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Refund anticipation loans come with risks | Better Business Bureau

March 3, 2013 · 5:34 PM
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When expecting tax refunds, cash-strapped households might consider refund anticipation loans or RALs. However, Better Business Bureau warns filers that RALs come with risks.

Based on taxpayers’ expected tax refunds, these short-term loans typically target low-to-moderate income families who could benefit from immediate cash. RALs can carry annual percentage rates as high as 500 percent. In fact, these loans are so expensive that the Military Lending Act bans them for service members.

“With tax refunds, patience is a virtue,” says Robert W.G. Andrews, CEO of BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington. “Waiting extra weeks for tax refunds can save consumers from ‘over borrowing,’ excessive fees and high interest rates.”

BBB encourages eager refundees to remember these points:

Don’t bet when borrowing; visit bbb.org.

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