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Joint Account Agreements

If you decide to go in this direction, opening a community account is a similar process to opening an individual account. You and your partner must provide both information and identification. You can also add one partner to another`s existing account. As a co-owner, you can access the money without the other`s permission and withdraw it, and each of you can talk about the account at the bank without the other`s consent. If you hand out cash, write checks, and make online payments from an account, you can both see how the money is spent. It can help you make budgets together as a couple. With account activity visible to both of you, there may be less temptation to focus on discretionary items or make secret purchases. Separate accounts can also be useful if you and your partner are financially in different locations. For example, if one partner bears a lot of debt or has mismanaged money in the past, some degree of separation from the other can give a sense of security, at least until the debt is paid. (Third parties can take funds from a joint account to cover debts owed to one of the people.) Opening a joint account can also help you use features that may not be available to you as a single account holder. This is because pooling your money can help you meet the minimum credit requirements you qualify for functions such as waived maintenance fees, a higher interest rate, or rewards. You might consider opening a community account, but also keeping your accounts separate.

If so, talk to your bank about the interconnection of your two individual accounts with the community account. By tying them together, couples retain independent control of their current accounts, while sharing a joint account from which they can pay bills, manage budget expenses, contribute to savings, and take on other day-to-day financial tasks. This way, you have a common space to deposit money for mutual expenses or to save for future goals. A community account works like a standard bank account, except that two or more people own the account. You can use a joint account to merge your money. It`s as much for saving — you can save for common goals like a new home or new time off — as it is for expenses. With a joint account, you and your partner can pay for common budget expenses such as mortgages, car payments, incidentals, and food from the same place. Some couples feel more comfortable keeping their individual accounts.

If you put your accounts separate as they are, each person has the freedom to control the money they earn. . . .