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How to Make the Most of your Tax Refund

Use your tax refund to better your long-term financial goals

Tax Season is officially here and if you’re expecting a refund, it’s a great time to get ahead of the game.

The Internal Revenue Service reports that an average tax refund comes in at $2,700 – $3,000, providing consumers an excellent opportunity to save time and money when it comes to their personal vehicles. “Someone interested in a new purchase, or a current customer, can utilize their tax refund to make larger down payments or shorten the terms of a current note; saving time and money,” says Joshua Meltzer, Director of Collections Services for Car-Mart.

Josh Meltzer, Director of Collection Services, in front of a Car-Mart dealership.
Josh Meltzer, Director of Collection Services, in front of a Car-Mart dealership.

Joshua recommends that when you’re filing taxes this year, think long term.

“Don’t think about the big screen TV and don’t impulse buy. New customers should really consider larger down payments that save on the overall cost of their vehicle,” says Joshua. “Current customers can work with our dealerships to reduce their term length, lower their regular payments or handle mechanical concerns. Tax refunds are a great opportunity for us to partner with our customers and create solid plans based on their individual needs.

“Customers making large payments on their current notes can reduce their regularly-scheduled payments, freeing money in their current budget for unexpected emergencies or getting ahead on their normal expenses.

“In our 38 years of experience as a company, if we’ve learned only one thing, it’s that bad things happen at the wrong time. We tell our customers to pay anything extra when possible so that when situations do come up, we are better able to help create solutions that keep them on track,” Joshua continues.

Develop a plan for your tax refund – Car-Mart can help

Whether you’re an existing customer, or in the market for a new vehicle, visit your local Car-Mart dealership before you receive your refund. Associates are available to assist you with your filing.

TaxMax color logo“Each dealership is ready to work with customers in developing a solid plan for their tax refunds that will benefit the customer long term,” encourages Joshua. Car-Mart partners with TaxMax in preparing and processing tax returns for their customers.

Joshua states “prospective or current customers can bring in their last paystub or their W-2 and create a personalized plan, whether they’ve already filed or not.”

“Having a plan helps customers alleviate the anxiety and stress attributed to vehicle purchases,” Joshua continues. “Each deal structured is based on that individual customer and their needs. No one is better at this than Car-Mart.”

Dare to Compare – estimate cost savings over the life of your note

Car-Mart shows customers how buying a vehicle with them is a better option than buying elsewhere. Prospective customers are encouraged to bring in proposed terms from other dealerships to estimate total cost savings with Car-Mart compared to national averages.

“Customers can see how shorter terms, larger down payments, and lower interest rates will save them thousands of dollars over the life of their contracts,” explains Joshua. “This is what we do for our customers. By keeping the end game in mind, offering customers flexible payment options and keeping our deals individual to each customer; the overall savings on the full term sets our customers up for success.”

Existing customers – Re-Structure your current payment plan

If you’re currently behind on a car payment or find yourself running short in your budget each month, tax refunds are a chance to get caught up or adjust your terms.

“When a customer finds that they’re consistently overextended in their budget, using their tax refund to restructure their current note for lower payments on the same terms can make a significant impact,” illustrates Joshua. “Customers who are comfortable with their current payment amount can utilize their refunds to shorten their total number of payments and save a considerable amount of interest charges.”

Maintenance and repairs are another area customers should consider when it comes to their refunds. “Existing customers also need to consider the mechanics of their vehicle. Setting aside a refund for new tires or general maintenance is an investment in the equity associated with the vehicle,” Joshua suggests. “Again, keeping the end in mind, a customer should have a safe and reliable vehicle for their daily needs and that retains value for a future trade-in.”

New Customers – Save money

Using your tax refund as a substantial down payment on a new purchase gives Car-Mart the ability to better structure payment plans that work for each customer’s individual situation.

“Simply put, the larger the down payment, the smaller the amount financed,” Joshua states. “This can mean lower payments or a shorter term, both of which save our customers money and set them up for successfully completing their contracts. We gauge our success on the success of our customers. That starts with quality vehicles and then structuring deals that can be consistently paid on time.”

All Customers – Build and repair your credit score

Credit reporting shows potential lenders what kind of borrower you tend to be. Positive credit reporting can benefit you with lower interest rates or better chances of credit approvals.

“Car-Mart reports to multiple credit bureaus, helping our customers build a credit history or perhaps repair past credit problems,” explains Joshua. “New and existing customers can leverage their tax refunds to improve their contract terms and create positive credit reporting; improving their access to future financing. Customers who partner with their local dealerships in making timely and consistent payments can watch their credit score rise significantly.”

Your success is key – Partner with Car-Mart
A Car-Mart associate shaking a customer's hand.
Car-Mart associate greeting a customer.

Finding a financial solution for your vehicle needs shouldn’t be something you try to navigate on your own. Car-Mart takes a unique approach to finding solutions that adjust with their customers when life changes occur.

“As I said before, bad things happen at the worst time,” Joshua said. “And there will always be stressors in a person’s life, but we don’t want to be on that list. We value the relationships we have with our customers, and those begin and end with open communication. When our customers feel comfortable communicating their situations, we know that we’re doing it right. We want the opportunity to help our customers stay in their vehicles, stay on track with their payments and keep their vehicles on the road and in good mechanical condition.

“We want people to come in and feel that they can partner with us in using their tax refund as a financial advantage with their vehicle needs,” concludes Joshua. “We take a lot of pride in our commitment to the success of our customers, and we’re ready to see that commitment extend to more people than ever before this tax season.”

Tax season may be a dreaded time of year for some, but with a little change in perspective, there’s an opportunity to take advantage of those refund dollars and keep your money working for you.

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