Credit Card Payments

YNAB makes it easy to know exactly what you can afford for your next payment—right in your Credit Card Payment category, as well as the top of your account register.

If you're just getting started, check out our article on credit card basics first!

In This Article


How Much to Pay

Before you pay your credit card, be sure to check your Credit Card Payment category to see how much you have Available to send for that payment. 

The Credit Card Payment category has a positive available amount of money budgeted to pay the credit card bill

You'll also see this Available amount in the top right corner of your credit card account register (so you don't have to click back and forth before sending your payment 😉)

How the Available Amount Got There

This Available amount is the maximum amount you can send to your credit card company as payment. This amount is the money set aside in your budget from your funded spending on your credit card, as well as any money you've assigned directly to the Credit Card Payment category to pay down debt. 

No matter how the dollars got into your Credit Card Payment category, that's the amount you have Available to send as payment. Your credit card payments are now stress-free, and you're a whole lot closer to debt-free!

I don't have enough!

Is there less money in your Credit Card Payment category than you were expecting to see? You may have some credit overspending, either in this month or a previous month. Check out this article for more details on what can cause your Credit Card Payment category to be short (or even red)

No matter the reason, the solution will be to move money directly to your Credit Card Payment category until your Available amount matches the balance owed on your card (if you pay your card in full each month), or until the Available amount matches the amount you want to send for your next payment (if you're carrying debt). 

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How to Enter a Credit Card Payment

  1. Go to the credit card account register. In the top right corner, you'll see the amount you have Available for the payment.
  2. Click the Record Payment button. (It's like Add Transaction, but better!)
  3. In the Payee field, choose from the Payments and Transfers list. Select the account from which you're making the payment. YNAB will remember your selection for the next time you record a payment.
  4. YNAB will autofill the amount of money in the Credit Card Payment category into the Inflow column. If you're not planning to pay the full amount you have set aside in your budget, you can edit the amount—and then Save! No category is needed, because your credit card account is already tied to your credit card payment category.

The Record Payment button is on the account register menu bar. Clicking that enters a pre-filled transaction to work with.

What if I'm paying down a credit card from an account outside the budget?

If you're using money outside the budget to pay down the credit card, you'll set up the transaction as a regular inflow instead of a transfer. Let's take a look at how.

How to Enter a Credit Card Payment From a Non-Budget Account

  1. You'll use a regular payee (not a Transfer Account option). You can create one like "Payment from Outside Account".
  2. You'll be prompted to select a category, so you'll want to use Inflow: Ready to Assign.
  3. Enter the payment amount in the inflow column. That payment will then use funds from outside the budget to reduce the balance on the credit card. 
  4. Tap Save.
  5. When you enter that payment, the working balance on the credit card will decrease, but the cash in the Credit Card Payment category will stay the same. Be sure to check the Credit Card Payment category after you enter that payment. If you have more cash in the Credit Card Payment category than the working balance on the card, you can move the extra cash out of the Credit Card Payment category and give it a different job in the budget.

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Imported Credit Card Payments

For linked accounts, credit card payments will import once they clear. If it's the first payment between two particular accounts, YNAB won't know to make it a transfer. 

If you enter the payment manually before it imports though—using the steps above—they'll automatically match up. Otherwise, if a payment imports as a regular transaction, you can manually set the payment as a transfer, and YNAB will remember for next time. 

How to Manually Set an Imported Payment to a Transfer

  1. Select the imported transaction. 
  2. Change the payee to one of your Payments and Transfers options. (Be sure to select the account that the funds are coming from). 
  3. Select Payee field to open the payee drop down menu. The payments and transfers section is listed first.
  4. Tap Save.
  5. Then you'll see one side of the transfer in each account. If you've already imported the payment in the other account, it should have matched up and just needs approval.

Going forward, as long as your bank uses the same payee for payments, YNAB will know to make it a transfer automatically. All you'll need to do is approve the match!

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