Child Tax Credit payments to start hitting bank accounts Thursday — How will you spend it?

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The Child Tax Credit will result in monthly payments to an estimated 39 million households (Getty Images)

The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan signed by President Biden in March means families will receive child tax credits from the IRS beginning Thursday.

Those who qualify will receive $3,600 annually per child who is five years old or younger, and $3,000 per child between the ages of 6 and 17 years old. The money will be provided in monthly installments of either $300 or $250 per child until December of 2021. Families will receive the rest of the money after they complete their taxes from 2021.

Erie residents will receive up to half of this credit over the final six months of this year. So, for example, a parent of one child under six can expect a $300 payment on Thursday as the first of six installments of the advanced payment of $1,800. There are also phase-outs on the increased benefits based on income.

According to, a third-party bill and pay management company, this money could help a lot of families in Erie County. Erie residents spend an average of $1,083 a month on bills, which is 6.6 percent higher than the national average. In fact, Erie’s average is the fourth highest among cities in the Commonwealth behind Somerset, State College and Johnstown.

Here’s a comparison of bills and utilities for the city of Erie against the national average, according to

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