The Fastest Way to Get Your Tax Refund Check

The Fastest Way to Get Your Tax Refund Check

The Fastest Way to Get Your Tax Refund Check

It’s officially 2018, which signals the beginning of everyone’s favorite part of the year: tax season, or as we like to think of it, refund season!

Tax season can be stressful, but did you know that nearly 80% of people who file a return will receive a tax refund check? Yes. You read that correctly. Uncle Sam has refunded an average of $3,120 over the past few years. If you’re eagerly awaiting that big payday like most Americans, you’ll want to receive your reimbursement ASAP. Below we’ve outlined the fastest way to deposit your tax refund check with Chime.

Why wait for a tax refund check in the mail, when you can have it automatically deposited directly into your Chime Account?

One of the best ways to ensure that you receive your refund check quickly is by electing to e-file with direct deposit. According to the IRS it’s “the fastest way to get your tax refund check.” Filing with direct deposit is convenient and easy. Here’s a quick step-by-step guide to getting your tax refund direct deposited to your Chime Spending Account:

Step 1: Get your Spending Account and Routing Numbers. 

First things first. Get your bank account information:

  • Open the Chime app on your phone or login to your Chime Account on the web.
  • Visit the ‘Direct Deposit’ section under ‘Move Money’ to view your Spending Account and routing numbers.
  • If you need a copy of your account information, you can also email, print, or download your direct deposit form. The form which has your account information needed for direct depositing your refund.

Step 2: Include your Spending Account information when you file your return.

If you’re using a tax software, like TurboTax or Quickbooks, you’ll be presented with options as to how you would like to receive your tax refund check: direct deposit or check by mail. Select direct deposit and make sure to include your Spending Account and routing numbers. If you are having your taxes filed by a professional, let your tax preparer or accountant know that you want to receive your tax refund check via direct deposit and provide them with your account information.

Be sure to double, triple, and quadruple check the information provided to avoid any errors which could delay your refund.

Step 3: Get notified the instant your refund arrives.

When you e-file your return and select direct deposit as your payment option, expect to receive your refund within 21 days. The IRS issues 9 out of 10 direct deposit refunds within 21 days, as opposed to waiting 8 weeks for a check via snail mail. The moment your refund is deposited to your Spending Account, we’ll send you an email and an alert to your phone. If you think it’s taking too long to get your refund, you can always check on your refund status with the IRS’s nifty refund tracker.

The deadline for filing your 2017 return is April 17 but the sooner you file, the sooner you’ll get your refund. Following these tips will ensure you follow the IRS’s recommendation on the fastest way to deposit your tax refund check and be the envy of all your friends.

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Avoid ATM Fees with Chime’s Cash-Back Location Finder

Avoid ATM Fees with Chime’s Cash-Back Location Finder

Accessing your own money shouldn’t cost you money. That’s why we offer 24,000 fee-free ATMs and provide tips to help our members avoid ATM fees. For example, when there’s no fee-free ATM nearby you can use your Chime Visa® Debit Card to get cash back at select retailers with purchase at the register.

In addition to the 24,000 fee-free ATM locations, the Chime app makes it easy to find over 30,000 cash back locations including big-box retailers like Walmart and Target, as well as pharmacies and major grocery store chains.

Download the latest Chime app for iOS and Android and follow these tips to keep cash on hand without ever paying an ATM fee again.

 

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Chime Makes Tipping and Splitting the Bill Easy as Pie

Chime Makes Tipping and Splitting the Bill Easy as Pie

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Unless you’re an accountant, you probably don’t love doing math or keeping track of IOUs. The Chime app helps you avoid both. Here’s how:

Real-Time Tip Suggestions
Chime’s instant transaction notifications for restaurants and other services now include a handy 15% tip calculation. Think of it as a friendly tip just in time to help you tip.

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Split the Bill with Friends
Need to divvy up the cable bill with roommates or a group dinner with friends? We help you do the math and send a text message to friends with a link pay you back. If your friends are Chime members, they can pay you back instantly with
Pay Friends. If they’re not Chime members, they can always pay you back through Venmo. Either way, it makes splitting the bill a piece of 🍰.

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Be sure to download the new Chime app for iOS and Android.

 

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4 Reasons Why Lending Money to Friends or Family is Risky

4 Reasons Why Lending Money to Friends or Family is Risky

Reasons Why Lending Money to Friends or Family Can Be Risky

Thanksgiving is almost here. It’s a time of gratitude and reflection, and an opportunity to reconnect with family. You’re excited to see everyone…except for your cousin Jamie. He stopped responding to your texts months ago and still owes you the $500 you graciously lent him while he was between jobs. Anxiety sets-in. What are you going to say to him? Will you just let it slide for the sake of avoiding an awkward conversation? Was lending money a mistake?

When someone close owes you money, we often find ourselves regretting the decision to help them out. According to a recent money etiquette survey, 57% of people said they have seen a friendship or relationship ruined because one person didn’t pay back the other. When someone asks to borrow money, whether it’s $500 or $5,000, take a moment to consider the consequences before your altruistic instincts kick in. Here are just a few of the pitfalls that often come with lending money to friends or family.

There’s no expectation setting.

Often loans are open-ended when lending to friends or family, meaning there is zero expectation setting around repayment. There might be a handshake agreement that it will be repaid as soon as possible, but that can lead to wildly mismatched expectations between lender and the recipient. Without a repayment deadline, there’s no sense of urgency for repaying the loan and as time passes, and tension may begin to weigh on your relationship.

It’s hard to ask for your money back.

Lending money to someone near and dear usually means asking for money back is be really tough. If they’re already in a stressful and desperate financial situation, you might even feel guilty. You don’t want them to feel awkward or ashamed about borrowing money, so you avoid it. And soon, you realize you start avoiding a lot more than that awkward question. You withdraw, communication breaks down, and things become even more awkward.

You start judging their choices.

When a friend owes you money, it can create a cloud of judgement over their behavior. Any time they post a photo of a dinner out, a fun trip, or a new outfit, your first thought will likely be, “Um. Why are they spending money on THAT when they owe me a ton!” Their conspicuous spending choices could leave you feeling resentful.

Reasons Why Lending Money to Friends or Family is Risky

You start questioning their motives

You may also start to question how they interact with you and you may experience a weird power dynamic. If she picks up the bill, you may think, “Wait. Is this her trying to pay me back? Or is this just her being nice?” Anytime she offers to do a favor, you may question her intention as a way to avoid paying you back.

When You Can’t Say No

If you want to avoid these awkward issues, the best thing you can do is say no when a friend or family member asks for a loan. But it’s not always as easy as that. For those times when you decide lending the money is OK, here are some tips to ensure you don’t sacrifice your relationship as a result.

Communicate openly

Be clear that you want to support them by offering the loan AND you also want to ensure you don’t jeopardize the relationship. Ask them to commit to open communication. Ask them how they will work with you to avoid any awkwardness so that you can keep an open dialog about repayment.

Agree to a repayment plan

Establish a repayment schedule or deadline. Invite them to use easy tools to send and track payments. Talk about what happens if they miss the deadline. Be clear about whether you’re charging interest.

Just give.

What happens if your friend or family member doesn’t pay you back? Would it be the end of the relationship? If so, think very hard before you make a loan. And if not, consider your ability to simply give with no expectation of a repayment.  

What’s your experience lending money to family or friends?  

Money Manners is a blog series that explores awkward money encounters and how to handle them. Have a money manners story you want to share with us or need advice? Email us at stories@chimecard.com.

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How to Get Informed About Your Local Elections

How to Get Informed About Your Local Elections

Get Informed on 2016 State and Local Elections

We’re approaching the final inning of the 2016 U.S. elections. All eyes are on the big hitters, but if this year’s World Series proved anything, an unsuspected player may deliver the winning run.

As you prepare to rock the vote and hit the polls on November 8, don’t forget to consider the entire roster of candidates and issues on the ballot. Your state government officials and local measures will often have the most impact on you as an individual. The challenge is that local election information, especially at the state and city level, is often complex and overwhelming. Just take a look at the city and county Voter Guide for San Francisco. It’s a 312-page textbook! And that doesn’t even include information on the 17 California State ballot propositions.

With just a few days left to go before election day, consider these tips to help get informed before heading to the polls:

  1. Research local candidates and prioritize issues that matter to you.

You drive past the signs in the yards and hear the political ads, but do you really know where your local candidates stand on the issues? Thankfully there are tools that help break down their positions. Sites like ballotready.org and http://votesmart.org/ let you plug in your address to find information about your local candidates and the policies they support. Facebook also introduced a feature that shows you what’s on the 2016 ballot in your state and how to size up the candidates. You can even email your ballot choices to yourself so you’ll have them for reference at the polls to make the voting process a breeze.

Facebook 2016 Election Tool

Facebook offers information on national and local election candidates right in your newsfeed.

 

  1. Host or attend a “Ballot Brunch.”

Do you have friends who also share the overwhelming feeling of ignorance when it comes to your local propositions? Get together and host a Ballot Brunch. Assign each attendee an issue or candidate, however you’d like to organize it, and have them come prepared to inform and debate both sides of each issue over mimosas. Or plan a Ballot Brewery Bash, a Ballot Bonfire or Ballots & Boche. No matter how you rock your ballot party, you and your friends will be more informed, empowered, and prepared to share your “I voted” emojis with pride.

  1. Prepare your ballot ahead of time.

Once you’ve researched local candidates and thrown a Ballot Bash of sorts, fill out your ballot in advance so that you don’t feel pressure to make an impulse decision once you’re at the polling booth. While some companies like Chime are giving their employees the Election Day off, most voters will have to carve out time from their busy schedules to vote. Consider voting early or plan to get to the polls early to avoid lines and added stress.

When it comes to elections, there are no extra innings. Now’s the time to get informed and #ChimeIn to make your voice heard.

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