Loan Accounts

Loan accounts are uniquely designed to help you track your loans and budget for your loan payments. From mortgages, car loans, and medical loans, to personal and student loans, YNAB Loan accounts are here to help you budget for your payments, and pay off debt!

But first—if you have credit card debt, we recommend using the Credit Card account type for that. Learn more about it here.

And second—if you have an offset mortgage, we recommend using a Tracking account instead of a Loan account. If your offset mortgage Tracking account is displaying a banner prompting you to switch to a Loan, you can dismiss that banner by clicking "Learn More," then "Maybe Later."

In This Article

Adding a Loan Account

To add a Loan account, click the Add Account button, and then click Unlinked or Linked.

Unlinked

1

Select the account type from the Loan Accounts list. If you don’t see your account type listed, choose Other Debt.

2

Enter the name of the account, the balance you owe, the interest rate, and minimum payment amount. If you choose a Mortgage account, you’ll also be asked if your monthly payment includes escrow or fees.

3

YNAB will then ask if you’d like to choose a budget category for your payments to this loan. Pairing your loan to a budget category is optional.

When should I pair a category to my Loan? Great question! Pairing a category to your Loan account adds a few unique Loan features (the payoff calculator, Record Payment button) and Loan information (minimum payment, current balance, payoff date) to the Budget Inspector for that category.

A paired category can only be used for payments to the Loan account, so if you’d like to use a single category to budget for payments to multiple loans, or use multiple categories for payments to this loan, skip this step.

Linked

Loan accounts will not import transactions, but our import partner can provide data - like the current balance - to help create the account.

To set up a Linked Loan account, click Add Account and select Linked. Follow the prompts to connect to the bank that services the loan. Not all lenders will be available for connection, so if you don’t see your lender/bank in the Connections list, we recommend setting up the Loan as an Unlinked account.

Linked Loan accounts will not import payments or transactions. However, you can create a Scheduled Transaction for your loan payments, and YNAB will automatically enter the payments each month! The steps to create a Scheduled payment are below.


Recording a Loan Payment

When you record a loan payment in YNAB, the payment will be a transfer from a Budget account to the Loan account. YNAB will calculate the monthly Interest Charge and apply that Interest Charge to your Loan account automatically.

YNAB assumes the Interest Charge (and escrow/fees, if applicable) for the loan must be covered first. Any payment funds beyond the interest (and escrow/fees, if applicable) are applied directly to the principal balance of the Loan.

There are two ways to record a loan payment: 

  • Enter a Loan Payment
  • Import a Loan Payment

Enter a Loan Payment

1

To enter a loan payment, open the Loan account and click Add Activity.

2

Choose Add Payment.

3

Enter the amount in the Payment Amount field. If the Loan has been paired with a budget category, the Available funds in the Loan's payment category will be automatically entered in the Payment Amount field. If the Loan is not paired to a category, you’ll enter the payment amount manually.

4

In the From Account field, choose which account made the payment.

5

Choose the Date of the payment, and add a Memo if you’d like!

Import a Loan Payment

Loan accounts cannot import transactions, but if your budget accounts are linked, you may notice your loan payment import into the account that made the payment (i.e. Checking). The first time a loan payment is imported into one of your budget accounts, YNAB won’t know that the outflow transaction is a loan payment.

To adjust a payment that imported, change the Payee of the imported transaction. Select the Payment & Transfers Payee for the Loan account. If the Loan is paired to a budget category, YNAB will automatically choose the paired budget category for the payment! Otherwise, select the category for your loan payment.

In the future, YNAB will remember the transfer Payee and will automatically choose that Payee for the next imported loan payment!


Adding Targets to Loan Account Categories

Targets help you reach your loan payoff goals by reminding you to budget for them! You can set a target to pay a set amount toward the loan each month, or pay off the loan by a chosen date.

1

To add a target, select the category you’ll use to budget for your loan payments, then click “Create [category name] Target” in the right sidebar.

2

If the category is not paired to a Loan account, you’ll have the option to choose the type of Target. We recommend a Monthly Debt Payment Target for loan payments.

3

If the category is paired to a Loan account, the Monthly Debt Payment Target includes the payoff calculator. Enter a monthly payment amount, and YNAB will calculate how much interest you’ll save and the payoff date for your loan. If you’d prefer, you can select a payoff date to have YNAB calculate the monthly payment for you.

4

Choose the date that your monthly payments are due, and click "Save Target".

To learn more about the Debt Payment target, check out the Targets Help Doc!

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