Be patient for your annual tax refund. It doesn't pay to get it quicker. 

If you're like most families, your tax refund is the single largest cash payment you'll receive during the year. With the average refund totaling more than $2,000, most consumers have big plans for their refund and want it as soon as possible.

Keep in mind, however, that many of the "rapid refund" offers available to you are really high-fee loans which, for most consumers, are unnecessary. Although the quick turnaround may sound attractive, you're actually paying money to in effect borrow your own money.

Finance charges on the average refund could be $100 or more - that's more than 140 percent APR. This interest rate does not include any fees that you may be required to pay to have your taxes prepared. In addition, some rapid refund services provide your refund just a few days before you would have received it if you filed your own return electronically.

Since there are plenty of alternatives available to you that will not cost you anything you should carefully consider whether a refund anticipation loan is right for you.

Learn if you qualify for free tax preparation assistance by calling 2-1-1 at the end of the calendar year.