Apr 15, 2022
There are various options for finding free advice from a financial counselor or another money expert in the United States. The Financial Planning Association, the federal Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, and the National Foundation for Credit Counseling are all examples of non-profit organizations that offer their services for free.
Many people in the United States are still worried about their finances, so this is good news for them. COVID-19 has caused financial hardship for many people, including rising debt, missed rent or mortgage payments, and the inability to cover unexpected needs like medical bills.
For certified financial planners, the FPA serves as a primary source of information and a source of support. Since its founding in 2000, the FPA has provided free, no-strings-attached financial planning advice to people in need.
There are roughly 80 CFPs on its COVID-19 Pro Bono Financial Planning Program's nationwide roster. The pro bono program's URL can be used to connect with a CFP in your region. CFPs will require you to sign a letter of engagement outlining the terms and conditions for working together.
A qualified debt counselor may thoroughly examine your financial situation, analyze the obstacles you have in affordably repaying your debt, and offer various options through a nationwide network of member organizations serving all 50 states and U.S. territories.
The NFCC's senior vice president of communications, Bruce McClary, notes that the program's primary advantage is not debt repayment per se.
"A debt management plan administered by the NFCC is distinct from a for-profit corporation since it includes continuing financial education, coaching, and assistance from a financial expert. For-profit debt-relief companies and bankruptcy will not help you with this."
To help individuals in need, the charity Foundation for Financial Planning has been doing this work for free since 1995.
Personal connections between volunteer financial advisers and those in need are supported by FFP funding. Read more. To assist customers in better understanding and enhancing their financial health, it provides a wealth of free financial planning information on its Consumer Resources website.
Many financial experts have decided to give back to their communities in response to the COVID-19 outbreak by offering free financial counseling. Some fee-only financial advisors have agreed to waive their fees to aid people in need.
Nearly 50 CFPs in 21 states are now on the FPA's expanding list, and some of them may be found on the FPA's website as well.
Together with the Wells Fargo Foundation and the non-profit Yellow Ribbon Network, the Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education offers free virtual counseling and coaching sessions and free COVID-19 financial resources with accredited financial counselors and fitness coaches for military personnel.
Benefits.gov's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program provides free tax assistance to anyone making $54,000 or less, or those with disabilities, the elderly, or limited-English-speaking taxpayers.
The IRS offers free basic tax return preparation and computer filing to the public using IRS-certified volunteers.
When it comes to buying a property or dealing with foreclosures or credit concerns, the Department of Housing and Urban Development funds housing counseling centers.
You can discover a free foreclosure avoidance counselor if you're in danger of losing your home due to a default on your reverse mortgage.
If you're looking for a fee-based or commission-based financial advisor, look for someone with whom you're comfortable discussing your money. Make sure your financial planner or adviser has expertise working with people like you and your financial requirements and that they will communicate in a timely and orderly manner.
For a good fit, some things to ask a financial adviser include how they are paid, their qualifications and years in the financial services industry, and their specific areas of interest and skill. To be safe, inquire about the average amount of time they spend with their clients, both in-person and over the phone or email.
As a result of their ability to assist with a wide range of life's financial decisions, good financial planners and advisers are often compared to "life coaches."
A financial adviser may provide advice on buying a car, saving for education, and refinancing a mortgage. Their everyday interactions with other financial experts provide them insight into whether or not you're paying too much or not getting a good deal.
The best financial planners will help you achieve your financial objectives. Still, they will also help you avoid unnecessary investment risks, save money on insurance, and accomplish other significant financial milestones.