Can I Get A Loan Against My Tax Refund?

If you’re due getting a tax refund this year, getting a loan against it may not be in your best interest.

Most people get tax refunds each year.

It is basically the tax amount that they have overpaid in a certain year, and the remaining is refunded to them. Although not that much of an easy concept,tax refunds are incredibly popular in the United States.

The data, released late Friday in the agency’s latest batch of data about the 2019 tax-filing season, shows the average refund issued in the first three weeks of the 2019 season sits at $2,640, compared to an average return of $3,169 last year.

While we’re on the topic, it is important to take notice of how the coronavirus pandemic has shaken up the world’s financial situation, and while we may ‘forget’ about it for a while, the damage is still there. Tax refunds, loans and other financial institutions have been drastically slowed down due to uneven operations in the previous months, and the system has been severely affected.

Therefore getting a tax refund loan in 2020 may not be possible through traditional ways for some people and looking at alternatives may prove to be better for some people. This article will answer all your questions about tax refunds

But why do people pay more than what they owe and why do they get a tax refund?

How do Tax Refunds work?

When a person is eligible for their tax refund, they can receive it in the form of a check, bond, or a direct cash deposit to their account. There may also be other options for refunding the taxpayer, but these are the most common ones.

Like it has been mentioned, tax refunds are given to people that have overpaid the amount they owe in a certain year. There are certain ways why that is possible and would work. According to Investopedia, here are the reasons why people get their tax refunds.

  • The taxpayer has made an error in filling out Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form W-4, which is used to estimate the correct amount to be withheld for taxes from the employee’s paycheck.
  • The taxpayer has forgotten to update this form to reflect a change of circumstances, such as the birth of a child and, therefore, an additional Child Tax Credit Allowance.
  • The taxpayer was eligible for refundable tax credits, which reduces the amount owed. Most tax credits are not refundable.
  • A freelancer or self-employed person who has to file quarterly estimated taxes may over-pay before going through the laborious task of documenting deductible expenses.

How much does it cost to get the Loan?

You must be thinking what this section of the article means. You’re getting a loan which is ‘free’, because you’re getting it against your tax return. But what you’re missing in this is the amount of additional charges and preparation fees that come with acquiring the loan.

Let me break down as to how much cost you’ll be expected to bear.

The principle thought with 0% interest tax refund loans is the amount you’ll pay in tax preparation fees, which can go from nothing to several dollars, contingent upon the intricacy of the return. Services completed at a H&R Block office, for instance, start at $59 for a government return.

Suppose you’re charged a $59 expense to be qualified for a $500 tax refund loan that goes on until your discount shows up a month later. You could consider that expense equivalent to an annual percentage rate of 142% for the advance. (On the off chance that you planned to pay for tax prep in any case, you may esteem the credit in an unexpected way.)

So, what should be done?

It is simple math, really.

When you accumulate the interest rates and the fees and the additional charges, you’ll realize that the overall benefit is very less as compared to what expenses you’ll be expected to bear.

If you go for a personal loan, there are no hidden charges that will be added to the tax refund, just a simple interest rate that you will be expected to pay along with the principal amount in due time. And even if online lenders don’t give you that money, you can always ask your friends and family for help.

Cash Advance on Income Tax Refund

While citizens normally forfeit their tax credits when they don’t owe anything, you may meet all requirements for a tax refund through these exemptions:

The Child Tax Credit pays a limit of $2,000 for each child that qualifies as a dependent. Taxpayers can get up to $1,400 of that most extreme sum discounted, which implies that you can utilize it to cover off your tax bill and get a discount on any cash left finished.

Taxpayers who procure low-to-direct pay may meet all requirements for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC or EIC), which diminishes the tax amount that you owe and could qualify you for a refund.

The American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) helps eligible students offset higher education costs with a maximum annual credit of $2,500. You can get 40% or the left over credit refunded, up to $1,000.

Can I take a Loan against my Tax Refund?

Yes, you can take a loan against your tax refund. But you have to decide whether it is the best choice or not.

Sometimes it takes a lot of time waiting for your tax refund, no matter how much it is, there is a certain time period you have to kill before you claim the amount. But if you have an emergency and you need the money, you can ask for cash advance on your income tax return.

But you might be getting yourself into an expensive ‘loan,’ and you may end up paying for services you don’t really need. If you file your taxes electronically and use direct deposit for your refund, you should get your money within 21 days or so.

Here is a list of pros and cons to really help you decide on what you should do.


  • Great option if you’re looking to pay off a high interest debt. Waiting for the loan can be a good time period to get your debt off your back.
  • Even if you have a fair credit score you’re able to qualify. Since tax refund loans do not work like traditional loans, there is a chance for you to qualify even if you don’t have a very high credit rating.


  • Traditional tax refund advance loans are high-interest debts because they often require high origination fees or other charges. Because the loans are held for such a short amount of time (less than two months), the real interest rate (called the annual percentage rate) could be in excess of 100%.
  • The interest on the loans may be calculated as a set fee rather than a traditional percentage thus making the overall process super complicated. It could take you a lot of time trying to figure out the technicalities and gathering documents, and there is also a high chance of human errors.
  • This loan won’t help you build credit because most lenders won’t bother to report your tax refund loan to the major credit reporting bureaus. So if you’re thinking maybe this is a good way for you to improve your score, sorry to burst your bubble, but that’s not going to happen. All of your effort may be for nothing.

These sets of pros and cons are real and happen very much so in the world of tax refunds. While the pros are there, the risks of getting a loan against your tax refund is also very real. So before you jump on the bandwagon make sure you’ve properly evaluated everything.

Where can I get a Tax Refund Loan?

If you’re looking to claim and apply for a tax refund loan, you may have certain options available to you. According to NerdWallet, these are your tax refund options.

Jackson Hewitt

Jackson Hewitt offers a few refund advance options. The Early Refund Advance Loan- which requires just confirmation of pay and can be acquired before you get your W-2 in January- and the No Fee Refund Loan have a 0% yearly rate. Both are given by MetaBank.

Minimum federal tax refund amount: $500.

Early Refund Advance Loan amounts: $200, $300 or $700.

No Fee Refund Advance Loan amounts: $500, $750, $1,000, $1,250, $2,500 or $4,000.

Time to funding: In practically no time or as long as 24 hours in the event that you decide to have the cash stacked onto a prepaid debit card. One to five business days on the off chance that you need the loan deposited into a bank account.

Requirements: For a discount advance with Jackson Hewitt, you should have your charges arranged at a Jackson Hewitt office and bring pay stubs, W-2s or other income verification, depending on the type of advance you get.

Tax preparation fee: Prices start at $48 but vary by the complexity of the returns.

Deadline: The Early Refund Advance is available from Dec. 14, 2020, to Jan. 17, 2021. The No Fee Refund Advance is available from Jan. 2, 2021, to Feb. 21, 2021.

H&R Block

Tax refunds are issued by MetaBank in the case of H&R Block.

Minimum tax refund amount: $500.

Loan amounts: $250, $500, $750, $1,250 or $3,500.

Time to funding: Same day, in most cases. Money is loaded onto an H&R Block Emerald Prepaid MasterCard, from which you can make a one-time transfer of funds by check or ACH for no fee.

Requirements: You must have your taxes prepared at a participating H&R Block office and meet certain credit and other underwriting requirements.

Tax preparation fee: Fees start at $59 at most offices and vary depending on the complexity of the tax return.

Deadline: The refund advance is offered at participating H&R Block locations from Jan. 4, 2021, to Feb. 28, 2021.

Intuit TurboTax

Intuit TurboTax’s refund advance loan is funded by First Century Bank.

Minimum federal tax refund amount: $500, but a higher refund amount makes you eligible for higher loan amounts.

Loan amounts: $250, $500, $750, $1,000, $1,500 or $2,000.

Time to funding: Within an hour of approval for the tax refund loan, you’ll get an email with instructions to set up a Turbo Card account so you can shop online. You’ll receive a physical card in the mail within five to 10 business days.

Keep the debit card, because TurboTax will load your remaining refund onto it when it arrives.

Requirements: There are a handful of requirements to be eligible for the TurboTax refund advance. Here are some of them:

  • You must file your taxes with TurboTax.
  • You can’t file an Illinois, North Carolina, Rhode Island or Vermont state tax return.
  • You must also be approved for the Turbo Visa Debit Card.

Tax preparation fees: TurboTax online products vary from free to $120.

Deadline: The refund advance loan is available until Feb. 8, 2021, or until funds are exhausted.

Tax Refund Loan Alternatives

Now that you know where to get tax refund loans, you may be considering getting them. Tax refund loans may work for some people, but it is important to know that there are cheaper and less complicated options available.

Payday Alternative Loans:

For people who need immediate cash even when they have a low credit rating, a payday loan is often their answer. Payday loans are short term loans that are given in cash form to people who are often high-risk borrowers. Since the person may have a high chance of defaulting on the loan, the interest rate is often quite high. The loan limit is usually less than $500 and is to be paid within the next few weeks maximum.

Some credit associations offer their individuals payday elective advances in sums from $200 to $2,000, contingent upon the sort of the loan. These credits have a higher APR of 28%, with application charges covered at $20.

Statistics prove that more than 69% of people have less than $1000 in savings! This means in the case of an emergency, they will have no other option than to go for a payday loan. This is why the market is so popular and why people blindly opt for such a loan.

Online Loans

Some online moneylenders offer little close to home advances beginning at $1,000 and can subsidize an advance the exact day as or following day after endorsement. Rates range from about 6% to 36%, and capabilities fluctuate by loan specialist. Buyers with high financial assessments, pay and small existing obligation will fit the bill for the most reduced rates.

The loan is to be returned in a period that usually ranges from two to seven years, and an interest rate that adds on with the principal amount each month. Most personal loans are unsecured loans, which means they do not require any sort of collateral. And because of this the interest rates are relatively higher because there is a high chance of the borrower defaulting on the loan.

APR on Credit Cards

If you have an excellent credit score, you can be eligible for a 0% APR on credit cards, which would prove to be an excellent alternative to getting a loan against your tax refund.

In the event that you need to get a credit card with a low APR, it’s imperative to realize where to look and what to search for. There are two kinds of cards that carry low APRs: 0% APR cards and cards with low ongoing APR.

Zero percent APR cards normally offer no interest on purchases, balance transfers or both for a set period, ordinarily somewhere in the range of 6 and 21 months. However, when that advancement is finished, your APR could leap to a better than expected rate.

A credit card with a 0% APR introductory rate is a strong decision in the event that you have to pay down high interest credit card debt- and are certain you can pay the full balance before the advancement time frame closes and your rate spikes.

How can I get my Tax Refund early?

For tax year 2019 (taxes filed in 2020) the IRS started accepting returns on January 27th, 2020. We’ve based these timelines on historical data noting that most refunds will be issued by the IRS in less than 21 days after the return has been accepted.

The financial condition in 2020 has been greatly affected by the pandemic, and there is absolutely no secret to it. While financial institutions have been shut down or negatively affected, the inefficiencies of the IRS have surfaced.

This means that the tax refund process has become slower.

However, there are ways to get your tax refund early, and while they may not surely work, there is a fair chance if you’re lucky enough.

First come first serve basis is a global phenomenon, and well, this concept works fairly in financial institutions of the country too. If you’re quick enough in applying for the tax refund, you may well be given a chance to get in the front line.

The IRS gets an avalanche of late-filed returns in the month before the deadline, usually April 15. The backup delays processing, and refunds, by weeks. File early!

Another option is to file online. It is seen that online applications are processed quicker because of automated software solutions and applications are reviewed faster too. This will help the taxpayer avoid long queues, time to get in the application manually and also saves them from the inefficiencies of manually handling applications.

And again, if none of these options are suitable to you and you’re in dire need of urgent money, it is still recommended for you to go for a shorter personal loan rather than worrying yourself about the tax return. Like mentioned above, personal loans are a better, faster and less complicated way of fulfilling your monetary emergency.

Of course, you may still have to wait for the new year before you can formally begin with the applications, but you may as well start preparing now. Gather all the information and assemble your documents beforehand to save time further.


Tax refunds are not much, but they are surely a common practice. When people overpay than what they owe, their remaining tax amount is refunded to them by the end of the year. And while the most common way to refund is direct deposit or cash checks, there may also be other ways.

Most people can get a cash advance or a loan against their tax refund, however, it isn’t advisable. Getting a loan against your tax refund can entail you in a debt cycle and may also be hard to get out. Also, it is surely a time consuming process, thus, you should look for alternative ways of getting loans.

It is advisable to go for personal loans, payday loans or even 0% credit APR if you’re a low risk borrower and qualify for it based on your credit score. This will get you a loan sooner and that too on a short term one. So if your financial urgency is getting a smaller loan, you should consider alternatives to loan against tax refunds.

Charles Bains

Charles Bains

Charles Bains started his insurance career as a marketing intern before pounding the pavement as a commercial lines agent in Orlando, FL. As an industry journalist, his articles have appeared in a variety of trade publications. His insurance television career, short-lived but glorious, once saw him serve as the expert adviser on an insurance-themed infomercial (yes, you read that correctly). Having recently worked for various organizations, coupled with his broader insurance knowledge, Charles is able to understand our client’s needs and guide them accordingly. He is a gem for Insurance Noon as his wide area of expertise and experience have been beneficial in conducting further researches to come up with solutions and writing them in a manner which is easy for everyone including beginners to comprehend.