Tax refund advance loans are often too good to be true.

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Consumers are bombarded with TV ads, window signs and other pitches for a loan product that some might not even consider a real loan. Isn't this tax advance just a way to get some of your own refund money a few weeks early? Not exactly. 
And while tax-refund advance loans may be popular and work for some people, they're not always a fast-cash guarantee – especially if you have a bad credit score. 
"A lot of people are going for this refund advance because you can't get a standard loan," said Vernier, 38, who admits her credit score of around 530 needs work. But waiting the extra weeks can be a hardship for many cash-strapped, working families. Thanks to the Earned Income Tax Credit, their tax refund is the single largest lump sum payment they get in a year.  
Last year, roughly 15 million taxpayers claiming those two credits had to wait until the week of Feb. 27 to get their refund from the IRS, according to H&R Block. Vernier, a freelancer who specializes in technical writing and drafting proposals, reported nearly $27,000 in income on her 2018 tax return.
She thought she'd be able to receive some type of refund advance.
The loans vary in amounts: $500, $750, $1,250 or $3,000. The amount of the advance depends, in part, on the expected amount of your refund. 
Vernier said she was told by the tax preparers that she likely would qualify, given that she was expected to receive more than $7,800 in federal and state tax refunds with the earned income credit and the child credit. 
Her refund will be reduced by $327.95 (after a $25 coupon) for the cost of getting her taxes done at an H&R Block office near her home in Timberville, Virginia. The fees include a $39.95 charge for a federal refund transfer, a processing fee associated with paying tax-prep fees out of your refund and avoiding out-of-pocket costs.
After she completed her taxes, she waited for a text to show the exact amount of her refund advance.
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