Suggestion: Set Debt Starting Balance

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  • Updated 2 weeks ago
Currently, when you create a debt account, GoodBudget shows a progress bar as you pay down the loan. However, I came to GoodBudget long after establishing some of my existing loans.

One idea that I think might improve your customer experience would be a "Starting Balance" field for debts that is separate from the CURRENT balance. That way, even if I am adding a loan to GoodBudget that has been in repayment for some time, I can "see" the progress I've made in the past.

Ex - I have a 6-year auto loan that I have been paying on for 3 years already. The starting balance was $15,500. It has been paid down to $6,700. After recording a single payment on GoodBudget, my "progress bar" shows a tiny amount of progress, when in reality the loan is more than half repaid.

It's just a minor little thing, but it would be nice for my "progress" to be accurately displayed.
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Sean Thomas

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Posted 2 weeks ago

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Tiffany Kucifer

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If you just want to see your progress, you could always put the initial loan amount in as the starting amount, then add a “payment” equivalent to your progress so far. Your monthly totals might be off for that month, but your progress bar would be more accurate. (Obviously, you’d have to enter a bogus income transaction to offset the previously paid balance as well)
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Wayne Woodbury

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I wouldn't do a bogus income transaction as that will affect reports, but you could enter an expense with a negative value (like you would do with a refund) and then apply that amount to the loan.
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Wayne Woodbury

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I like this idea for really one reason: it feels good to see how far you have come.  As for budgeting or a debt-reduction plan, I don't see that it adds any value.  But there is a lot of psychology behind getting out of debt and a big part of that is motivation.  This could help with that for someone who starts using Goodbudget part way through their debt-reduction process.
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Alex Park, Official Rep

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Hi all,

As discussed, there is currently no field or option to set an original or starting balance for a Debt Account. However, the idea Tiffany has suggested is on the right track to what we would suggest. If you'd like the Debt Progress Report to show your overall full payoff, the best way to represent this would probably be to first create your Debt Account with the Current Balance as your original starting balance, then immediately after saving, go back to the Edit Accounts page and adjust the Current Balance to the actual current balance. This will leave a record of your original balance as well as allow you to move forward with the new one.

Unfortunately this doesn't allow you to show your overall payoff since the original date, but it does allow the original payoff amount to be recorded in Goodbudget.

Hope that makes sense.