Fairfax, VA – February 26, 2015 – The Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies has some advice for those consumers who anticipate receiving an income tax refund for 2014.
“To get the most effective use of refund dollars requires a plan,” said Kevin Weeks, President, AICCCA. “Without a plan, the money will be gone without any real idea of how it was spent. Examine all of your options and decide what is best for your family and your circumstances.”
AICCCA offers five tips to use your refund wisely:
- Say no to refund anticipation loans. The costs of these loans far outweigh any benefits.
- Pay down high interest credit card debt. If you apply half of your refund toward high interest accounts, you will reduce and maybe even eliminate the amount you owe.
- Establish an emergency savings cushion. The reason for many consumers’ high credit card debt is that they did not have the cash on hand to take care of emergency expenses, like car repairs or appliance replacement. Use the other half of your refund to start an emergency savings account.
- Invest for the future. If you already have an emergency account, think about investing some of your tax refund into longer term, better paying investments. It is never too soon to start saving for your retirement or for college for your children. Use this opportunity to make savings a priority, so that you regularly pay yourself and watch your savings grow.
- Adjust your withholding. An annual review of your W-4 form is a good idea if you regularly receive large refunds. Refunds give Uncle Sam an interest free loan every year. Decrease the amount you are withholding by increasing your deductions and earn that interest for yourself. Target this extra money for your savings account and check back in one year for the “refund” you won’t have to wait – or pay – for.
AICCCA: Founded in 1993, Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies is a national membership organization established to promote quality and professional delivery of credit counseling services. AICCCA and its members are focused on financial education, efficient processes and advanced technology to best serve clients and creditors. AICCCA members are independent nonprofit agencies that advocate for debtors, annually counsel millions of consumers nationwide and provide debt management services to consumers with excessive unsecured debt. To contact an AICCCA member agency call (866) 703-TRUSTAICCCA (866-703-8787) or visit www.aiccca.org.