Paying off Apple Card Installments early?

Apple has a deal whereby most electronics purchased in the store using the AppleCard grants you 12 months interest free payments.  They automatically setup the monthly amounts.  (pretty sweet deal if you are buying iphones, etc)

They also give you the ability to pay off the installment balance early; the only stipulation is you have to pay off the balance of the card first.

"Wait... did you just say you can pay off the balance as long as you pay off the balance?"

So the really oddball thing about this installment plan on the AppleCard is it doesn't appear on your statement balance.  They created a separate line item for the installment balance amount.  So right now my CARD balance says $0.00 but my INSTALLMENT balance says $704.68.

Right... so I'm at a loss for how to track this in YNAB.

If I were to pay extra towards my INSTALLMENT balance YNAB is going to see my paying money towards a $0 debt credit card as creating a negative balance.  It's a rarely seen thing, but YNAB sees negative balances for credit in such a way that it actually alters your 'To Be Budgeted' amount.  Result: if I pay $100 towards my INSTALLMENT using payment from Checking to AppleCard, my ToBeBudgeted will actually go up by $100.  Which isn't what I want.  

So TLDR; How would you go about tracking the INSTALLMENT balance on an AppleCard?
(that doesn't break YNAB)


I've considered a couple options....

  • Adding a 'fake' purchase on the AppleCard for the balance of the installment will have an adverse effect on my ability to see the 'real' card balance.  
  • Creating a new Account called AppleCardInstallments.  This is making the most sense but I'm not exactly sure how best to track the payments and budget between the two.  My hunch is I would need to manually alter the payment to Apple in my checking account to the Installment.
     
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  • When you make payments, can you distinguish where you'd like your payment to apply (that is, Installment vs. Revolving Credit)? If so, perhaps a Tracking account just for this short-term installment debt would be a good option. You could continue using your AppleCard normally and track installment payments off-budget. 

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  • Walk me through what that looks like.  

    When I import the QFX file each month (apple only provides one monthly 馃槦) I'll have a couple of line items for the installment payments due for that month.  

    I'll also have actual purchases made that month as well. 

    What I do not have a good handle on is how the tracking account stays in sync (either automatically or manually) with the CC account line items.  

    From what I understand about tracking accounts, I would need to move those payments from AppleCard account and put them on the AppleCardInstallments account, correct?   This would require adjusting things after importing QFX, which makes sense but something I'd rather avoid if it can be helped.

    It also would seem that when I submit my payment from checking to AppleCard which (includes other 'real' purchases as well as the installment payments) that I would need to break up that payment so one part can go to AppleCard while the other part goes to the AppleCardInstallments.   I'm afraid to do that since I automatically import my checking account directly.  (would that potentially cause sync issues?)

    Do I have that correct?

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  • I occurs to me I could submit a partial payment for each account from my checking simply so I do not have to break it up in YNAB. 

    So for instance..

    Say I owe 88.08 on the installments plus another $50 in 'real' purchases.  When it comes to actually submitting payment from my checking account I could submit $88.08 then another payment of $50.  When my checking syncs up in YNAB it would hopefully show that $50 when to AppleCard while the $88.08 went to AppleCardInstallments.  (It's unclear to me that it would auto determine this, but I can always manually adjust that)

    This feels awkward (maybe even wrong) but I can see how it would solve the problem.


     

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    • Marcel Wilson I think two accounts in the right idea, but you don't need to make two separate payments. Here's what I'd do:

      1. Create a separate Apple Card Installments credit card in YNAB.
      2. Add your installment charges as repeating transactions on this card. (And make sure to budget for them!)
      3. When you make a payment, enter it in your checking account as a split transaction with two transfers, one to the regular Apple Card and one to the Installments card.

      I wouldn't bother using the QFX import for the Apple Card鈥攊t's updated too infrequently to be useful for keeping your budget up to date. Since you already need to enter transactions for this card, I would recommend reconciling a couple of times a week鈥攁nd that means by the time the QFX shows up for the month, you don't need it because you already know your account is accurate!

      Please let us know if you still have questions.

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