By Fabiola Alfonso, Financial Education Specialist at YWCA Evanston/North Shore
The federal Child Tax Credit (CTC) payments have arrived, so it’s time to start using this money!
But before you do, let’s be sure you received your money or know how to get it.
Beginning July 15, the IRS began paying half the total credit amount in advance monthly payments for families who qualify. (Learn more here.)
For some families, the CTC payments have been easy to get. For other families, often the most vulnerable, it’s been a struggle to receive the tax credits.
Historically, navigating the tax system has been confusing and difficult for many communities.
And, before the pandemic, the tax season was just one period of time in the year. Now, taxes are an everyday conversation and they are confusing.
Help is available
YWCA Evanston/North Shore and our team of helpers, including financial coaches, educators and advocates, are on the financial front lines and can help navigate this complex system. We can help make sure that any family who is eligible gets the CTC.
Fortunately, sites like Get My Payment Illinois also are a good source of information and can make it easier to get payments.
Additionally, there is hotline (available in Spanish): (888) 553-9777 and email help desk (available in Spanish): firstname.lastname@example.org.
We encourage families who have questions regarding their CTC to reach out. You can email me directly at email@example.com.
Once you get your CTC payments, what’s next?
Communities and consumers are bombarded with marketing that suggests the best use of the CTC money is to spend it. But what are the best ways to spend it?
In addition to serving as a resource for help in securing your CTC, YWCA Evanston/North Shore offers programs, specifically basic money management classes, financial education workshops and financial coaching programs, to promote financial wellness and long-term financial security for families.
Our programs share information on how to budget, save money, pay down debt, and invest for the future. These are all great options for how to use the CTC money and build financial wellness for families.
Additionally, the CTC payment is a great opportunity for parents to make money decisions that have a positive impact on their children’s well-being and future. For example, how about saving for college or tutoring classes or building an emergency fund?
YWCA offers financial education and support
Of course, each of us has the freedom to choose how to use the CTC in a way that is most appropriate for our own families.
But YWCA’s economic empowerment programs, along with staff members and volunteers, are here for anyone who would like guidance and someone to walk alongside them as they secure their CTC payments. At the YWCA, we work to support parents’ dreams for their children’s brilliant futures.
Learn about our economic empowerment programs, including Basic Money Management, here.