Linking an Account

Direct Import helps you ensure all of your transactions are 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. Then, when transactions are imported, they'll match with the ones you entered—and you'll know you haven't missed any.

In this Article

How to Link 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
  2. Select the Linked option in the pop-up window
  3. Select the region where you live/have accounts. As of now, Direct Import is only supported for select financial institutions in North America and Europe, and is limited to one region or the other. If you don't see this region selection screen or if the banks available in the search list you see aren't in your region, send us a message letting us know the region you prefer.
  4. Choose one of your listed existing connections or click Add New Connection to search for your financial institution. If this is your first connection, you'll skip right to the search.
  5. 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.)
  6. Select the account you'd like to add
  7. Give the account a nickname if you'd like, and click Next
  8. 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'll see the option to suggest an institution. If you don't see the option to suggest an institution, that means your bank was automatically suggested to be added. We can't guarantee if or when a new institution may be added, but your request will help our Direct Import providers to 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 link an account, YNAB will import the opening balance of that day. If you have any transactions that clear on that same day, they'll be available to import soon after. Transactions that cleared before the date of the starting balance will not import, and as your pending transactions clear, they'll become available within 24 hours.

Going forward, your balance will be updated by transactions that are added to the account register. If you have any transactions to import, approve, or categorize, you'll see a white notification dot to the left of the account name in the left sidebar. When you select the account, you'll see a blue banner across the top notifying you that there are transactions to import, approve, or categorize.

Clicking the View button in 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!

If this is an Investment or Loan account, here's the best way to handle investment & loan transactions in your budget.


How to Link 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 if it already contains transactions in YNAB. This helps limit the possibility of duplicate transactions.
  2. Click on the Link Account button at the top of your account register
  3. If this is your first connection, select Add 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. We recommend you 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 and try File-Based Import. It's as simple as dragging and dropping a file into YNAB.

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