Saving money each month toward a long-term goal is increasingly difficult for most people. Even committed savers can get thrown off track when unexpected problems or opportunities arise. It can be difficult to envision how $200 a month can add up to a new home; the dream of homeownership continues to get pushed back in favor of more immediate needs. For many of these potential homebuyers, their tax refund can be a big step forward in their saving goals. Received in a lump sum, a tax refund is easier to see as a meaningful dollar amount. The average IRS refund in 2019 was almost $3,000. This, added to an already growing savings account, can be a great bonus. In addition to adding to your down payment fund, a tax refund can also be used to increase your credit score. Debt accumulation and use is the largest factor in determining a borrowerโ€™s credit score (FICO). A low FICO score can result in thousands of extra dollars in interest and origination fees when getting a home loan. Working with a lender, strategically reducing the debt ratio can add borrowing power to a potential buyer; lowering the cost of the loan and allowing more of the monthly payment to go toward the home itself instead of interest. Itโ€™s tax refund time. Before you head to the electronics store to put that money toward a bigger TV, consider how your tax refund can help you achieve your homeownership goals.