Tax refund advances could come at a high cost

Tax season is underway and several businesses offer refund loans to consumers who want to get their money faster, but these cash advances may not be the best option for everyone.

Companies that offer tax refund advances agree to prepare and file taxes, then they offer customers a loan of their anticipated refund.

The money is typically offered in the form of a prepaid card and those cards often have fees attached.

Some cards deduct a fee with every use, and there may also be a monthly maintenance fee.

Alyssa Gutierrez with the Better Business Bureau said people should always ask how much will be taken from their return before agreeing to an advance.

"Someone is going to get something whether it's commission or a loan, and usually they will take a hefty chunk of it so if you can wait that's just best rule of thumb," Gutierrez said.

It's also important to remember that not everyone who files a tax return will qualify for a refund advance.

Experts said if you don't qualify for a loan under normal circumstances, it is unlikely you would qualify for a tax advance.

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