*Based on IRS data for 2004, an estimated seven million families eligible for anti-poverty benefits through the Earned Income Tax Credit spent more than $900 million on Refund Anticipation Loan fees. They also paid $1 billion in tax preparation fees and $205 million in check-cashing fees to obtain RAL monies-all totaled, draining $2.1 billion from EITC benefits. Following are several other statistics compiled about RALs: *More than half of all RAL consumers receive the EITC. *African-Americans (28%) and Latinos (21%) constitute nearly half of all RAL consumers. *In 2003, 79% of all RAL consumers had incomes of $35,000 or less. One RAL provider-HBSC/Household-reported an average household income of less than $17,800 for the majority of its RAL consumers. *In a survey of RAL consumers in Arizona and Virginia, 80% were unaware that they had taken a loan. (Source: NCLC/CFA Refund Anticipation Loan reports, 2004 and 2005)

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