partner when and how the joint bank account will be used.

To start, review your personal bills and expenses, and then list out your shared expenses. You’ll also need to determine how much you plan to contribute to your joint account and how often. You may choose to make equal deposits or contribute a certain percentage of your income.

From there, you and your partner will have a baseline (or minimal balance) of how much money needs to be deposited into the joint bank account to pay your shared bills. But you can always deposit more if you want to use the account for shared experiences such as going out to the movies or dinner or buying gifts for family and friends.

For this reason, some couples will open a joint bank account as an initial step in combining their finances, but also maintain their own personal accounts for their own discretionary spending. Most of the time, banks can make it easy for your personal account(s) to be linked to a joint account to make it easier to transfer funds between them.

Joint Bank Accounts with Elderly Relatives

If you help manage the finances for an elderly parent or relative, you may want to consider opening a joint bank account. The elderly are frequent victims of financial scams and having a diligent co-owner may be able to catch these problems early.

By becoming a joint account owner, you can help monitor transactional activity by watching out for unusual withdrawals and checking for proper deposits like distributions from retirement accounts or Social Security payments. Also, as a joint account holder, you can easily deposit money when their balance gets low or withdraw money to pay for medical care or any other expenses you manage on their behalf.

Who Owns the Money in a Joint Bank Account?

All account holders equally own the money in a joint bank account. The joint account is an asset to all co-owners. This can have financial implications when it comes to taxes, personal loans, mortgages, student loans, and other financial situations§.

Tax considerations are personal and unique to everyone, and your tax professional can help you with any questions you may have. A Huntington banker can help answer questions about how joint bank accounts factor into loans. Our affiliate, The Huntington Financial Advisors® (HFA), is available to customers who want more information about how joint accounts work with wealth management and estate planning.

Message and data rates may apply.

Elderly Fraud Scams: How They’re Being Targeted and How to Prevent It,” Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, Accessed January 2020.

§ Roxanne Hawn. “Risks of Joint Bank Accounts.” Bankrate. March 8, 2019.

Huntington Financial Advisors® is a service mark and trade name under which The Huntington Investment Company offers securities and insurance products and services. The Huntington Investment Company is a registered broker-dealer, member FINRA and SIPC, and registered investment adviser with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Huntington Financial Advisors® is a federally registered service mark of Huntington Bancshares Incorporated.

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The information provided is intended solely for general informational purposes and is provided with the understanding that neither Huntington, its affiliates nor any other party is engaging in rendering tax, financial, legal, technical or other professional advice or services or endorsing any third-party product or service. Any use of this information should be done only in consultation with a qualified and licensed professional who can take into account all relevant factors and desired outcomes in the context of the facts surrounding your particular circumstances. The information in this document was developed with reasonable care and attention. However, it is possible that some of the information is incomplete, incorrect, or inapplicable to particular circumstances or conditions. NEITHER HUNTINGTON NOR ITS AFFILIATES SHALL HAVE LIABILITY FOR ANY DAMAGES, LOSSES, COSTS OR EXPENSES (DIRECT, CONSEQUENTIAL, SPECIAL, INDIRECT OR OTHERWISE) RESULTING FROM USING, RELYING ON OR ACTING UPON INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT EVEN IF HUNTINGTON AND/OR ITS AFFILIATES HAVE BEEN ADVISED OF OR FORESEEN THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES, LOSSES, COSTS OR EXPENSES.