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|Certain tax-advance loans come interest free||Larger tax-advance loans have high interest rates|
|A no-interest, cash advance credit line is available year-round and could be a less expensive alternative to payday loans||Cash-advance credit line option comes with monthly fees|
|Tax-advance loans range from $200 to $7,000||Jackson Hewitt must do your taxes in order to be eligible for tax refund loan options|
Jackson Hewitt’s loan options
Jackson Hewitt is a tax advisory firm that offers tax refund anticipation loans around the beginning of tax season. The firm also offers a cash advance credit line year-round that’s totally unrelated to tax refunds.
Here’s a look at the options and how they work.
If it’s tax time and you’re ready to file
- No Fee Refund Advance Loan — Once you’ve filed your tax return with Jackson Hewitt, you could qualify to apply for a No Fee Refund Advance Loan. With this loan, available amounts are small dollar, coming in at $200, $500, $750, $1,000, $1,500 or $3,500. And just like the name says, there are no fees or costs for this loan, though they’re not available for the entire tax season. (For the 2018 tax year, No Fee Refund Advance Loans were available from January 2, 2019, through February 24, 2019.) To pay back the loan, the borrowed amount is deducted directly from your tax refund.
- Go Big Refund Advance Loan — If you want a larger loan after you file your tax return with Jackson Hewitt, you could qualify to apply for a Go Big Refund Advance Loan. Available amounts with this loan start at $1,000 and reach up to $7,000. The window to apply for a Go Big Refund Advance Loan is even smaller, closing this year on Feb. 3. And just like the No Fee loan option, this loan gets paid back directly from your tax refund. But the Go Big option does come with a hefty interest rate (it was 35.9% for the 2018 tax year).
If it’s not quite tax time
- Early Refund Advance Loan — If you qualify, you could also apply for an Early Refund Advance Loan before you file your tax return (for the 2018 tax year, the window to apply was from Dec. 17, 2018, to Jan. 20, 2019). A catch to the Early Refund option is that it works like an advance on another Jackson Hewitt tax refund loan, like the No Fee Refund Advance Loan or Go Big Refund Advance Loan. If approved, you can access an initial $200, $300 or $400. To apply for the Early Refund Advance Loan, you’ll need to provide your most recent pay stub or evidence of income.
Another option entirely
- Early Access line of credit — Early Access is a loan product from Jackson Hewitt that’s totally separate from its tax refund anticipation loans. With Early Access, available any time of year, you can get cash advances on your regular paychecks, in amounts up to $400. Early Access works a lot like payday loans do — you can borrow against your next paycheck, then must repay the borrowed amount in full when you get that paycheck. As long as the loan gets repaid each time you borrow, you can repeat the process as often as you want or need. But take note that while there’s no interest, Early Access costs $20 a month in fees. Part of that cost is used to set up an American Express prepaid card with direct deposit, so that money can be advanced and then deducted for repayment automatically when your paycheck hits.
Other details about Jackson Hewitt loans
The tax refund advance loans are funded by MetaBank, and the cash advance line of credit by Republic Bank.
Here are some other things to keep in mind.
Limited availability of bigger loans
In addition to having interest rates on the high end, Jackson Hewitt’s Big Refund Advance Loan isn’t available at every Jackson Hewitt office — and it’s not available at all if you live in Connecticut.
Hiring Jackson Hewitt to do your taxes
As mentioned, if you want a tax refund advance loan from Jackson Hewitt, you’ll need to do your taxes with the firm. This can be a drawback if you’re already comfortable with another tax preparer, want to do your taxes yourself, or may not want to pay tax preparation fees.
Risks of cash advances
Jackson Hewitt’s Early Access credit line might seem like a good alternative to payday loans — there’s no interest and no rolling over unpaid advances, so there’s less cost and risk of getting into a snowballing debt cycle. But even without interest, taking a cash advance means getting behind on your budget — and it can be hard to catch up (the $20 monthly fee for Early Access won’t help).
Who is a Jackson Hewitt personal loan good for?
If you think you’ll get a tax refund and want a cash advance on it, a Jackson Hewitt loan may be worth considering. But this lender may not be ideal if you’re looking to borrow a larger loan amount, because its Go Big Refund Advance Loans come with high interest rates.
And since hiring Jackson Hewitt to do your taxes is a requirement for the tax refund advance loans, you may want to look elsewhere if you’d rather stick with your current tax preparation method.
How to apply with Jackson Hewitt
According to a Jackson Hewitt rep, to apply for any Jackson Hewitt loan, you’ll need to visit a local Jackson Hewitt office.
For the No Fee Refund Advance Loan or Go Big Refund Advance Loan, you’ll need to bring your valid ID, paystub and/or W2 form, and then fill out an application in person.
For the year-round Early Access credit line, you’ll need to bring your most-recent paystub and a valid ID. A Jackson Hewitt tax adviser will then give you an application to fill out, and you could be approved or denied on the spot, according to a Jackson Hewitt rep.
Not sure if a Jackson Hewitt loan is right for you? Consider these alternatives.
- Mariner Finance personal loan: If you’re looking to borrow more than $7,000, a Mariner Finance personal loan may be a good fit, with loan amounts ranging from $1,000 to $25,000.
- Marcus personal loans: If you have strong credit, Marcus personal loans by Goldman Sachs can have competitive interest rates on a wider range of loan amounts (from $3,500 on up to $40,000).