Income Tax Loan
RAL, Refund Anticipation Loan

Refund Anticipation Loan or RAL is an income tax loan service offered by very few income tax preparation services. The Refund Anticipation Loan service is an optional service that you can get prior to e-filing your income tax refund online. In other words, a RAL option will present itself to those tax payers who's completed income tax return shows a Refund, not a balance due. If you have a balance due and can't pay it, you would need a balance due Income Tax Loan.

Is The Refund Anticipation Loan (RAL) For You?

Every tax payer wants their income tax refund money fast, however, there are a few things to consider before accepting the RAL loan option. After you complete your income tax refund forms using one of the supporting providers, you will be presented with billing and efile options which include the RAL Refund Anticipation Loan. Please make sure you understand the terms and conditions of the RAL loan as they are presented to you by the service provider. A few points to consider before accepting the RAL service are listed below.

  • RAL products are loans just like any other loan. If your income tax refund amount is reduced by the IRS, you will have to pay some of the money back. Those who owe back child support beware!
  • The price of Refund Anticipation Loan service varies by provider and loan amount. Prices of a RAL loan can vary from $75 to $200 and more. Higher refund amounts are charged a higher RAL price, because a higher refund equals a higher loan amount. RAL prices also change as the interest rates charged in the loan market changes.
  • All RAL fees are conveniently deducted from your income tax refund, along with any tax software or income tax preparation fees.
  • You generally have the option to receive the RAL money by direct deposit or by paper check. Of course direct deposit will be much faster than a check by mail.
  • Loan approval is required through a third party, generally a bank. Your credit will be checked, however, the standards are much lower than that of other loans. When in doubt give it a try. The RAL fee will be refunded to you, and the next fastest method of receiving your refund will become available.
  • The speed in which you get your RAL income tax loan money varies, and is often dependent upon a set processing schedule. Federal income tax refund money can be deposited into your bank account in as little as 48 hours after loan approval.
  • Only the federal portion of your income tax refund is available through the Refund Anticipation Loan program. The RAL service provider will calculate the maximum loan amount available to you, and you can decide how much you would like to borrow.
  • You generally have 48 hours to cancel the RAL, however, don't take our word for it. Please review the RAL income tax loan terms and conditions to understand your exact RAL cancellation terms, conditions, fees, etc.

Refund Anticipation Loans are always a hot topic for debate during the income tax preparation season. However, RAL income tax loans and other short-term financial solutions continue to grow in popularity. If at any time you are concerned about the terms, conditions, price, fee, or status of your Refund Anticipation Loan, please contact your tax preparation service provider directly. All tax help and income tax loan support numbers are clearly listed on each tax preparation website, which are equally visible through the use of any free trial links. See also our frequently asked questions.

Last updated: November 11, 2018