Practically every tax preparation company offering tax refund advances will never charge you interest or add any fees. However, that does not mean they are not going to cost you. The cost is nearly always embedded into the price.
For example, H&R Block Emerald Advance Loan will add on $59 when you choose to file your taxes and take a tax refund advance. This additional cost is for the loan not the tax filing services they offer.
Some additional fees are hidden behind the issuance of prepaid debit cards. These are never free and always come with a small cost.
The only way to completely avoid these fees is to file your own taxes. If you are proficient, or have extremely simple tax returns, TurboTax offers free software. You are eligible to use this if your income is below $69,000. They do offer free forms if your income is above this threshold.
Does My Credit Score Matter?
No. You are borrowing money that was already owed to you anyway. Refund advance providers will generally not even perform a credit score check.
Some lenders, however, have taken to conducting a complete credit check. Take note this will result in a record of a hard inquiry being placed upon your credit report, which can impact your credit score in the short-term.
If they perform a soft inquiry, it will not have any impact on your score.
If you need your tax refund right now, a tax refund advance loan is a great way to get your loan. Many taxpayers use this service in order to pay down existing debt, which will invariably improve their credit scores.
It is still important to consider whether you need your refund advance now and whether you will really receive what you expect. Taking the time to inspect every aspect of your financial affairs, and investing in a professional to do so, could pay dividends in the long run.
There are always other forms of credit you can get access to, such as a low-interest personal loan or a 0% annual percentage rate credit card.