Take Charge America Offers Tips on Making Income Tax Refunds More Valuable Debt Management Company Offers Tips to Maximize Refund Potential and Minimize Debts

SOURCE:

Take Charge America

2008-03-28 06:38:00

Take Charge America Offers Tips on Making Income Tax Refunds More Valuable

Debt Management Company Offers Tips to Maximize Refund Potential and Minimize Debts

PHOENIX, AZ–( EMWNews – March 27, 2008) – Take Charge America, a non-profit financial

counseling and debt

consolidation organization, is offering consumers tips on how to manage

their 2007 income tax refund to maximize the money’s potential to make life

better.

“When receiving a lump sum of money, as many Americans do through their

income tax refund, it is tempting for consumers to spend it as found

money,” said Mike Sullivan, director of education at Take Charge America.

“Instead, consumers should view tax refunds as a chance to get ahead of

debt and make a better future. It can be a ‘New Year’ for money matters.”

Sullivan notes that the key to successfully managing refund money is for

consumers to understand their overall financial situation and determine

financial needs. Financial needs can include regular expenses such as

mortgage payments, car payments and grocery expenses, but often include credit card debt. Take Charge America offers the

following tips when considering how to handle a tax refund:

— Get your entire return – Don’t take a tax refund anticipation loan if

you really don’t have to. Wait two weeks and the IRS will deposit your

entire refund in your account. You just may find a use for those extra

dollars.

— Understand your financial standing – Get a free copy of your credit

report at www.annualcreditreport.com. If there is anything negative in it,

make a resolution to fix it. If you find analyzing your credit report to be

too difficult, check your FICO score at www.myfico.com. This costs $15.95

but it is easier than reading your credit report. If your score is below

700, you need to get to work by using refund dollars to get bills paid on

time and setting up a

budget.

— Look at your credit card spending – Take a look at your credit card

bills and determine the card with the highest interest rate and attack it

with those refund dollars. As an added precaution, eliminate temptation by

removing all cards but one from your wallet. Place the rest in a safe place

at home that you don’t access every day like a toilet tank or the trap

under your sink. By avoiding credit

card spending, you will eliminate a lot of unnecessary spending and

save on fees and interest.

— Prepare for upcoming expenditures – Take a look at upcoming life changes

that are likely to take place over the next few months. Consider job

changes, marriage, children or purchasing a new home or vehicle. Tax

refunds can help pay for costs like these without making you resort to

credit.

— Build your savings account – Do you have three months worth of living

expenses saved? It is critical to set aside money for emergencies, such as

vehicle, housing or medical issues. If you have adequate emergency savings,

why not start a fund for education or a special vacation?

— Consider changing your withholding – If you are getting a large refund,

you have been giving the IRS an interest free loan. Change your withholding

amount so you have the use of that money and get a very small refund next

year.

Consumers seeking financial assistance are encouraged to contact Take

Charge America. The organization helps individuals through education,

customized credit counseling and personal finance budgeting. Educational and

informational services are available at www.takechargeamerica.org.

ABOUT TAKE CHARGE AMERICA

Founded in 1987, Take Charge America, Inc. (TCA) is a non-profit

organization headquartered in Phoenix. To learn more about TCA or its

programs, please call 1-800-823-7396 or visit www.takechargeamerica.org.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Jacqueline Hahey
Off Madison Ave for Take Charge America
(480) 505-4554
jacquelineh@offmadisonave.com

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