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Synchrony just took a payment x12 out of my checking account, has this happened to anyone?

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Posted (edited)

Sorry to submit 2 posts in one night ūüėē¬†

 

Tonight I did a lot of catch up admin and YNAB and I spent my whole Friday night financially housekeeping. Then I logged into my bank account to see if my new card populated, and it did.

 

I also noticed Synchrony (Amazon) debited their allocated payment x12. Last month I used their insanely confusing "equal payments or special financing" option to buy a work computer, since mine was not sufficient for work. I read a ton about them but this is not basic "just divide it properly and read the T&C," Synchrony is weird and confusing.

 

I use my card a lot (like 10+ times a week) and pay it off before the statement cuts, usually a few times a month. I have an autopay of the cost of the purchase at (0%/12)+$15 monthly scheduled for the 2nd. I have "allocate payments to non-promotional balances first," which should be covering the regular purchases and also applying the 0% payments. Cool. 

 

So at 2:30 this morning I see a pending payment for 12x my payment in my bank account. I called Synchrony and reached a human, and that human told me "of course, no problem, we can definitely reverse the payment once it posts, call us back in a week." I can survive without it but this is not ideal, I'm newish to YNAB and just getting back to where I am 100% on top of everything. I am also getting paid normally, I cannot imagine how this would affect the everyone else I know who is not working right now.

 

Also I'm worried I won't be able to reach a human at not 2:45 AM. And I'm worried once it posts the answer will be "you should have called before it posted," and "well even if you did we can't change it NOW."

 

Anyway, I'm guessing someone, somewhere has had a creditor somehow debit the entire balance vs the payment scheduled/made and there was an outcome. Particularly with Synchrony, which I know sucks terribly. 

 

If anyone has advice, guidance, or other information for me I'd greatly appreciate it. Also I called my bank and my bank said "we don't take phone calls anymore."

 

Since I don't have emergency savings yet (and this would be a terrible use of that), I'm concerned I will end up paying interest on expenses I'd normally not be floating and I am super worried about this. Thanks in advance. 

 

ETA: I just saw the backdoor numbers thread, are those people there weekends and could one of the several Synchrony GE numbers help me?

Edited by smartlypretty

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They have no way of knowing that an ACH payment is valid until it clears, which they are probably assigning a certain number of days as a suitable time frame. A lot of people make payments knowing they will decline to see how long they can get away with playing the game. They may process a reversal without waiting if you can provide proof of funds availability, but they may stick to the policy of you have to wait a week or two. If your bank won't help, you might want to get another one, but I would think an online banking printout would be sufficient.

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4 hours ago, Shane1 said:

They have no way of knowing that an ACH payment is valid until it clears, which they are probably assigning a certain number of days as a suitable time frame. A lot of people make payments knowing they will decline to see how long they can get away with playing the game. They may process a reversal without waiting if you can provide proof of funds availability, but they may stick to the policy of you have to wait a week or two. If your bank won't help, you might want to get another one, but I would think an online banking printout would be sufficient.

Thank you. So it did clear right away, it was cleared this morning, and I called because they said call when it posts.

 

SOP for Synchrony is apparently to mail a paper check, and then I have to call again so they can re-organize the 0% portion (the rest is always PIF).

 

So after I talked to the CSR, they transferred me to an "escalation specialist" who reiterated the same thing, and:

  • They "hold on" to the check for a few days in case I reverse the payment;
  • I can go around that by asking my bank for an honor letter but the chances of that are small normally;
  • That would take hours anyway;
  • After a week they mail out the check and it takes 15-21 days to arrive.¬†

I asked about how the process goes normally and the second CSR said that the mail loses things sometimes. So we got past the "posted/cleared" thing and now "because it's over $1000" Synchrony has some internal policy to wait in case the bank reverses it.

 

He also said if the bank reverses it they report it negatively to the CBs (but reversing it seems pointless and or impossible anyway). 

 

He ALSO said that the only way to pay for 0% purchases is to call in every single time and have them allocate it. They can't say why it withdrew 10 times the amount of the autopay amount. The whole thing is frustrating because there's no level of organized or reading fine print you can be or do to circumvent Synchrony ****ing up your payments.

 

So it did post and clear but their policy is to hold it for a week anyway, unless the bank tells them they're not reversing the transaction. 

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YNAB? 

 

Have never seen a situation where they took everything at once.  The only thing I have under Suckrony control right now is the PayPal Credit (formerly BillMeLater).  The statements were very clear about date that everything had to be paid off on their six months, no interest deals.  I make the payments in a timely manner as a push from my checking account and they all went without a hitch, even when there were overlapping purchase deals.  As such, I would be inclined to put a pull of twelve payments at once time in the glitch category as opposed to standard operating practice and procedures...

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, centex said:

YNAB? 

 

Have never seen a situation where they took everything at once.  The only thing I have under Suckrony control right now is the PayPal Credit (formerly BillMeLater).  The statements were very clear about date that everything had to be paid off on their six months, no interest deals.  I make the payments in a timely manner as a push from my checking account and they all went without a hitch, even when there were overlapping purchase deals.  As such, I would be inclined to put a pull of twelve payments at once time in the glitch category as opposed to standard operating practice and procedures...

After half a day on the phone with them, I feel like I can explain WHY it happened and was not a glitch, and they found "my" mistake (which was not having a time machine?)

Synchrony has functions in payment processing it does not disclose anywhere visible or accessible on the GUI. I use my card and PIF a lot, so I set it to "pay entire balance" on AutoPay. That was the setting on March 7th.

 

On March 10th, I made a large work purchase on the card, and immediately changed "pay my entire balance" to "autopay [installments/12 + $10-15]." In the interim weeks, I manually made payments to "non promotional balances first" as they were posted.

 

Because I had the setting pay in full and changed it after the purchase with equal payments or special financing, that change to my settings would not apply during the billing cycle, but the next one.

 

As such, anyone who changes a setting when they do an installment will encounter the same error if they use the card this way (pay purchases in full). 

 

Three reps told me "even in the future, the only way to do this is call in or send a check. The online payments are not designed to allocate the way the interface says they do." I asked again and got the same answer, "no, that's correct, you have to call every single month." (I use Amazon so much that this is a major, major hassle.) 

 

So it was not a glitch, it was an application of a standing, canceled arrangement. Synchrony offers these promotions, and must know people PIF and cancel the auto PIF when they make a big zero interest purchase/opt in. So this is a big potential problem. 

 

They also will not refund you if they overdrew you. I had to prove they didn't, or wait over a month for my money. 

 

Also YNAB is a budgeting app, You Need a Budget. I was skeptical, but I really love it, it enables CC spending to be automatically handled if you're using different cards for different reasons. I am very very fond of it and it helped me climb out of a slump with organizing accounts. I never had a late payment, but I wasn't really aware of a lot of things. 


ETA: YNAB offers a free 34 day trial with no CC needed but if you get a referral link, it's free for an extra month, LMK if anyone wants one, it gives us both a free month :) 

Edited by smartlypretty
shillin like bob dylan

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Don't need an app to do budgeting...but if whatever works for someone is what they need to go with, then so be it.  But an app for budgeting that you have to pay for is NOT an effective budgeting tool IMO...break out an Excel spreadsheet and set up whatever fields you want to track. 

 

I've got my spreadsheet, not for budgeting, but rather to keep up with the simple elements as well as notes relevant to an account, to include dates that a statement cuts.  For me, it is tracking as opposed to budgeting...

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2 hours ago, smartlypretty said:

I set it to "pay entire balance" on AutoPay.

This is tempting but it's just rolling out the red carpet for Murphy.

 

It's much safer to set AutoPay to minimum, then push PIF from an outside account (and do this just before the statement cuts if you want to minimize your reported utilization).

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, hegemony said:

isn;'t YNAB a DR snake oil thingy?

Is DR "debt relief"? If so, no, it's just an app that I thought was unnecessary, and I personally love it. It has a lot of bells and whistles in the form of videos and classes, but no debt-related services of which I am aware.

 

It probably is considered rudimentary or extraneous, but it is worth it for me, I really like it. Also I am a widow with 2 kids, I need tools to organize all of this. 

1 hour ago, centex said:

Don't need an app to do budgeting...but if whatever works for someone is what they need to go with, then so be it.  But an app for budgeting that you have to pay for is NOT an effective budgeting tool IMO...break out an Excel spreadsheet and set up whatever fields you want to track. 

 

I've got my spreadsheet, not for budgeting, but rather to keep up with the simple elements as well as notes relevant to an account, to include dates that a statement cuts.  For me, it is tracking as opposed to budgeting...

I've heard this before and I'd have agreed, and I do have a very labor intensive spreadsheet- I am great at spreadsheets.

 

Its functionality IMO is twofold- one is that it imports everything, and two is that it serves as an automatic second check of any primary math I might have a spreadsheet do.


Very basically, it's helps you figure out when and where a lot of bills are, so you don't misunderstand your actual amount of cash on hand. It's basically an envelope budgeting system.

 

They said people save $600 their first month and I was like, that is ridiculous. There are not $600 holes in my budget. But I ended up scaling back by over $2000 for the year after starting it, in places I thought I couldn't, and in ways that don't affect my quality of life or my kids' quality of life. 

51 minutes ago, Occam said:

This is tempting but it's just rolling out the red carpet for Murphy.

 

It's much safer to set AutoPay to minimum, then push PIF from an outside account (and do this just before the statement cuts if you want to minimize your reported utilization).

Thank you, these are some of the things I still have to get into the habit of understanding and doing. I was paying it off twice a week because I wasn't sure when it starts accruing interest. That alone makes this more annoying. 

 

ETA: In general I cannot understate how hard the bare minimum is with the new coronavirus workload I have, and as the sole income earner, and with teenagers, to organize money. For like $9 a month, it saves me hours of reconciling. Not everyone is widowed, and not everyone is coronavirus busy, and not everyone also is the only parent in the house. 

Edited by smartlypretty

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DR= Dave Ramsey.  A well-known tool that finds fools upon whom to shill his credit 'tools' by essentially claiming credit is da debbil.

 

As to not knowing when something begins to accrue interest, that suggests you are using a credit option without having fully understood it, and THAT is what leads people to get into trouble.  It is the credit equivalent of "I cannot possibly be out of money- I still have checks left."

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48 minutes ago, centex said:

DR= Dave Ramsey.  A well-known tool that finds fools upon whom to shill his credit 'tools' by essentially claiming credit is da debbil.

 

As to not knowing when something begins to accrue interest, that suggests you are using a credit option without having fully understood it, and THAT is what leads people to get into trouble.  It is the credit equivalent of "I cannot possibly be out of money- I still have checks left."

ohh, THAT guy. I doubt he is connected, because YNAB is a different sort of philosophy.

 

I know that's a thing, I tried to figure out in my spreadsheet where the statement cut and due dates are, and I'm trying to learn, but the main places I read about it are here and on Reddit. There's no like basic FAQ to review, it's very piecemeal.

 

AFA the miseducation of smartlypretty goes, part of it is my trajectory of involvement with credit at all. I didn't get interest or do anything with credit until early 2017. I also married my longterm partner that year.

 

Everything ticked along for a few months, and he died at the end of that year. In the interim time, I have not really paid attention, although I never missed payments or anything. It was just in stasis. 

 

So I haven't really been hanging around not learning, I was just learning and then everything paused for me when he died in late 2017, until late February of this year. If that makes sense. 

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3 hours ago, centex said:

Don't need an app to do budgeting...but if whatever works for someone is what they need to go with, then so be it.  But an app for budgeting that you have to pay for is NOT an effective budgeting tool IMO...break out an Excel spreadsheet and set up whatever fields you want to track. 

 

I've got my spreadsheet, not for budgeting, but rather to keep up with the simple elements as well as notes relevant to an account, to include dates that a statement cuts.  For me, it is tracking as opposed to budgeting...

I do the same thing.  Helps me keep track of which bills are due when.  Very useful.

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1 hour ago, smartlypretty said:

ohh, THAT guy. I doubt he is connected, because YNAB is a different sort of philosophy.

 

I know that's a thing, I tried to figure out in my spreadsheet where the statement cut and due dates are, and I'm trying to learn, but the main places I read about it are here and on Reddit. There's no like basic FAQ to review, it's very piecemeal.

Spreadsheets are all about how YOU choose to design them...and that is what makes them better than anything else out there.  It serves YOUR needs, not the preconceived notion of someone else who does not know your spending cycles.  Better yet is that they are free.  You reference tossing nine bucks a month at yours...that is more than a hundred bucks that could have been used to pay a different bill or groceries for a few days/week.

 

Mine is very simple, is saved as Expense.xxyyyy, and lists the entity to whom funds would be owed, the minimum amount due, the balance in full, due date, date paid and how (ie. online or by CC), amount paid and then fields to note when the payment cleared (asterisk) and also any notes I wanted such as opened, line increases, soft/hard for the increase, etc...

 

I use SUM function for the min/bal/amt paid and I also manually track each of the deposits and the daily account balance for the primary checking.  All told, there are about 30 accounts being tracked, although I do also have another 25-30 lines representing accounts closed for various reasons.  I could ditch a lot of them but I'm lazy about that sort of thing LOL!  Those dead entries occasionally serve to remind me which crappy lenders I want nothing else to do with...

 

 

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5 hours ago, centex said:

Spreadsheets are all about how YOU choose to design them...and that is what makes them better than anything else out there.  It serves YOUR needs, not the preconceived notion of someone else who does not know your spending cycles.  Better yet is that they are free.  You reference tossing nine bucks a month at yours...that is more than a hundred bucks that could have been used to pay a different bill or groceries for a few days/week.

 

Mine is very simple, is saved as Expense.xxyyyy, and lists the entity to whom funds would be owed, the minimum amount due, the balance in full, due date, date paid and how (ie. online or by CC), amount paid and then fields to note when the payment cleared (asterisk) and also any notes I wanted such as opened, line increases, soft/hard for the increase, etc...

 

I use SUM function for the min/bal/amt paid and I also manually track each of the deposits and the daily account balance for the primary checking.  All told, there are about 30 accounts being tracked, although I do also have another 25-30 lines representing accounts closed for various reasons.  I could ditch a lot of them but I'm lazy about that sort of thing LOL!  Those dead entries occasionally serve to remind me which crappy lenders I want nothing else to do with...

 

 

Last Sunday I spent hours working on my budget spreadsheet for fun, secondary to my YNAB. Not because YNAB is lacking, but because I wanted some arcane numbers. 

 

I am deeply familiar with the things spreadsheets do, and I am one of those people telling everyone they need a spreadsheet for that.

 

I signed up for YNAB to try it, and I liked it so much more than a spreadsheet that I paid for it, and I love it, and it's fun to use, and I still have a master spreadsheet. In my personal and informed opinion, YNAB gives me $6.60 worth of functionality and entertainment a month. 

 

Moreover, its non-spreadsheet functionalities encouraged me to save over $2000 when I started, through various tweets. I understand it is a product, and one that is not free for most users (except those with old YNAB).

 

I understand all the amazing things spreadsheets do, I love them, I am a fan of spreadsheets and use them for many things. My admiration for the YNAB program has nothing to do with a) my inability to properly create spreadsheets to do everything I need them to do or b) my lack of understanding of spreadsheet functionality or c) my desire to pee away $6.60 cents a month. 

 

I don't wanna be that guy on the forum, but there are a lot of people here who are advanced users of credit cards and investment products, who are managing a different level of money, and who have been at this for years. Contextually I have made it clear I am a very tired young widow with one income forever and ever and ever, and I'm in a busy line of work right now. Instead of assuming I don't know Excel exists, maybe try to infer what your needs might be with one less income, or if your spouse was in a jar on the mantle, or if your teenagers were majoring in how to be expensive in really insidious ways. 

 

For people like me who are 6 weeks into "oh let me organize bills on purpose again" after my young partner died suddenly, who are doing jobs that are doubly demanding during this pandemic, who barely have the energy too cook and clean and work at a base level of the foreseeable, I promise that "you just don't understand now many things spreadsheets do" is not the reason chicks spend $6.60 a month on an app that takes a few hours out of top level organizing.

 

I'm gonna let you in on a little secret, and this drives my dad crazy: when I get really busy at my job, sometimes I pay a lady to clean my house. He informs me, and I am also aware, that I am a lady and I can also "just clean it myself." Which is true, but I did know that. I know ladies clean and I have a vagina so I'm supposed to do all the cleaning, but I can't hold down both jobs all the time.

 

It also means I have to sacrifice one of the four obligation-less days I have a month to do everything that is not daily or work-related. Further I will admit four of the other days are not workdays, but days I choose to spend socializing with other widows and widowers, and it helps me chill out. Nevertheless, I spent one of those four days the week before this week doing spreadsheets, which I know about and am proficient with.

 

Also I am not being mad or prickly, I swear, and forums are not places where we know who everyone is. But I sort of outlined what I'm working with here, and I work in a highly-demanded and very busy but chronically low paid and under-insured but well-skilled industry. 

 

So these have been my limitations for years, and one of my greatest skills is quickly discerning whether or not I have to outsource something. 

 

ALSO, I did try using a spreadsheet the way I use YNAB now, before I was introduced to YNAB. But:

  • it renders terribly on mobile;
  • the functions are 10 times slower even if the formulas are solid;
  • it's not organized the same way;
  • it can't be organized the same way

But none of that would matter because a great thing I love about YNAB is that on the rare occasion I do leave my house, I can use my phone to log transactions directly, I don't have to remember anything. And if I forget, for my almost seven bucks a month, the transaction imports. I never have to sort anything because it automatically matches to the account etc.

 

So yes, I do know spreadsheets exist, and I do know how to use the **** out of them. But I don't like entering transactions in a cell on one on my phone, and this is helping me in ways no other budgeting functionality did.

 

So I don't mind the $6.60. And I do still have a spreadsheet, but it's for master and trends and dates.  

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You might also check out Mint. It's free, but it does require some work to keep it going and to categorize transactions. I pay all my bills through the individual creditors' websites, but I use Mint to track my discretionary spending. Most of my bills are the same every month, but I tend to splurge at the grocery store or on eating out. I don't really do much shopping/spending other than on those things. I also make sure my bills all get paid on payday so there is never any chance I spend my bill money before they get paid. I also pay my credit cards in full every payday as well.

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10 hours ago, RehabbingANDBlabbing said:

You might also check out Mint. It's free, but it does require some work to keep it going and to categorize transactions. I pay all my bills through the individual creditors' websites, but I use Mint to track my discretionary spending. Most of my bills are the same every month, but I tend to splurge at the grocery store or on eating out. I don't really do much shopping/spending other than on those things. I also make sure my bills all get paid on payday so there is never any chance I spend my bill money before they get paid. I also pay my credit cards in full every payday as well.

Mint is good, but most YNAB users prefer YNAB over Mint because YNAB is less a tracker and is less about finding things out at the end of the month- like you could use them together, but YNAB is for pre-planning spending, so you don't log in and see tracking.

 

If you want to spend more on Category B, you have to either allocate it from your available funds or take it from "Emergency Fund" or "Pay Down This Bill" or "Summer Vacation." And it forces you to ask "do I want to go to Peter Luger's tomorrow more than I want to go to the Outer Banks?" 

 

The best way I can explain it is that it's sort of like playing Lemonade Stand on the Apple IIe but it's actually your money. A lot of people who use YNAB switched from Mint and specifically prefer the "organizing before" versus "organizing after" aspect. I do have both, but I never use Mint. 

 

Another thing I preferred about YNAB is the interactivity, there are classes you can opt in to almost every day and night, and CS will walk you through as much as you want. And I mentioned I do have a great multifunction spreadsheet overview of my budget, but YNAB is my daily GUI with money. 

 

A thing I've alluded to is a fear I have had intermittently of logging in to my bank, which came roaring back when my husband died. I went over a year without logging in. Since I use YNAB, I don't have that, and it feels so much better -- which is a smartlypretty thing, not an everyone thing. And now we're all in a weird place with COVID-19, and it's making it less scary. I am fully aware I spent 40% more on supplies and groceries in March bc my area is hard hit, people in my house have coronavirus. I know I will be able to shift money around and not get a nasty surprise at the end of March or April.

 

But anyone who is a freshman or sophomore with budgeting, I think it's worth the cost. Signing up for the trial I fully expected to abandon it, and I actually paid for it early so I could give referral links to interested widow friends. 

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