Better Business Bureau Tips for Using Your 2012 Tax Refund

CHICAGO, IL – April 10, 2012 – Deciding what to do with your tax refund is vital in this economy. The Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois (BBB) advises consumers to consider a few different options that may go toward your financial future.

“Making the right decision with your money is a great way to reward yourself for all the hard work you did to earn it,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of unplanned or extra cash, but you’ll be glad you saved.”

Here are some options for tax refund recipients:

Pay down your debt. Use your refund for some much needed debt relief such as paying off a credit card. Or, apply the refund toward other debts, like a car loan or a home equity loan.

Consider your financial goals. Are you trying to save for a down payment on a house or car? Do you hope to contribute to your child’s college tuition? Consider applying your tax refund toward these goals. If you don’t yet have a set of short-term and long-term financial goals, put one together. You’ll be more conscientious about how you spend your refund, or any other extra money that comes your way.

Consider Savings Options. It may be beneficial to put the money into a savings account, CD or retirement fund and allow it to grow. It’s always helpful to have a savings account to draw from if a major car repair bill, medical emergency or other unexpected expense comes along. That way, you won’t have to borrow money and add to your debt-load.

Consider investing in your home. Using the money to spruce up your house may add to its property value. Consumers can “Request a Quote” for free from BBB Accredited Businesses at www.bbb.org

Donate to Charity.  You may want to donate some of your tax refund to a charitable organization. Check out reports on charities in northern Illinois for free at www.bbb.org/charity

If debt is a problem, consider a credit counselor. Certified consumer credit counseling agencies can assist people who are facing financial challenges and are looking for debt relief. The BBB has free Business Reviews on Credit & Debt Counseling firms in northern Illinois at www.bbb.org

For more consumer tips you can trust, visit www.bbb.org


As a private, non-profit organization, the purpose of the Better Business Bureau is to promote an ethical marketplace. BBBs help resolve buyer/seller complaints by means of conciliation, mediation and arbitration. BBBs also review advertising claims, online business practices and charitable organizations. BBBs develop and issue reports on businesses and nonprofit organizations and encourage people to check out a company or charity before making a purchase or donation.


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