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What are the pitfalls of a joint credit card?

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Once a couple get married they want to start sharing everything, even credit card debt. It’s best to know what you’re getting yourself into before you sign up for the world of joint credit cards. There are advantages to signing your partner up with you but the pitfalls of a joint credit card outnumber the advantages.

For starters, both partners signed on the credit card can make charges on it and it’ll show up on both of their histories in the credit report. On one hand, a responsible partner can boost your credit score and on the other their irresponsibility can cost you a lot.

Pitfalls of a Joint Credit Card

Responsibility

A joint credit card is no easy business. It becomes the unending responsibility of both partners to use the card wisely and make payments on time. If your partner makes a mistake your card issuer can rightfully take legal action against you and you will end up paying for it. The pitfalls of a joint credit card have more to do with how good your partner is with financial management than money itself.

Disagreements

Another one of the more common pitfalls of a joint credit card are potential disagreements. Nearly 20% of joint credit card holders said they got into disagreements with their spouse because of the joint account. If you’re a new couple you’ll want to steer clear of a joint account for some time. A plastic card is not worth getting into a fight.

Splits and Divorces

Regardless of what your divorce decree might have written on it, your credit card issuer is going to come after you if your significant other refuses to pay the debt. The best thing to do in the case of an unfortunate split / divorce is to cancel the account before things get messy.

Privacy

Once you sign up for a joint credit card with your spouse you’ve bid your last option to financial privacy farewell.  If you think that full financial disclosure is going to cause distress in your relationship you might want to put off a joint account. Once you enter it there’s no going back without a quarrel.

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