What is a Refund Anticipation Loan (RAL)?

A refund antipation loan or RAL is a method of receiving a Federal income tax refund sooner than it would come to the taxpayer from the IRS. Other common names for this type of transaction are: Fast Cash Refunds, Rapid Refunds, Express Money, and Instant Refunds.

All of these common names are misleading because they are not refunds; they are actually high interest loans.Taxpayers are paying high fees to borrow their own refund money. The IRS has become quite efficient …

How Can I Pick a Good Personal Finance Book?

First, do a search of financial book titles by key words of interest (e.g., mutual funds, bankruptcy, life insurance) through an online book merchant such as Amazon.com. Read the description of the book’s contents and reviews by readers.

Some online merchants will also allow you to view the book covers, table of contents, and even a sample chapter. Of course, you can also walk into a book store and check out financial books in person.

Look at the publication date …

I received merchandise I did not order. What should I do with it?

If you receive merchandise you didn’t order, federal law says you can consider it a gift. You can’t be forced to pay for the item or return it. If you decide to keep the merchandise, you may want to send the seller a letter stating your intention, even though you’re not legally obligated to do so.

Your letter may discourage the seller from sending you repeated bills, or it may clear up an error. It’s a good idea to send …

Financial Security: Consumer Education

Photo of hand removing cash from pants pocket


In the world of shopping both on the web and in the stores, it pays to be a knowledgeable consumer. By making wise decisions using your resources in exchange for goods and services, you can extend these resources. Being a smart shopper involves being informed when buyng a car or home, preventing identity theft, understanding credit, resolving problems after a purchase, and much more.

Photo credit: Pocket Change by Mike Schmid (CC BY-SA 2.0)



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