When Jointly Applying for a Credit Card Do You Average the Credit Score

When Jointly Applying for a Credit Card, Do You Average the Credit Score?

When it comes to applying for a credit card with a joint applicant, many people wonder how credit scores are calculated. One common question is whether the credit scores of both applicants are averaged together. Let’s delve into this topic and clarify any confusion surrounding joint credit card applications.

Understanding Credit Scores

To comprehend how credit scores are affected in a joint credit card application, it’s essential to grasp the basics of credit scores. Credit scores are numerical representations of an individual’s creditworthiness. They are based on various factors, including payment history, credit utilization, length of credit history, types of credit used, and new credit applications. Credit scores are calculated by credit reporting agencies, such as Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, using specific algorithms.

Joint Credit Card Applications

A joint credit card application involves two individuals applying for a credit card together. This is typically done by spouses or partners who want to share a credit card account. By applying jointly, both individuals become responsible for the debt incurred on the credit card, and both credit histories are considered during the application process.

Credit Score Calculation in Joint Applications

Contrary to popular belief, the credit scores of joint applicants are not averaged together. Each individual’s credit score remains separate and is not combined or blended with the other applicant’s score. Therefore, joint applicants do not end up with a single “joint credit score.”

When applying for a credit card jointly, the lender typically evaluates the credit histories of both applicants individually. The lender will review both credit reports, credit scores, and other relevant factors to make a decision on the credit card application.

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Impact on Credit Scores

Joint credit card applications can have various effects on credit scores. Here are a few scenarios that may occur:

1. If both applicants have excellent credit scores, the joint application may result in a higher chance of approval and potentially better credit card terms, such as a higher credit limit or lower interest rates.

2. If one applicant has a significantly lower credit score than the other, the joint application may be approved, but the terms of the credit card, such as the credit limit or interest rate, could be influenced by the lower score.

3. If one applicant has poor credit or a history of late payments or defaults, it may negatively impact the chances of approval for the joint credit card application. Lenders may be hesitant to approve an application with a high-risk applicant involved.


Q: Will a joint credit card application affect my credit score?
A: The act of applying for a credit card jointly may have a temporary impact on your credit score. When you apply for credit, a hard inquiry is typically made on your credit report, which can cause a slight dip in your score. However, the impact is usually minimal and short-lived.

Q: Can a joint applicant with a low credit score drag down the other applicant’s credit score?
A: No, a joint applicant’s low credit score will not directly impact the other applicant’s credit score. However, if the joint account is not managed responsibly, such as missing payments or carrying high balances, it can negatively affect both applicants’ credit scores.

Q: Can I remove a joint applicant from a credit card account?
A: Depending on the credit card issuer’s policies, it may be possible to remove a joint applicant from a credit card account. However, this usually requires the primary account holder to demonstrate sufficient creditworthiness and financial stability to maintain the account on their own.

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Q: Can a joint account holder be held responsible for the other’s debt?
A: Yes, when applying for a joint credit card, both applicants are equally responsible for the debt incurred on the account. If one party fails to make payments, it can negatively impact both applicants’ credit scores and result in collection activities.

In conclusion, joint credit card applications do not average the credit scores of both applicants. Each individual’s credit score remains separate and is evaluated individually during the application process. It’s important to understand the potential impacts on credit scores and shared responsibilities before applying for a joint credit card.