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Have you ever wished that there was something that could handle ALL of your financial information in one place?
If you’re anything like me you probably use multiple tools for your business and personal finances, as well as a spreadsheet to monitor expenses. Not to mention the 15+ savings accounts that you have to manage (or is that just me?!).
In other words, your finances are anything but streamlined and simple. ?
Thankfully, Cinch Financial is an awesome solution to this stress! Cinch has come along to help solve this problem all while giving you personalized recommendations for your entire financial life.
What is Cinch Financial?
Cinch Financial is a Boston-based startup that wants to change the way you interact with your finances every day. According to Cinch the service, “solves both the behavioral and product challenges consumers face when making financial decisions.”
The app aims to help optimize your financial life by merging money and technology with customized advice and recommendations.
In other words, Cinch helps you help yourself!
And the best part is they operate as a fiduciary, which means they’re totally unbiased when it comes to individual financial health. Unlike other sites and money apps, Cinch doesn’t get paid by the companies or products that they recommend within the tool.
The way they make money is through a subscription fee that users pay. The price will be $4.99 per month after the 90-day free trial!
Click here to try Cinch Financial free for 90 days and start making your financial life easier!
How to get started with Cinch
When you first get started with Cinch you’ll be prompted to go through their “getting to know you survey”. Some of the questions you’ll need to answer are related to your goals and your current financial situation.
This includes answering questions like:
- Do you share money with your spouse?
- How much money do you make combined?
- Do you have life insurance?
- Do you own or lease a car?
- What would you like Cinch to help you with?
- How do you feel about your finances today?
Verify your credit profile
Once the basic questions are answered, Cinch will want to verify your credit profile. This is so you can get personalized financial advice based on your credit history.
This is soft inquiry pull so it won’t affect your credit score. After verifying your identity Cinch will show your Vantage Score.
Link bank and credit accounts
Cinch needs to be linked to your bank and credit card accounts. Please note that, your primary checking account is required to properly calculate your finances.
In order to properly link your financial accounts, Cinch offers a list of popular institutions to choose from. Or you can simply start typing the name of your institution in the blank field.
One cool thing I noticed is that they even sync up with startups like SoFi — which is awesome.
In order to verify your bank account, you may be requested to input an Access Code. If you don’t know this you can click on “where do i find my access code” and it will give you instructions for your specific bank account.
I tried grabbing my access code from Capital One 360 and after about 8 minutes it never connected (it actually failed on the first try).
So I switched to syncing my Chase and Discover checking & savings accounts. I’ll give Capital One 360 another try later.
Another way that Cinch may need to access your financial accounts is with a personal identification code that will be text or emailed to you. Again, with my other accounts this took several minutes.
Once my bank and credit card accounts were synced, Cinch gives you the option to match up the various credit cards and loans you have to the ones to that show up on your credit profile.
This is a pretty sweet feature in my opinion!
In order for Cinch to really work its magic, you need to link each one of your bank or credit accounts — so for me this took quite a bit of time. (Remember, how many bank accounts I have?!)
Because of this, I would say that the setup process for Cinch is the most time-consuming part, and it took me around 30 minutes to get through everything.
Watch Cinch make recommendations
Now that all of your accounts are linked and your credit profile is correct it’s time to sit back and watch Cinch do its thing.
The app will find savings and make suggestions for your finances, that are customized for your situation.
It will ask questions like, which credit cards you pay off every month and which ones you don’t, as well as what company you use for car insurance.
If you want the app to consider any other stashed cash accounts (such as an IRA, or other investments), this is where you can manually input extra amounts.
For this section I put in the amount I have in my Roth IRA account but didn’t include a small investment account with Acorns.
Another cool feature is that if you’re saving for any specific goals you can “earmark” any money and not use it for the Cinch calculations.
APR for debt accounts
One of the final steps to complete your account setup is to input the annual percent rate for your credit card and loan balances.
This might require you to log into each of your credit card or loan accounts to find out this figure — unless of course you have this listed in a spreadsheet somewhere.
Preview for accuracy
The last step Cinch will take you through is a preview your account for accuracy. This is where you’ll verify all of the information you’ve input so far. Cinch breaks down this info into separate sections:
- About You
- Money in Money Out
- Debts and Credits
- Available Cash
- Insurance Protection
Once you’ve verified everything, you can see these sections and update any of the numbers, by clicking the “snapshot” button inside the app.
How to use Cinch Financial on mobile
During the time I was connecting all of my bank and credit accounts I was using their web application.
It’s pretty user-friendly and easy to go through the process. But it’s much more suited for mobile so you can also set up your account there.
Once you’re setup and have your account information, I suggest monitoring your account from the mobile browser as it’s much easier to navigate and update accounts there.
Sadly though, as of the time of this writing, there’s not an official app in iTunes or Google store yet.
Cinch Financial features
The main feature that draws users to the program are the personal recommendations. Inside the account dashboard is where you’ll find Prioritized Advice, for credit card debt, insurance options, and more.
Just click the “get my recommendation” link and it will take you through options to help recommend the right solution.
Underneath the Prioritized Advice you’ll find the Always Monitoring section. This includes any fees you’ve paid, the priority of certain financial tasks, and tips for simplifying your wallet.
You can also take a spending challenge or use Cinch to find a way to increase savings.
As I mentioned, under the Snapshot section you’ll see a snapshot of your debt and credit accounts. Cinch will tell you if you have a lot of debt weighing you down, or only a little.
It will then explain which credit cards are not paid in full every month, the total balances, if you’ve had any late payments this year, and a summary of your VantageScore.
Your profile with Cinch will update as your finances and goals change over time. For example, I don’t have any life insurance because it’s not a high priority (I don’t have kids or anyone else depending on my income).
And Cinch agrees with me!
Try Cinch Financial for yourself
Overall, I’m enjoying using Cinch to aggregate all of my financial accounts, debts, savings, loans, and credit profile. It’s definitely the first tool I’ve tried that brings everything into one place.
I also really like the fact that it offers custom recommendations based on your personal profile. So the more information you share with Cinch the better your financial life could potentially become.
And they aren’t biased when offering these suggestions either, as they don’t make money from outside companies! Sounds like a pretty great win-win to me.
I’ve only been using it for a short time but I’m looking forward to when they roll out an official app so I can monitor my money on the go!