Joint Checking Account Will Not Help or Hurt Your Credit

happy-couple-in-retirement

Through December 31, 2023, Experian, TransUnion and Equifax will offer all U.S. consumers free weekly credit reports through AnnualCreditReport.com to help you protect your financial health during the sudden and unprecedented hardship caused by COVID-19.

Dear Experian,

Does having a joint checking account bring down a person's credit score?

- WAG

Dear WAG,

A joint checking account is a bank account that belongs to two people, and it can be beneficial when coordinating finances with your partner or spouse. Checking accounts, including joint accounts, are not part of your credit history, so they do not impact credit scores.

Your credit report only includes information about your debts, and accounts have the same effect on your credit whether you are associated with the account as an individual or as a joint owner.

Checking Accounts Don't Appear on Your Credit Report

Information about assets such as checking account balances, savings account balances, certificates of deposit, individual retirement accounts, stocks, bonds or other investments are not part of a report and so do not impact credit scores.

The same is true for income information. Your salary or hourly wage is not part of your credit report. As a result, your income does not affect your credit scores.

That doesn't mean those financial resources are not considered in lending decisions. In fact, they may play an important part in being approved for credit. When applying for a loan, lenders typically ask for income information to help them assess your ability to repay a debt. For some types of loans, they may also ask for details about other assets you can tap to repay the debt if need be.

Your credit report and credit scores are just one part of the process. Demonstrating you have the financial resources to repay a debt and continue to make payments will play an important role in having your application approved.

What Information Appears on Your Credit Report

Your credit report includes:

  • Account information, such as credit cards, installment loans and any other credit-related information, such as bankruptcies or collection accounts. Each account listing will include information such as your payment history, balance history, the date the account was opened and your association to the account, such as whether the account is in your name only or if you are a joint account holder or an authorized user.
  • Personal identification information, such as current and previously used names and addresses, your date of birth, any phone numbers or employers that have been reported by your creditors. This information has no impact on credit scores.
  • A list of any requests for your credit history, also called inquiries. You will see two types of inquiries on your credit report: hard inquiries and soft inquiries.
  • Keep in mind that soft inquiries are not seen by others checking your credit report and will not affect your credit scores. Soft inquiries are typically added to your report when you check your own credit, when a company you already do business with reviews your report, or when a lender sends you a preapproved offer of credit.
  • Hard inquiries are typically added to your report when your credit is checked because you've submitted an application for credit. These inquiries have the potential to temporarily lower your credit score by a few points.

Check Your Credit Report for Free With Experian

Reviewing your credit reports regularly can help you stay on top of your credit situation and can also help you detect potential credit fraud or identity theft sooner. You can view a free copy of your Experian credit report on our website anytime. You can also get a free copy of your credit report from Experian and the other two major credit reporting companies (Equifax and TransUnion) by going to AnnualCreditReport.com.

Thanks for asking.

Jennifer White, Consumer Education Specialist

The purpose of this question submission tool is to provide general education on credit reporting. The Ask Experian team cannot respond to each question individually. However, if your question is of interest to a wide audience of consumers, the Experian team may include it in a future post and may also share responses in its social media outreach. If you have a question, others likely have the same question, too. By sharing your questions and our answers, we can help others as well.

Personal credit report disputes cannot be submitted through Ask Experian. To dispute information in your personal credit report, simply follow the instructions provided with it. Your personal credit report includes appropriate contact information including a website address, toll-free telephone number and mailing address.

To submit a dispute online visit Experian's Dispute Center. If you have a current copy of your personal credit report, simply enter the report number where indicated, and follow the instructions provided. If you do not have a current personal report, Experian will provide a free copy when you submit the information requested. Additionally, you may obtain a free copy of your report once a week through December 31, 2022 at AnnualCreditReport.