5 ways to find free financial advice
Free financial advice can be an incredible help, especially when you’re battling with money management - here’s where you can find advice without spending any of your money.
Free financial advice is readily available; however, it won’t be as comprehensive as paid-for advice.
Your bank, apps, the CFPB and FPA, and online brokers are just some options for free financial advice.
You should pay for financial advice if you have more complex needs or a change in circumstances.
Free financial advice: how does it work?
According to a 2022 study by PR Newswire, 3 in 5 (59%) of American adults want financial advice but either don’t know where to get it or aren’t sure if they can afford it.
Contrary to popular belief, there are ways to obtain good free financial advice – you just need to know where to look. In most free financial advice arrangements, the advice is typically limited to one or two sessions, and the scope of the advice remains at a relatively basic level.
If you require more specific financial advice, paying for a financial consultation will mean you receive much more in-depth support from a professional. Free financial advice can only go so far.
The long-term benefits of paying for financial advice (even on a short-term basis) are exponential. Paying for quality investment planning or just general help with finances means that people can develop a much clearer and more actionable plan with which to reach their financial goals.
Where can I get free financial advice?
There are multiple places where people can acquire free financial advice. Here are five different places you can turn to when seeking basic, practical financial advice without paying a cent:
1. Your bank
Most banks will offer free financial advice to their own account holders. If you are struggling with a common banking, saving, or investment issue, consider visiting your bank and enquiring about what moves or decisions they recommend and what help with finances they can offer.
2. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
The CFPB is a consumer finance marketplace for American consumers that offers a range of free financial tools and planners to the public. Motivated by consumer education, their services exist in order to equip everyday people with the resources they need to make informed financial decisions.
2. Budgeting and financial planning apps
One of the best ways to obtain free financial advice is to download a budgeting or financial planning app. Some of the best ones on the market right now include GoodBudget, PocketGuard, EveryDollar, and Methodology. They can all provide valuable, personalized insights into more effective financial management.
3. Online brokers
Online brokers provide the service of helping people make investments of all kinds from an online rather than brick-and-mortar standpoint. But many of them also offer free financial advice, financial planning tools or discounted consultations to clients without requiring a substantial investment balance.
4. Financial Planning Association (FPA)
The FPA is a financial planning organization that offers pro bono (free) financial planning support for people, families, and communities in need of guidance. The pro bono offering is made possible by thousands of professional financial advisors who volunteer their time to support people in need of help.
When should I pay for financial advice?
In some scenarios, the financial guidance needed must cater to specific needs. This would be a good time to seek paid advice rather than consulting a free financial advisor.
For instance, if you are dealing with a complex debt situation, the wrapping up of an estate, or any financial circumstances beyond basic management, it might be time to reap the rewards of paying for professional, ongoing financial advice.
Alternatively, you can opt for a free initial consultation from an expert financial advisor. This allows you to decide if an advisor is a good fit before committing to a paid arrangement. With Unbiased, your first consultation is free. However, you’ll have to pay for financial advice after that.
Seek expert financial advice
If you don’t have the money for a full-time financial advisor, don’t panic. There are options available to you. Local banks, online brokers, financial planning tools, and free first consultations are just some of the ways you can receive comprehensive financial guidance without leaving a major dent in your bank account.
If you need the best financial advice, Unbiased will match you with the right financial advisor to meet your needs.
Our team of writers, who have decades of experience writing about personal finance, including investing and retirement, are here to help you find out what you must know about life’s biggest financial decisions.