Not sure how to classify Chime Credit Builder transactions on my budget

   Hi all,

I'm new to YNAB and have a question as I'm assigning all my spending to categories.

I use Chime Credit Builder with my Chime Checking Account.  Whenever money gets added to my Chime Checking, it automatically gets moved to Chime Credit Builder, which basically works like a secured credit card.  Whenever this happens, I get a 'Chime - Transfer to Credit Builder' transaction on my YNAB (I have the accounts linked), but I'm not sure the best way to categorize these transactions on my budget?

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  • Transfers don’t affect your budget. But if you are downloading transactions, they will not show up as YNAB transfers at first, even if they say “transfer” in the description. They are just regular outflows, and so they are asking for a category unnecessarily. 

    To make them a transfer in YNAB instead, you change the payee on the transaction to “Transfer: Builder card”  or whatever you’ve called the account. You only need to do this once, maybe twice, and YNAB will learn. Even better if you manually enter the transfer first, and then let YNAB link the cleared transfer.

    If this card is fully secured, meaning there is no way to take on any debt, it is probably best to treat it as a checking account type rather than credit card account type. It will be much simpler, because that is essentially how this account is functioning. 

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  • Sorry to resurrect this one, but the other thread on these forums regarding the Chime Credit Builder card devolved into a mess of users being upset at each other over not much.

     

    WordTenor yes, the card is fully secured. In your suggested scenario, I would categorize outflows from my linked Chime Checking account with "Transfer: Chime Credit Builder" and that Chime Credit Builder account is actually a checking account inside YNAB.

    The problem then becomes, how do I reconcile that Chime Credit Builder checking account inside YNAB? I no longer have those assets, they are set aside by Chime secured for the monthly payment.

    My initial thought is at the end of the month when the "payment" is made (which is just automatic, since you've already set aside/"secured" the funds for every transaction made) I could enter a manual transaction, but then I'm stuck with an out-of-whack view of my assets until that payment is entered in YNAB.

    I know you don't have one of these cards, but I'm hoping you or someone around here might have an idea of how to handle this. Sadly YNAB does not support adding the Chime Credit Builder account through linking via Plaid, I imagine because the account/card does not present itself to Plaid's interface.

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      • Ceeses
      • Ceeses
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Spring Green Saxophone Do you get an online register of all the transactions on the card, just like you would have for a checking account?

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      • Ceeses
      • Ceeses
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Spring Green Saxophone If you put in money before using the card, why is there a payment? What is the payment? Isn't the card showing a positive balance after the transfer from checking to the card? Is the payment another transfer between your checking account and the card account to replenish the card?
      Or does the card look like it is negative during the month, and then gets "paid" from the money you sent during the month? So the money you sent initially isn't counted towards the balance on the card but is kept in reserve?

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      • WordTenor
      • Can we agree that goals are dumb and immature? Sure.
      • WordTenor
      • 1 mth ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Spring Green Saxophone The initial funding of the card will be a transfer from checking to the card, which will create a positive balance on the card. 

      Money spent on the card will reduce the card's balance. Then, the transfer from checking to "pay" the card will be just another transfer, which will increase the card's balance.

      A second option would be to treat the initial outflow as a bank fee, and then treat the Chime card like a regular credit card, and then, whenever you get the deposit back, to treat that like new income. 

      Like 2
    • WordTenor Thanks for the explanation, that helps visualize it in YNAB for me. I think ultimately being unable to link the Chime Credit Builder transactions in YNAB will likely lead to me making large manual outflow "payments" every paycheck split among my budget categories and then not tracking the individual transactions in YNAB. It's a little kludgy but the transactions on the Chime Credit Builder are in my case predictable, as I'm paying things like rent, utilities, and loan payments. Large purchases would also be predictable. I can keep things like my groceries, dining out, fun money, and so on in my Chime Checking account without issue.

      Ceeses I don't know if this was intentional or not, but the pace of six questions in six sentences that mostly relied on a response from me before you asked the next question made it seem like you were interrogating me, not helping me.

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      • Ceeses
      • Ceeses
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Spring Green Saxophone I was not interrogating you. I was simply listing all the questions and possibilities that popped up in my head that would change the way to handle it in YNAB.

      WordTenor is saying each transfer from the checking account to the card makes the card balance positive. I was wondering if it was actually what was happening on the card at your bank or simply an assumption. You seemed to talk of payment transactions that would be different from the transfers from checking to the card or that's how I understand your post. If what is happening at the bank is different from what WordTenor is saying then the setup in YNAB might be different from what is proposed here.

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    •  @Ceeses WordTenor I'm still trying to work this out. The card isn't really a secured card. The money stays in your checking account, and then you "move it" to the credit builder account, but it isn't really move. It is blocked from use and allocated toward the payment at the end of the cycle. I am only using the credit builder for predictable bills that autocharge.

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      • WordTenor
      • Can we agree that goals are dumb and immature? Sure.
      • WordTenor
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      I would treat it as a normal credit card in YNAB, then. Follow the regular credit card documentation. If the card is allowed to have a negative balance, this is the right way. 

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  • Spring Green Saxophone said:
    Sorry to resurrect this one, but the other thread on these forums regarding the Chime Credit Builder card devolved into a mess of users being upset at each other over not much.

     Thanks for the heads up.  I love personal finance popcorn fodder.  That was a hell of a dumpster fire!

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