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Contact: Patrick Harris
Director of Media and Public Relations
Ohio Credit Union League
800-486-2917 or 614-336-2894, ext. 212
The Financial Five -- February 2013
46% of Ohioans Plan to Use a Tax Refund to Pay Off Debt
Five tips on how to put your tax refund to work for you
Columbus, Ohio (February 20, 2013) For Ohioans lucky enough to receive one, a tax refund is like an extra
paycheck. For others, a refund is an opportunity to replenish their “rainy day” fund, which dwindled as
unexpected expenses occurred. Still others count on a tax refund to fulfill the vacation of a lifetime.
According to a survey by the Ohio Credit Union League (OCUL), 46% of Ohioans who are expecting a refund
will use the money to pay down existing debt, while 41% will invest it in a savings vehicle. Only 6.5% are
planning to make a major purchase with their refund, and a very small percentage will use it start a new business.
All in all, the results point to a tendency by Ohio taxpayers to put their tax refund to work for them.
“Saving or paying off debt is sound financial advice that can immediately improve your personal finances,” said
Patrick Harris, Director of Media and Public Relations for the Ohio Credit Union League. “If your tax refund is
substantial enough to start an emergency fund, do so. Or, if your monthly budget is weighed down with monthly
credit card payments, use your refund to pay the balance down.”
OCUL suggests using a tax refund for one or more of the following:
Start a “rainy day” fund. The term “rainy day” is misleading, as unexpected financial woes happen in
any weather. Car repairs, home maintenance, and health expenses always occur when they are least
expected. Putting money aside helps you manage the unimaginable.
Pay down a credit card or loan balance. Nothing hampers a budget like interest-laden monthly loan
payments. Whether in the form of a credit card minimum amount due, or repaying a home equity line,
shrinking your balance due can minimize your payment and shorten the life on the loan.
Invest it long term. The further away you are from retirement, the more your refund can benefit you.
Talk to a credit union about long term investment options, and watch your money grow.
Invest it short term. While returns on short term investments, such as certificates of deposit, are at
record lows, they are still safe and earn interest. If you are looking to make a major purchase in a year,
investing short term can grow your refund into a generous down payment.
Start a college savings plan. If your children have college aspirations, consider using your refund to
start an education savings plan. The cost of attending college is forecasted to rise significantly over the
next decade, so investing in higher education now is smart.
The Financial Five is a monthly consumer column from Ohio’s credit unions that provides important financial
tips to consumers.
-30The Ohio Credit Union League, with offices in Columbus, is a state trade association representing 365 credit unions. Credit unions are
not-for-profit financial institutions owned and democratically-controlled by their members. Ohio credit unions provide savings, loans, and
other consumer financial services to 2.73 million members. To learn more, visit