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Credit Karma Teams with American Express to Offer Advance Tax Refund

With the new GOP tax law in place, Americans have begun thinking about April 15– the tax filing deadline. Taking advantage of this new awareness, consumer credit monitoring and financial health startup Credit Karma has made a move to attract users to its new tax filing service with the launch of Earlybird Advance.

Earlybird Advance is a no-fee, no-interest loan from MetaBank that allows users who file through Credit Karma to claim from $500 to $1,000 of their tax refund as soon as 24 hours after the IRS accepts their tax return. This is a step up from the three-to-four week time period it generally takes for taxpayers to receive their funds.

“Because filing taxes with Credit Karma Tax is completely free, not only can Americans keep their entire refund, Earlybird Advance can also help them get some money sooner,” said Jagjit Chawla, Credit Karma Tax General Manager. “It’s our way of helping people who can’t wait weeks for their refund.”

Users will receive their advanced funds on an American Express Serve Prepaid Card. The card has no monthly fees and allows users to withdraw their funds for free at more than 24,000 ATMs nationwide. As soon as mid-January, users can apply online in less than two minutes to qualify for the loan.

California-based Credit Karma launched its tax service in December of 2016. The product allows users to prepare and file their taxes for free with a simple process that offers insights to make their taxes easier and more accurate.

Since launching in 2007, Credit Karma has raised $368 million. After its last fundraising in 2015, the company was valued at $3.5 billion. At FinovateSpring 2009, Credit Karma CEO and founder Ken Lin demonstrated the company’s platform, which offers free credit reports from Equifax and Transunion, and seeks to serve as a hub for users to monitor their financial health.

Last summer, the company launched Credit Karma Mortgage, a tool that helps homeowners discover savings opportunities available through refinancing. And in the fall of 2017, Credit Karma unveiled Online Vehicle Center, an automotive information center that serves as a one-stop shop to help consumers manage and organize their vehicle-related finances and information.