American Consumer Credit Counseling Offers Tips on the Best Ways to Use Tax Returns

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ACCC provides consumers with seven helpful tips to make the most of their tax returns

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A tax refund is a good way to put yourself in a better position for the future by providing the perfect opportunity to invest, save, or pay off debt.

By this time, many consumers have either received or will be receiving their tax returns. The extra cash can be a temptation to splurge on unnecessary things. To help consumers make the most of their tax refund, national nonprofit American Consumer Credit Counseling offers seven helpful tips.

“Rather than spending your extra cash on a dream vacation, use it to help improve your financial future,” said Steve Trumble, President, and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling. “A tax refund is a good way to put yourself in a better position for the future by providing the perfect opportunity to invest, save, or pay off debt.”

According to the IRS, the total amount of tax refunds issued in 2017 was $323 billion. The average refund was $2,895 per person, a 1.2 percent increase from 2016. In a recent survey by the National Retail Federation, 49 percent of consumers say they will put their 2017 tax refund towards savings, 35 percent say they will use it to pay down debt, and 22 percent will use it to pay everyday expenses.

ACCC provides consumers with seven tips on utilizing their tax refund.

1.    Invest in retirement: The sooner you start investing in retirement, the more time the money has to add up. Your tax return can provide a healthy boost towards a successful retirement.
2.    College savings plan: College tuition continues to increase each year. College debt adds up quickly and can take years to pay off, so it is important to invest early.
3.    Emergency fund: Consider using some, if not all, of your tax return to start or contribute to an emergency fund. An emergency fund should ideally cover up to six months’ worth of expenses in the event of a crisis. You never know when a financial crisis will occur, so it is best to plan and be prepared.
4.    Invest in your career: Spending your extra money on furthering your education can help advance your career and boost your earnings.
5.    Pay off debt: Use your tax refund to put towards any outstanding credit card payments or loans. Even if you’re making regular monthly payments on your debt or loans, interest adds up and can be costly.
6.    Contribute to your mortgage: When you make an extra payment on your mortgage, it can lower the end cost by reducing some of the interest.
7.    Invest in the stock market: The return on investment for the stock market can be greater than your own savings account. Do some research and invest wisely in your tax refund.

ACCC is a 501(c)3 organization that provides free credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling, and housing counseling to consumers nationwide in need of financial literacy education and money management. For more information, contact ACCC:

  •     For credit counseling, and student loan counseling call 800-769-3571
  •     For bankruptcy counseling, call 866-826-6924
  •     For housing counseling, call 866-826-7180
  •     Or visit us online at ConsumerCredit.com

About American Consumer Credit Counseling
American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial management through credit counseling, debt management, bankruptcy counseling, housing counseling, student loan counseling and financial education concerning debt solutions. In order to help consumers reach their goal of debt relief, ACCC provides a range of free consumer personal finance resources on a variety of topics including budgeting, credit and debt management, student loan assistance, youth and money, homeownership, identity theft, senior living and retirement. Consumers can use ACCC’s worksheets, videos, calculators, and blog articles to make the best possible decisions regarding their financial future. ACCC holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®). For more information or to access free financial education resources, log on to ConsumerCredit.com or visit http://www.consumercredit.com/financial-education.aspx

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Marissa Sullivan
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