Direct Import: Linking an Account

Direct Import helps make sure you have all your transactions in YNAB. Transactions import once they clear your bank (which can take a day or two), so it's best to record your spending right away. When transactions are imported, they'll match right up with the ones you entered—and you'll know you haven't missed any.

In this Article

Linking a New Account

You can add an account and link it to your financial institution at the same time by following these steps:

1
Click Add Account in the left sidebar and set it up as a Linked account.
2
Choose one of your existing connections -or- Add New Connection to search for your financial institution by name or URL. If this is your first  connection, you'll skip right to the search. 
3
Enter your login credentials and follow the prompts. (If you run into an error, try these troubleshooting steps—or Skip to set up an Unlinked account if you prefer.)
4
Select the account you'd like to add. Then, give the account a nickname and click Next.
5
If you added a credit card account, you'll see the option to set a goal to pay off your starting balance. Otherwise, you're done. Success!

Can't find your bank?

If you search for your financial institution and come up empty, you can suggest an institution.

We can't guarantee if or when a new institution may be added, but your request will help our Direct Import provider prioritize which banks to add next. In the meantime, you'll be able to import transactions from a file downloaded from your bank as a quick and easy alternative to Direct Import!


What to Expect After Linking

Once you have linked an account, YNAB will import your most recent balance—and that's it. Transactions that cleared before the date of the starting balance will not be imported. As your pending transactions clear, they'll be available to import within 24 hours.

If you have any transactions to import, approve, or categorize, you'll see a notification dot next the the account name. When you select the account, you'll see a banner across the top. 

Clicking the banner will import new transactions and apply a search to show you just those transactions and any others that need to be categorized or approved!


Linking an Existing Account

If you've already added an account to YNAB, and you'd like to link it to your bank, follow these steps:

1
Reconcile your account. This helps limit the possibility of duplicate transactions.
2
Click on the Import button at the top of your account register and select Link Account.
3

If this is your first connection, search for your bank and follow the prompts. Otherwise, select from your list of connections or choose Add New Connection and search for your financial institution.

4

Enter your login credentials and follow the prompts. If you run into an error, try these troubleshooting steps.

5
Select the account you'd like to link to your account in YNAB!
Once the account is linked, if you have any recently posted transactions, you'll see they're available to import. YNAB will import transactions that cleared up to three days prior to your latest reconciled transaction. If you happen to see any duplicates, you can reject them—and you shouldn't see any others going forward. And you might want to reconcile again for good measure.

Having trouble linking an account?

Check out our troubleshooting article, but whatever you do—don't let it stop you from budgeting! Enter your transactions (in the mobile app when you're on-the-go) or better yet, try File-Based Import. It's as simple as dragging and dropping a file into YNAB.

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