Has there been any thought to showing the available credit and interest rates on a Credit Card account? Sometimes I need to make a quick purchase for something like Airline Tickets and I need to know which credit card to put it on. Also when budgeting it is helpful to know the interest rate so that I can pay down the highest interest rates first.
I think these would be two very helpful features.
Hi ImmerTech !
YNAB doesn't include the credit limits on your credit card accounts because we don't want to focus on how much you can spend on your credit card, but how much you've already spent. That way YNAB can help you plan to pay that amount off. :)
If you want to have that information available in your budget, you can include it in the name of the account or in the account notes section. We don't suggest putting any private information in these sections, because anyone you allow access to your account would be able to see it (so no account numbers or anything of that nature).
Worst. Answer. Ever. The whole purpose of YNAB is to focus on category balances so you can spend money without guilt. This concept was repeated in Jesse’s book. Furthermore, just because someone has a credit card balance doesn’t mean they don’t have a plan to pay it off. I have several paid in full cards that I use for points.
Money in YNAB is fungible so it shouldn’t matter which account a budgeted expense is paid from. I’d say the lack of credit limit is more a shortcoming than a planned feature.
I propose another reason for adding limit tracking: fees associated with over-limit cards. Lets say a recurring charge is declined due to over-limit. That is a fee which could have been avoided with some deft transfers before hand. Tracking credit card limits would allow for alerts when the available credit is too low. Also there could be budget warnings when into offers are about to expire to remind the user to budget for payoff or arrange a balance transfer.
I can definately see the benefit of ynab tracking the available credit. Ynab should be able to get that with the transaction details for linked accounts or optionally if ynab's download system doesn't get that info, or for unlinked accounts if you could manually tell ynab cc x has a credit line of $1000 and it subtracts the current balance to provide an estimste of your available credit it could be done that way too. But i can also see why for users who don't have the self control to only spend what they have budgeted and keep the card PIF how that could be problematic and so why ynab doesn't want to do that.
Perhaps the best option is a setting a user can manually toggle to track that, but the default setting would be to essentially hide the available credit. Unfortunately i doubt ynab would add that feature, perhaps it could be added to the web version though a 3rd party browser extension like the ynab toolkit? Though that wouldn't help those on the mobile app sadly.
As far as taking the interest rate account notes is probably the best way to go.
There’s a bigger better reason to include credit limits & the amount left available.
First let me say, I don’t think people need ynab to babysit their impulses by making it difficult to budget their credit card spending. If they’re using this program they are likely to be past the idea of buying new toys, dinners & vacations on credit cards.
I’m seeing arguments for using points effectively, buying plane tickets that are budgeted for etc, & these are good reasons. And to hear someone mention “Credit limits aren't important because we never want to think, "I have $400 of Available credit on my card, so I can buy this new TV."” Is insulting.
I’ve had to use a credit card every month & I don’t remember the last time I bought a new anything.
The truth is some people will find themselves in a financial mess & will hope to improve their situation starting here at ynab. And these people may NEED to use credit cards to get them through to the next paycheck. Paying for the electric bill, a car repair, fuel to get to their job, diapers for a baby.
This is obviously not a cycle to condone, & I doubt anyone in this situation is ok with living it & that’s why they’re here, but I think ignoring the need to use credit cards this way, at least at the beginning of a process of improvement that is a necessary evil for some, does a disservice to the most in need of a budget.
I would also like to see credit limits and interest rates incorporated into YNAB.
I deliberately use credit cards where possible (the exception being places that don't accept credit cards as a payment option or for cash withdrawals). It's more secure and offers various consumer protections as well as helping to build up a good credit rating. As long as you pay it off in full, it's not really a problem.
I want to see things like my credit card utilization for each card as this actually affects your credit score. Also, being able to add in things like interest-free promotional periods, charges and the interest rate is useful to know when making transactions. Further, it would be good if YNAB could show how much interest you will accrue if not paying off the card in full and other related scenarios - if nothing else, it may actually encourage you to pay off as much as possible.
I would like to add my thoughts on this topic:
I too would like to see this implemented. My wife and I use our credit cards daily as they are more secure than a debit card and offer great rewards for the spending we already do. We have several that we never carry on our person which are used monthly to pay individual bills (e.g. Netflix, Comcast, Google Fi, etc) to keep them active.
We never carry a balance on any of our cards. I pay every balance in full on a weekly basis.
We are working on building credit and saving for a future home loan. As such we are paying close attention of our credit utilization and scores. Tracking the amount of available credit we have vs what portion of it is being utilized is an important part of that.
I am absolutely loving YNAB; However, having an accurate accounting of total available credit, in addition to net worth, expenses, spending, and income, is an important part of having a complete understanding of your financial situation.
It's a lovely idea, but we're now approaching nearly 4 years without a fix to the major fundamental flaw in the budget calculations.... aka Stealing From the Future. If they aren't going to fix something as important as that, I don't know what they are spending their development dollars on, because there hasn't been anything oft requested that would be helpful to the vast majority of their customers, and this is not something that will be a direct benefit to the majority.
I re-read this and believe there was a disconnect. Yes, we want to focus on how much we can spend based on our categories, but never on a credit card limit. Credit limits aren't important because we never want to think, "I have $400 of Available credit on my card, so I can buy this new TV." If there's only $200 in your New TV category, that's the amount we want to focus on. You can check your credit limit and decide to buy the TV and then make a plan to pay off that new debt, but we prefer going off category balances first and foremost while credit limits should be less of a factor.
How is this any different Then having $200.00 for a TV in your category. And looking at your savings account with $400.00 and saying "i have the $400.00 in savings so I will buy this TV and make it up later"? With a credit card you and saying I will pay it later which is the same thing and making it up later. We are suppose to spend based on categories and not balances. yes
Spending is two fold.
Do I have the money in my category? $400.00 in the TV category so YES
Which account should I use? I need the info in front of me. I run my credit card close to my limit. but I don't want to go over my limit. and yes I pay it off monthly.
I dont understand how this is not a feature. I mean that's like ynab refusing to show your savings account balance because you are supposed to focus on your category balance not account balance. While true the account balance, or in the case of credit cards the available balance is a necessary price of information when deciding from which account to pay for a budgeted expense. There is no reason I should have to use my bank's app to get this. I should be able to tell ynab in the account setup what the limit is and it subtract the balance. Yes this is dependent on my account t transactions being accurate and up to date but the balances on my checking and savings accounts are only as accurate as my transactions as well.
I see several valuable reasons to include available balances. And the reason I've arrived here is because I'd love YNAB to be my goto spot for my financial fitness. Financial fitness for me means having debts wrangled, budgets in order AND being aware of things like credit utilization and things that can impact my score.
It's deeply helpful to quickly see if my amex is at 30% utilization (even if ALL of that is backed up with a legit budget and I don't carry a balance to the next cycle) vs my Chase that's only at 10% - since credit scores and credit fitness relies on credit utilization - I'm often calculating this with pen and paper alongside ynab. Having it in the app is intuitive. Whether it's to see if you have enough to "cover" an expense (on a specific card in addition to the budget category) or as a means of balancing credit card usage to keep utilization percentages in line.
Either way - EMPOWER YOUR USERS. Give us more transparency and insights into our accounts - not less. If you don't yet have the development resources to build this or it's not as high of a priority as another feature work, I get it (software engineer here) - BUT don't patronize us and imply that keeping us in the dark is "for our own good." We're grown-ups.