Investing

Where to Get Free Financial Advice

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Usually, it’s easy to find free, unsolicited advice — from friends, maybe your parents. But when you want free financial advice, it can seem impossible to find — especially the unbiased kind.

Believe it or not, there’s more free financial advice available (including free financial advisors) than you might think. To help you find it — and fast — we’ve curated a list of the top ways to access advice at no cost.

9 ways to get free financial advice

1. Through your financial institution

You may be surprised at the wealth of free financial advice that you can get from where you bank. From programs that can help you build a budget to in-person resources that can help you solve financial problems like paying for college or refinancing your home, your bank is an attractive option for no-cost advice.

How to get started: Visit your bank or credit union’s local branch or website and inquire about their offerings.

2. Through your online brokerage or robo-advisor

Many online brokerages offer their customers educational webinars, how-to articles and more. Much of this content may also be available to the public, too. Therefore, if your broker isn’t big on free education, you can always tap another broker for help.

You can also find free financial advice at several different robo-advisors, including:

  • SoFi and SigFig offer non-clients access to free financial advisors.
  • Wealthfront offers non-clients a vast learning library.
  • Ellevest has free financial worksheets for everything from budgeting to debt management.
  • Interactive Brokers’ Traders Academy is filled with free courses and webinars.

How to get started: Use our roundup of the best online brokers and robo-advisors to search for those that offer additional no-cost advice and educational opportunities.

3. Through your employer

If you have an employer-sponsored retirement plan like a 401(k), your plan will likely have learning tools to help you make the most of participating. And more employers than ever are offering employees financial resources beyond retirement plans, including financial wellness resources. Don’t miss these at-work opportunities for free financial advice and education.

How to get started: Ask your benefits department or 401(k) provider what no-cost resources are available to help you increase your financial know-how.

4. Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education (AFCPE) pro bono counseling

The AFCPE offers free financial advising meetings with Accredited Financial Counselors (AFCs) or Financial Fitness Coaches (FFCs). These one-on-one virtual meetings are accessible to anyone, regardless of your financial situation or questions.

How to get started: Sign up to be matched with a counselor on AFCPE’s website.

5. Financial Planning Association pro bono program

If you’re part of an underserved or at-risk community, you may qualify to work with a free financial advisor through the Financial Planning Association’s (FPA) pro bono program. Some of the qualifying communities include:

  • Low-income persons and families
  • Military personnel or veterans
  • Domestic violence survivors
  • Those affected by natural disasters
  • Living with a serious medical condition
  • Going through bankruptcy

How to get started: Find a pro-bono counselor through your local FPA chapter.

6. National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC)

The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) is a nonprofit that provides free financial counseling to people in debt, first-time homebuyers, student loan borrowers, small business owners and more.

You can get help eliminating credit card late fees, ending those dreadful collection calls and lowering your interest rate and monthly payments.

How to get started: Sign up for a phone call with an NFCC Certified Counselor. If self-help is your thing, you can also browse NFCC’s blog and resource center.

7. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

HUD provides free or very low-cost counseling services to those experiencing foreclosure. You can get help negotiating with your lender, organizing your finances and navigating the law.

How to get started: Find a HUD counselor in your state.

8. Savvy Ladies

Savvy Ladies is a nonprofit organization that offers free personalized financial advice for women. They offer seminars, webinars, live virtual discussions, articles, and free tools like a handy budgeting spreadsheet.

How to get started: Complete the Savvy Ladies’ helpline submission form to get paired with a no-cost financial mentor.

9. Financial Podcasts

Podcasts tend to give financial advice and guidance in bite-sized batches. So, you can browse episode titles and descriptions to find the type of advice you need. Then, just hit play and walk the dog while you spruce up your finances.

How to get started: Try a Google search for “podcasts about investing” or “podcasts about personal finance,” or browse your preferred podcast platform.

How do you find a free financial advisor?

During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, several organizations offered people access to a free financial advisor. Today, it’s a trickier service to find, but we have a hack that could help.

Many advisors offer free consultations that can help answer your financial questions. Free consultations aren’t something to abuse by hopping from advisor to advisor to keep the free advice flowing. Instead, think of it as a way to quickly get help with simple financial decisions so you can continue to build your wealth. However, it’s not the best path for help with more complex matters as advisors tend to reserve that advice for their paid clients.

Frequently asked questions

Yes, most banks will gladly give you free financial advice. But, unfortunately, that free advice might be tied to a sales pitch for their financial products.

You can find free financial planning resources in various places, both online and in person. Your bank, brokerage or employer are all great places to start. You could also explore the wide world of financial podcasts.

You can find free financial advisors through pro bono programs like the ones provided by the Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education (AFCPE) and the Financial Planning Association (FPA). Keep in mind that many pro bono programs have income restrictions.

The “Find a Financial Advisor” links contained in this article will direct you to webpages devoted to MagnifyMoney Advisor (“MMA”). After completing a brief questionnaire, you will be matched with certain financial advisers who participate in MMA’s referral program, which may or may not include the investment advisers discussed.