National nonprofit ACCC provides consumers with helpful ways to be responsible with tax returns and how to make the most of them by managing credit card debt.
Boston, MA – April 14, 2015
April 15th is fast approaching, and for most Americans, that means tax refunds are on the way. After paying dues to Uncle Sam all year, consumers may be tempted to splurge, but nonprofit American Consumer Credit Counseling has some advice for making the most of the cash back you might receive.
According to the IRS, 75 percent of Americans receive tax refunds. In 2014, U.S. residents received about $305.7 billion in returns, or around $2,800 per individual return. The average tax refund continues to rise year to year, according to the IRS. If this year follows the trend, the amount of money consumers receive could provide a helpful boost to secure their financial futures.
“It’s tempting to want to spend your tax return on a vacation or flat screen television, but there are other ways to use that money that will be more beneficial in the long run,” said Steve Trumble, president and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling. “With the right planning and knowledge, a tax return is opportunity for consumers to pay down debt, save, or invest prudently.”
American Consumer Credit Counseling offers these smart tips on how to best use your tax return:
- Pay off any outstanding credit card debt: Take the opportunity to make a dent in your credit card debt. While you are probably making monthly payments on your credit card, if you continue to make just the minimum payment, financing the debt with interest can be harmful and costly down the line.
- Start or replenish your emergency fund: Building up a financial emergency fund is critical. Many financial advisors suggest building enough financial reserves to last up to six months in case of crisis.
- Invest in a retirement savings account: Even if you already have a 401K plan with your employer, consider creating your own account. It’s a good way to have more control over your investments and to jumpstart them. The sooner you begin saving, the more time the money has to grow.
- Start a college savings plan: There’s nothing more important than investing in education. It’s no secret that college is expensive. College debt can add up very quickly and take years to pay off. Avoid credit problems by saving early.
- Invest in boosting your income: Invest in your career. Spending money on professional education or new technology or tools for your business can go a long way in boosting your earning power.
- Begin a maintenance project on your car or home to improve the quality and value. Use your money to tackle necessary repairs you have been wanting to make. Replace worn tires or patch leaky roofs. Some of these necessary repairs will save money in the long run, as they can cost you more if you wait. These updates can also work to prevent any unexpected disasters.
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, call 800-769-3571
- For bankruptcy counseling, call 866-826-6924
- For housing counseling, call 866-826-7180
- For information on financial education workshops in New England, call 800-769-3571 x1980
- Or visit us online at ConsumerCredit.com
American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial management and debt relief through education, credit counseling, and debt management solutions. ACCC provides individuals with practical debt solutions for solving financial problems and recognizes that consumers’ financial difficulties are often not the result of poor spending habits, but more frequently from extenuating circumstances beyond their control. As one of the nation’s leading providers of financial education and credit counseling services, ACCC’s certified credit advisors work with consumers to help them determine the best plan of action to get out of debt and regain financial stability. ACCC holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies. For more information or to access free financial education resources, log on to ConsumerCredit.com or visit TalkingCentsBlog.com.