Things are very tough financially for many people around the world. With the upcoming holidays the stress seems to intensify. Because of the increased need their are more people than ever who are seeking out assistance If you are looking for free financial advice I have some information that you will find very helpful.
There are a few things to keep in mind first though. For one thing there is a lot of truth to the expression you get what you pay for. Not all financial advice, free or otherwise, is good. Never put your own common sense on the back burner. Always think long and hard about the advice you receive.
You also want to check the credentials of anyone who is offering advice. Again, that will apply whether the advice is free or not. Even a planner with the proper credentials might not give the best advice. To a large degree financial advice is very subjective and some advisors may give you what they think is the best advice, and it may be the best advice, but not for you.
For this reason it’s a good idea to talk to more than one advisor if at all possible. By comparing a few different opinions and points of view you may be able to combine elements from each to help you find the right combination for your financial goals.
Here are some places you can go to find the financial help you need. Just keep the points I mentioned above in mind not only when you are searching for help, but also when you are actually talking to someone about your specific needs and goals.
1. The first place you can start is at your local bank or credit union. While they might not actually be able to offer free help, they may know of some organizations locally that specialize in helping lower income people with financial difficulties.
Even your local United Way may be able to point you in the right direction.
Also your local library may be able to help you find the help you need. Also check your local paper, your phone book, and ask around. There is no shame in asking friends and family if they know of a qualified financial planner.
Often times planners will offer help on a sliding scale and may be able to help you for little, or no cost. It can’t hurt to ask!
2. Finding someone locally is the best option, but if you’ve exhausted your options locally you can always go online. This approach has to be done very carefully though. Online you never know who you are dealing with. They may say that they offer free help, but than when you start to get involved with them they may request a small fee for this and a small fee for that.
Or, they may try to hard sell you on some of their products or services. If you decide to look online just be very careful that you don’t give out any personal information and that you ask a lot of questions. Don’t make the mistake of thinking a thinly veiled sales pitch is really financial advice.
Before you actually get involved with a company, either online or off, you can check with your local Better Business Bureau to see if they’ve had any complaints filed against them.
Just remember that there are scammers around all the time and they really seem to come out from under their rocks when times are tough. When looking for free financial advice never leave your common sense at home. If something doesn’t feel right it probably isn’t, walk away.