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Joint accounts: what you need to know

20 June 2023
• 3 minute read
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One of the biggest milestones of any relationship is pooling your finances. It’s sometimes the very last step couples take – even after they’ve moved in together, got married, or had kids. In fact, some couples never do it at all.

The reasons for putting it off are obvious enough. The idea that you might be giving up your financial independence can be a strong disincentive. But the truth is, if both parties are clear on exactly how it’s going to work, there are many benefits to opening a joint bank account or joint savings account.

In this article, we look at what these benefits are, but also touch on the kind of conversation you and your partner should have before deciding whether a joint account is the right move for you.

Benefits of a joint account

Here are some of the ways in which opening a joint bank account might work for you:

  • One account means you’re only paying one lot of fees, rather than multiple fees on separate accounts.
  • Some transaction accounts may not charge any monthly fees, which means you could save even more money.
  • Shared bills and regular payments are simpler and more convenient.
  • You get a clearer picture of your joint spending and saving.
  • No need to waste time transferring money between accounts.
  • A joint savings account means you get to enjoy reaching your goals together.

Is a joint account right for you?

You should really only open a joint account with someone you completely trust, like a long-term partner or a family member. Opening a joint account with someone you’ve only recently met or who is trying to forcibly persuade you into doing so should be avoided.

You should also be able to communicate openly and honestly about money matters with each other. In particular, being sure that you share similar saving and spending habits, as well as goals in life, should factor heavily in your decision.

It’s highly recommended that you have an open and honest conversation with your partner before opening a joint account, so you can be sure you’re on the same page.

Here are some things you should discuss before opening a joint account:

  • Will you be pooling everything into one, or will you keep separate accounts as well?
  • Will you be making equal payments into your joint account?
  • If you one of you earns more, would a percentage of your salaries be fairer?
  • Do you want to set spending and withdrawal limits?
  • What will the joint account be for? All bills? Just rent? Savings? Emergency fund?
  • Will you each have full authority to operate the account, or would you prefer certain actions to require permission from you both?
  • Do either of you have financial commitments outside your relationship such as debt or child support? If so, how are you going to tackle that?

Our joint account options

You can open a joint account on any of our transaction accounts:

You can also open a joint account on any of our savings accounts:

How to apply for a Great Southern Bank joint account

Here’s what you will both need to open a joint account with us:

  • An email address for each applicant
  • Phone numbers
  • One form of ID such as your driver’s licence, passport or Medicare card
  • Your member number (if you’re already a Great Southern Bank customer)
  • You must be aged 18 or over and be an Australian resident with an Australian residential address.

We’re here to help

If you have any questions or would like to discuss opening a joint bank account, feel free to call our friendly team on 133 282. Alternatively, you can always pop into your nearest branch for a chat.

Transaction accounts

Bank on a $0 monthly account fee, no strings attached. Our transactions accounts are packed with features designed to make your everyday a little easier.

Important Information

Great Southern Bank, a business name of Credit Union Australia Ltd ABN 44 087 650 959. AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 238317. Conditions, fees and charges apply. This is general information and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Consider the appropriateness of the information, including the Terms and Conditions (T&Cs) booklet, before acting on it. The Financial Claims Scheme may apply to this product; refer to the T&Cs for more information.

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