West End Neighborhood House

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Think twice before getting an advance on tax returns

Many Delawareans are looking forward to receiving a little financial relief from their tax refund check. Some people can’t wait for that relief though, whether it’s because of an unexpected bill or they simply want the extra cash. So they go to a payday lender, or a seemingly reputable tax preparation company, to get an “advance” on their refund check.

As director of the Housing and Financial Management department at West End Neighborhood House, I’ve seen many Delawareans succumb to predatory lending because they are in need of same-day cash.

While a payday loan or tax refund advance is a quick fix, they are often weighed down with hidden fees and astronomically high interest rates – sometimes as high as 1,000 percent APR.

These loans can bury an individual deeper in debt and severely reduce the amount of their tax refund, pushing them further from financial stability.

There is another option. Loans Plus is a safe, affordable, low-interest loan available to working Delawareans with a checking account. In addition to providing same-day cash, it offers a flexible three-month re-payment term, the opportunity to establish or re-establish positive credit, and provides financial education.

The Loans Plus program, available statewide through partnerships with Catholic Charities, the YWCA and West End, is the safe low-interest alternative to a high-interest cash advance. Call 888-936-4727 or complete a loan screening online at www.westendnh.org .

Barbara Reed, Director of the Housing and Financial Management department at West End Neighborhood House