So you’re looking for help with managing your finances. There are plenty of places you can find free financial advice.
But is it worth it? Is there a catch?
Let’s look closer at the pros and cons of getting free financial advice.
To state the obvious – it’s free! Many financial counselling services are funded by the government and have no fees, charges or commissions for clients.
There is an abundance of free financial advice available for you to access. The most important thing is finding credible sources. So we’ve compiled a list to guide you:
While free financial advice is usually more general in nature (as opposed to more specific advice which often requires payment), you may be able to gain enough knowledge from the free advice to get out of debt.
There is merit in the saying, “you get what you pay for”. It is important to be aware of the qualifications of the person providing you with financial advice, whether it is a free or paid service.
You can ask your financial adviser for their representative number, and check it on ASIC’s financial advisers register. This register also lists the types of products that the registered adviser is authorised to provide advice on.
It’s important to be aware of who is paying your financial advisor. Financial planners that are paid by commission may be biased, which could lead to them selling an unsuitable product.
Alternatively, they may have their consultation expenses built into the loan they are selling, which means that it will cost you more in the long run. You can ask your financial adviser how they are paid, and if they get paid for selling you a product (loan).
With concerns of bias in mind, you may find that you aren’t able to take free financial advice seriously.
Either way, do your homework, and only act on advice that you trust and that makes financial sense for your individual situation.