Mint, One of the First Budgeting Apps, Is Shutting Down

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Mint, one of the earliest and most popular personal finance apps, is shutting down, and its owner, Intuit, is encouraging users to switch to Credit Karma, its platform that offers free credit scores and helps users track their money.

Intuit said on Tuesday that it was “reimagining” Mint as part of Credit Karma and that Mint users would be able to transition to Credit Karma. Credit Karma will absorb Mint by Jan. 1, Intuit said in a statement on Friday.

Mint has been one of the top online budgeting tools for years, with 3.6 million active users in 2021, according to Bloomberg. Introduced in 2007, it was a game-changer in the world of personal finance, surging in popularity as more people turned to free online services to create budgets and track their income and spending.

The news that Mint would be closing caused an outcry from loyal Mint users, some of whom said they were especially upset that Credit Karma would not offer the same budget tools.

Steve Kim, a software engineer in Seattle, said he had been using Mint for three years and was disappointed to find out on TikTok that it was closing. Mr. Kim, 42, said he was looking for alternatives, but would consider Credit Karma.

“I briefly looked it up and it doesn’t look great,” he said. “But I might give it a shot if it’s an easy transfer.”

Intuit said in its statement on Friday that it was “giving Mint users ample time to prepare for this change, before their access to Mint ends.”

Intuit, the owner of widely used financial software applications like TurboTax, bought Mint in 2009 from its founder for $170 million. At the time of the acquisition, Mint, which had been privately held, had 1.5 million users tracking nearly $50 billion in assets and $200 billion in transactions.

Credit Karma helps its 130 million users boost their credit scores and access personalized loan recommendations. Mint users will be able to transfer their linked financial accounts, historical balances and net worth graph over to Credit Karma, and they will be able to continue to track their spending and net worth and view cash flow over time, Intuit said.

But Credit Karma does not offer a budgeting tool that allows users to set a monthly budget and budgets by category, a favorite feature of Mint users. Mint allowed users to link their spending accounts to the service, so purchases could be automatically categorized as restaurants, groceries or bills, making it easier to track spending.

In August, Intuit’s chief executive, Sasan Goodarzi, said that Credit Karma had revenue of $1.6 billion in the fiscal quarter that ended on July 31, down 9 percent from the same period a year earlier. He said in a conference call to investors that the company anticipated long-term annual revenue growth of 20 to 25 percent.

Other popular budgeting apps include PocketGuard, Simplifi and You Need a Budget. In the days after Intuit announced that Mint would be closing, Monarch, a subscription-based personal finance app, said there had been an increase in new users who had come from Mint.

Monarch’s chief executive and co-founder, Val Agostino, said that it did not make sense for Intuit to continue to invest in both Mint and Credit Karma given the significant cost of running data-aggregation and personal finance apps.

“Mint has always been a money loser,” Mr. Agostino, a former product manager at Mint, said in an interview. “Given the revenue Credit Karma was generating, it makes sense to go that path.”

Consumer debt has reached worrying levels in recent months, with U.S. credit card balances rising to more than $1 trillion, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported in August, before student loan payments resumed. Credit card balances, the most prevalent type of household debt, were more than 16 percent higher in the second quarter of this year compared with the same period in 2022.

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