Credit card red after paid in full what does it mean?

Paid credit card in full but in budget the card shows up red with negative balance instead of zero.  I'm missing something here?

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  • You paid more to the credit card than you had reserved in the budget for that purpose.  It is red because that payment is a cash overspend.  Fix it by moving funds from categories that have some money to the credit card payment category until it is at least zero.

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  • A pay in full credit card user means you have funds reserved to pay the entire credit card balance at all times. That means your credit card payment available should be (as a positive number) the same amount as the credit card account balance in YNAB.

    Most PIF users run into this problem because they did not budget for the starting balance on the card. This is spending that happened before you used YNAB, so YNAB doesn't know if you are planning to pay it or carry it as debt unless you budget for it.

    Like 1
  • Thanks for reply, but I'm still confused...I'm new to YNAB and when I started my CC balance was zero (linked account).  Everything went along fine until I paid CC in full at end of month.  Then the CC flag turned red and stated that I had overspent and should add (budget) to the CC to make up for it.  I use the card for 99% of purchases so budgeting for what I think I might spend on the card is basically the amounts budgeted for the individual categories.  Adding them to the CC makes the overall budgeted monies twice the amount I want to budget.  I'm sure I must be missing something as all the other aspects of YNAB seem cut and dried (intuitive), but the handling of CC account is confusing.  Does YNAB take into consideration "pending" items that my bank lists but does not include in the balance it reports?

    Like 1
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Von Pow Something caused you to make a payment larger than the amount of money in your budget reserved for making the payment. The usual culprits are failure to budget for the starting balance of your card, overspending in a category with a credit card purchase, or receiving a refund to the card after making the payment.

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      • satcook
      • satcook
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Von Pow Von Pow did you pay off pending transactions when you paid off the card??  If so, did your account go positive in YNAB??

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  • I'm having this trouble, too.  I started paying on the first of the month instead of every two weeks to try to resolve it, but they are still going red.  I pay in full every month, so the software should automatically transfer the appropriate funds from my budget lines to my credit card lines, but something is wonky.

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      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 11 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      WheresMyMule It goes red when you send more to your credit card than you budget has allocated to the category. If your account balance is $500 but you only have $400 in the credit card payment category, the only way to stop it from turning red is to allocate an additional $100 to the credit card payment category before you pay the bill.

      Now, why don't the category and the account balance match? Oh so many reasons. Returns and statement credits, incorrect starting balance when you set up the account. Overspending in a category (even if it was months ago). Living on the credit card float (where you consciously or unconsciously are using tomorrow's income to pay for today's expenses). More info is needed to figure out which situation you are in.

      Like 1
    • jenmas I know this is a little old now, but I've been struggling with this problem as well for a couple months and it's really frustrating me to the point that I'm getting ready to stop using YNAB at all. 

      I almost exclusively use my credit card, but pay it off as soon as it actually posts to the card (through an app).  I was using YNAB before even getting the card, so I don't have a starting balance to worry about. And I had no issue for several months - and I've gone back to the start of my credit card and no month has an overspent category.

      I have had a couple refunds to my card in the last month or two and intuitively set the refund to the spending category - not the card (I was immediately refunded in both cases, so I never made the full payment before the refund).  I double checked the forum and this seems to be the correct answer, but I'm not positive. But... the overspend on my credit card doesn't match any combination of my 3 refunds, so I'm not sure what else I could have done.

      Happy to answer any questions to get this resolved, I like YNAB and have been using it for years at this point (even if not using the app super effectively, I've appreciated the lessons), but I can't rely on a tool for finances that I know I've broken.  

      Thanks in advance for any help

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      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 6 mths ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      Cornflower Blue Harp Honestly it's going to be hard if you are making tons of micropayments all month long because the ordering of transactions can get thrown off. Unless the limit on your card is really low, there is no benefit from making all those constant payments. Pay the statement balance on or before the due date and you will never pay any interest.

      Like 4
    • jenmas Yeah, I know there's no benefit but comfort for me and how easy it is to make the payments. I went back 3 full months (through all the refunds) and my monthly running totals matched between YNAB and my credit card statements, so I'm mostly convinced it's not even the refunds.  My only remaining guess is I accidentally edited an imported value somewhere and saved it. Thanks for the suggestions, but I'll probably just have to manually readjust everything once I get a total cleared balance on the card just to take the red away. 

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      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Cornflower Blue Harp The likely cause of the shortage in the CC Payment category is overspending at some point in the past. You could trace back until you find it and reallocate in that month (and hope those edits don't cascade into further overspending in months after that)... or you can simply reallocate in the current month. The latter is definitely the easier option.

      You need to make your CC Payment category Available cover the entire working balance in the YNAB account. There is no need to wait or worry about pending transactions or cleared status. Again, the issue is in the budget.

      If you're going to spend the time to look for it, bring up the CC Payment Activity detail (click on the Activity) in each month in turn. You're looking for a mismatch in the top two values (Spending and Budgeted Spending). FYI, there are scenarios that will NOT show a yellow overspent category even though overspending is present, so don't rely on that approach.

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  • Cornflower Blue Harp said:
    I have had a couple refunds to my card in the last month or two and intuitively set the refund to the spending category

    This is correct since you want it to cancel the previous spending in averages & reports. The official docs agree.

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  • Cornflower Blue Harp said:
    my monthly running totals matched between YNAB and my credit card statements

    This compares transactions to the real world, which has nothing to do with reserving cash (or not) toward your next CC payment. The problem exists in your budget, not the account register.

    Like 1
  • Are you sure you always use the credit card account in YNAB, whatever the spending category?

     Most of my discrepancies turn out to be; I bought something with cash, but put it on my debit card in YNAB, or I used my debit card but told YNAB it was the credit card . Use error, but easily done.

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    • WordTenor
    • I have the honor to be your obedient servant
    • WordTenor
    • 6 mths ago
    • 4
    • Reported - view
    Cornflower Blue Harp said:
    I have had a couple refunds to my card in the last month or two and intuitively set the refund to the spending category - not the card (I was immediately refunded in both cases, so I never made the full payment before the refund).  I double checked the forum and this seems to be the correct answer, but I'm not positive.

     If you are micropaying your card, refunds are likely to send your account balance positive. This results in strange behavior in YNAB because an overpayment is treated in the budget as cash, but the payment goes against the card payment category, creating money that has to be moved from TBB back to the card payment category.

    If you insist on paying your card as soon as you spend, you'll have to accept that you're going to have to be very, very hands-on with the credit card payment category, covering overspends, and dealing with TBB if a refund causes your account to go positive. I would consider that an utter and complete waste of my time, but if you find it a comfort to pay all the time, that's the administrative flip side of that particular coin. 

    Using YNAB, there's no reason to pay your card all the time; the money will be there for the payment if you are otherwise minding your budget, so paying it all the time is a leftover practice from when you had a less useful system. In the past I've compared pre-YNAB hacks like this to training wheels on a bicycle--they are helpful when you can't balance, but once you learn to ride, if you try to balance on a bike with training wheels, you will probably fall over. 

    Like 4
    • WordTenor I've been handling it this way just fine for about 5 months, yes it'd go negative for an hour or 2 before YNAB caught up, but it was almost always zeroed out just fine. Was just last month that it started having a persistent overspend of about $50 on my credit card.  Somebody else suggested it might be an overspend that doesn't turn the YNAB card yellow, I'll have to look closer at that. 

       

      I appreciate all the help everyone.

      Like
      • MiniMum
      • Blue_Thunder.4
      • 6 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Cornflower Blue Harp If you pay your credit card in full every month, you don't need to have the account denoted as a credit card.  The only benefit to this is having the debt management facility, and if you don't have debt to repay, it's confusing and pointless.  Like you, I pay off my credit card each month in full, and was having a nightmare with the credit card facility constantly showing red even when money had been budgeted to each category in full.  Anyway, I've now made all my credit cards "checking" accounts, and it works much better.  I download the transactions, budget for them, and the balance of my credit card is shown in the list of accounts.  The debt is taken off my net worth as soon as I spend.  Works perfectly and makes much more sense to me.

      Like 2
      • Habanero Salsa
      • Second generation user
      • Aquamarine_Pony.8
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      MiniMum I’m torn on this. 
       

      In YNAB4, I had a future dated transaction (or two, depending on where I was in the billing/payment cycle) in my savings account that exactly offset what I owe on the card. Since YNAB4 took into account future transactions, my credit cards always showed a $0 balance. That’s how I knew at a glance at my account pane that everything was on track. 
       

      YNAB doesn’t take into account future transactions, so the closest I can get to something that straightforward is making sure my credit card categories match my balances. I don’t know if it’s worth the potential hassle, but that’s what keeps me from changing them to checking accounts. 

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      • MiniMum
      • Blue_Thunder.4
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Habanero Salsa I don’t understand your post. 
       

      Ny credit cards are all set up as checking accounts. Every time I spend on the card the balance of these accounts reflect that spending so my total net worth takes into account these negative balances. 

      My credit cards are all paid by Direct Debit. So the full balance at the end of the statement period is taken automatically from my bank account. 
       

      When the payment is made it shows in my budget as a transfer from my current account to my credit card and the balances are adjusted accordingly. 
       

      I know that I have the money to pay my credit card balance because every time I spend on my credit card, that transaction is accounted  for in my budget. So I have put £200 in my groceries envelope when I get paid and then I spend £50 on my credit card it gets allocated to my groceries budget. So all credit card transactions are “paid” and accounted for at the time the spending happens. 

      The only thing you need to make sure is that the account you are paying for your credit card from has enough money to pay the balance due. YNAB doesn’t ever as it depends on your credit card statement dates. 

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      • Habanero Salsa
      • Second generation user
      • Aquamarine_Pony.8
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      MiniMum I don’t know how else to explain it, then   

      The total account balance is the same regardless, but being able to look at my credit card account and see a $0 balance was a quick way of seeing that everything is on track in YNAB4, just as seeing the credit card balance matching the credit card category is in YNAB. Probably enough to leave them as credit cards. 

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      • MiniMum
      • Blue_Thunder.4
      • 6 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Habanero Salsa but surely you know everything is on track because all your credit card transactions have been budgeted for?

      Like 1
      • Habanero Salsa
      • Second generation user
      • Aquamarine_Pony.8
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      MiniMum Maybe this: my AMEX is due on the 27th. I have a future dated transaction on the 27th that is the same as the balance due on the card, so in YNAB4 my card balance shows as $0 rather than a negative. 

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      • Habanero Salsa
      • Second generation user
      • Aquamarine_Pony.8
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      MiniMum I like confirmation. I’m not suggesting anyone else do it that way, just that the credit card functionality approximates what I did by hand in YNAB4, so I’m willing to leave them as credit cards for now. 

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      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 6 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Habanero Salsa YNAB4 always had an implicit amount reserved for the CC payment. If the Pre-YNAB Debt was $0, that amount equaled the entire CC account balance. You didn't need to "shepherd" a future dated transaction.

      A checking account representation does the exact same thing. The entire Account balance is ALWAYS implicitly reserved, which is perfect for a card with paid-in-full status.

      Like 1
      • Habanero Salsa
      • Second generation user
      • Aquamarine_Pony.8
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui I didn’t say I “needed” to. I thought that was clear. I said I wanted to. And, again, I tried to make it clear that I wasn’t interested in implicit. I wanted to see it explicitly. 
       

      The origin of doing it that way was to flag that transactions had been entered by someone else. On top of that, they may not have been categorized correctly. It was kind of a manual approve/edit flag.
       

      I just happened to like it for other reasons.

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    • MiniMum How do you change your credit cards to checking accounts? I love this solution but can't figure out how to do it.  Thank you!

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      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 2 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Magenta Clarinet Create a new checking account, make a payment to the CC account for the account balance, ensure the CC Payment category is $0, and close the old account.

      If you need to finance something or ride the CC float, just balance transfer back.

      Like 1
    • dakinemaui Thank you.  I do like having my old data...we've been on here since 2015 and it's too much to transfer over.  I'm struggling because I've really never had this big of a negative on my CC before, and we PIF each month.  I can't figure out why YNAB didn't automatically pull this money aside.  We obviously funded the payment in real life but the way CC's are set up in here gives me a headache.  To me it's trying to reconcile apples and oranges.  Is there something I'm missing???  Help!

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      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 2 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Magenta Clarinet The red category is telling you that some of the money you sent the CC in real life is still reserved in the budget for other purposes. At a minimum, you must pull money from other categories to clear the red. (That money is now in the hands of the CC, so you can't spend it anyway.)

      I also strongly recommend that you try to pull enough money from other categories restore agreement between Payment category and account balances. (Category Available should match the account balance as a positive number.) This restores your paid-in-full (PIF) status, and you can evaluate whether you're OK with the impact on those other categories.

      If you're not OK with those impacts (equivalently, you need the money where is currently is), then you'll have to ride the CC float (paying only the statement balance) and budget to get up to PIF status over time. If you are OK with the impacts, then feel free to switch to the checking account representation so it's impossible to get off-track in the future. 

      Like 1
  • I just started using YNAB and have not figured out this credit card either.  I also pay it off monthly.  YNAB brought over the credit card balance as of the date I started the app.  I made a payment, but I don't know how to handle that payment.  It is showing up under my checking account as a negative amount in red and says Transfer to Chase VISA, but I don't know how to offset it for the Chase VISA account.  The amount for Chase VISA remains the same.  I have read through several tutorials and I still don't understand how to set up the credit card payment part.  

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      • MiniMum
      • Blue_Thunder.4
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Aquamarine Mare If you pay it off in full every month, just change your credit cards to "checking accounts" and everything will then work as you expect it to. 

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      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 6 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      MiniMum While I am a fan of the checking account represent for a paid-in-full CC, there are many new users who think they are PIF but are really riding the CC float. These users would benefit from a real credit account representation.

      IF someone can make their CC Payment category cover the account balance without detrimental impact to normal spending categories, then it can be a good simplification.

      Like 1
    • Aquamarine Mare Hi there! It sounds like your credit card payment may be entered slightly incorrectly.

      Try double-clicking (on the website, or tapping on the app) to edit the payment transaction, and make sure that in the Payee field, you've selected the "Payment to: Chase Visa" Payee near the very top of the Payee list.

      If that doesn't seem to help, it sounds like we may need to dive a little deeper on this one! If you’re up for it, go ahead and enable Support Access for your account. Once you’ve done that, let me know—and mention whether you’d like to continue the discussion here or via email instead.

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    • Matthew Hi Matthew - The tutorials all indicate that the payee should be "Transfer: Checking" and the account is Chase VISA.  Is that correct?

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    • Aquamarine Mare That's what the transaction should say if you're looking at it on the Chase Visa side, but if you're looking at your checking account register, it should look something like the attached image. Is that what you're seeing in your budget?

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  • It doesn’t look anything like that but I am on the mobile app.  Does this look right?
     

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    • Aquamarine Mare Yes, that looks perfect!

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  • This same thing that happend to Von Pow just happened to me. I have paid my credit card in full but in the budget the card shows up as red with a negative balance. Did you find the fix Von Pow?

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    • Sky Blue Motherboard Put money in the budget column for your CC payment category - enough to get it out of the red. Best case scenario, budget enough to make the available the positive equivalent to your negative CC account balance. 

      Like 1
    • Sky Blue Motherboard It means you sent the credit card company more than you had set aside in your budget. It's good to check the Payment column before you send off the payment!

      The most common culprit is credit card overspending, and you can move money to cover it. 

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  • I have never had a CC payment category budget. I don't see a way to make a budget for CC Payment.

    Thanks for your response.

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      • satcook
      • satcook
      • 3 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Sky Blue Motherboard you budget to the credit card payments category just like you do any category. 

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    • Sky Blue Motherboard This article shows what that Credit Card Payment category looks like in the web app. Do you see it listed?

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  • It’s been awhile but I think it was how I was entering the payment to begin with.  I originally set up a payee for it and of course YNAB then wanted a category.  I changed and first entered the payment as a transfer from checking, no category needed and it showed up automatically on income side of credit card and balance went to zero....been doing that way ever since.  Others are right that when you start a budget with credit card you must budget for the amount owed.  If paying off in full each month like I do you only have to put money in against credit card balance once.

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