How to Build Credit with a Tax Return

a business woman doing her taxes

Get ready to dust off those calculators and brace yourself for the 2024 tax season, launching January 29! This means the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is beginning to accept and process 2023 tax returns with the deadline of April 15, 2024. Now, we get it—filing taxes isn't exactly the highlight of your year, but the possibility of receiving a tax refund can make it all feel worth it. Cha-ching! Your tax refund isn't just a money bump; it's your ticket to boosting your finances. In this blog, we'll share a practical approach to kickstarting your credit score with your tax return: utilizing secured credit cards. But before we dive into that, let’s start with the basics of credit scores.

Why do credit scores matter?

Think of a credit score as a grade for how well you manage your money. It's like a report card that lenders, landlords, and even employers use to quickly understand how reliable you are with financial matters. A higher score? Consider it your golden ticket for better deals on loans and credit cards. But it's not just about borrowing—your credit score can also affect things like renting a place, getting a job in some cases, or even setting up utilities without paying a big deposit. Keeping your credit score in good shape is like having a VIP pass for better financial opportunities!

What is a secured credit card?

Secured credit cards function much like the traditional ones, with a twist. Here's the lowdown: you put down a refundable security deposit, let's say $400, which becomes your spending cap—keeping things straightforward. This deposit acts as a safety net for the card issuer, ensuring everyone's covered if payments go off track. Now, here's the kicker: as you responsibly use and pay off the card, you're not just spending; you're building a payment history that can give your credit score a boost. It's like a low-key financial power move—smart, simple, and effective.

Why should I use my tax return to build credit?

Looking to kickstart your credit journey? Consider using your tax refund as the deposit for a new secured credit card. It's a practical way to establish or build credit. For context, in 2023, the IRS disclosed that the average tax refund for the 2022 tax year was $2,753. That’s a solid amount to put toward improving your finances, giving your credit score a boost along the way.

Building Credit with an Academy Bank Secured Credit Card

This tax season, show your credit score some love with the Academy Bank’s Credit Builder Secured Visa® Credit Card—a game-changer for those on the credit improvement journey. Tailor your credit experience by setting your own limit, ranging from $300 to $3,000, depending on the deposit into your Credit Builder Savings account. The flexibility doesn't stop there—elevate your credit potential by adding funds in increments of $50 or more to the savings account, providing your credit with the attention it deserves.

Features of Academy Bank’s Credit Builder include the following:

  • No application fee
  • No over-limit fee
  • Automatic reporting to the three major credit bureaus to help you build a credit history
  • Added security of EMV chip technology
  • Faster, more secure online transactions when you enroll in Visa® Secure Remote Commerce

It's your personalized roadmap to a better credit landscape. Start building your score with Academy Bank today! Want more credit tips? We have tons!

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Subject to credit approval. Improved credit score is not guaranteed. Credit score is determined by credit reporting agencies based on multiple factors, but satisfactory performance on a credit card product can improve your credit score. Default on a credit card, including missed or late payments can damage your credit score. Once added, funds cannot be withdrawn from the Credit Builder Savings account and the Credit Builder credit card without closing the savings account and the credit card.