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It’s that time of year again…. tax season that is! At ORNL Federal Credit Union, we want everyone to be able to create a healthy, thriving financial lifestyle. American taxpayers have until April 15 to file their income tax return. Here are eight ways that you can effectively utilize your income tax return! 

  1. Create an emergency fund. At ORNL FCU, we understand that life happens and it typically happens unexpectedly. Setting back a portion of your income tax return in a savings account dedicated to emergencies can help with those unexpected expenses.
  2. Apply towards student loans. In October of 2023, the federal government resumed student loan repayments after pausing them from COVID-19. According to the Federal Reserve, 4.8 million Americans are in default status when it comes to their student loans. Utilizing your income tax return to pay off any kind of debt will increase your credit score and improve your chances of future lending.
  3. Plan for retirement. Unfortunately, the days of relying solely on social security for complete retirement funding are over. With the increased cost of living, many Americans will need other sources of income to cover their living expenses during retirement. Using your income tax return to open a 401k or a type of IRA will benefit you when it comes to retirement in the future.
  4. Pay off credit card debt. According to the Federal Reserve, credit card debt continues to rise at a staggering rate. Like mentioned above, utilizing your income tax return to pay off loans, especially high-rate credit card debt, will benefit you financially in many ways. Not only will it help improve your credit score, but it will also reduce financial stress in your life.
  5. Invest it. Investing a portion of your tax return could either jumpstart your planning for the future or allow you to take that next big step. Of course, investing in the stock market involves the risk of losses. However, if your tax return is invested over a long period, it could help overcome any dips in performance while also creating an opportunity for potential gains.
  6. Save for a college education fund. It’s never too early to start saving for your child or your own education! Setting aside the funds from your income tax return into a college savings account could greatly impact those future expenses when it’s time to send your children off to college. 
  7. Save for a house or apartment. With an increase in real estate prices as well as rent, your income tax return could provide that jumpstart needed for home ownership. You could use it as a down payment or for the first month’s rent.
  8. Make home improvements. Home improvements are oftentimes difficult to include in budget plans. Your income tax return could provide the funds needed to purchase a new appliance. You could also use that money as part of a larger home renovation project, which will in return increase the resale value of your home.
If you are receiving a refund this tax season, one of the best things you can do is put that money away into an account with ORNL FCU. In fact, all taxpayers have the option to receive their tax refund via direct deposit—plus, it’s the fastest way to receive your tax refund.  

Opening an account with ORNL Federal Credit Union is now easier than ever! To open your account today and for more information, check out our Spending Account options

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