While it’s a good idea to get help from a professional when making financial decisions, it’s not always affordable for everyone. If you don’t have access to financial advice, there’s plenty of other help available to support you.
There are many reasons why you might choose to get financial advice, and it can be valuable for those that do. Research by the International Longevity Centre, What it’s worth: Revisiting the value of financial advice, found that people who took advice around the early 2000s were, on average, over £47,000 better off a decade later than those who didn’t (holding other factors constant).
A financial adviser can give you personalised advice and recommendations to match your individual needs and circumstances. Advisers may charge for their services – though they should agree any fees with you upfront. But paying for financial advice can be expensive, so it’s good to know that there’s plenty of other free help available to support you when you need it.
- Money Advice Service: a free and impartial service, introduced by the government to help you plan ahead and keep track of your finances. You can give them a call on 0800 138 7777, or get in touch through the online webchat.
- Citizens Advice: provides free, independent and confidential advice on a wide range of financial and legal problems, including benefits, work, debt, housing and immigration. You’ll find lots of information on their website, or you can make an appointment at one of their UK branches to speak to someone face-to-face. If in-person appointments aren’t available, visit the website to find out how to speak to a trained adviser online or over the phone.
- Financial Conduct Authority (FCA): regulates financial services companies. To find out more about your rights to do with banking, mortgages and financial advice, or how to complain about a product or service you’ve been sold, visit the website or give them a call on 0800 111 6768. You can also use their Financial Services Register to find out if a financial adviser or company is regulated by the FCA.
Help with your pension
- The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS): offers information and guidance on all types of pensions, including state pensions, workplace pensions and personal pensions, annuities and other retirement options. For personalised information, give them a call on 0800 011 3797, or get in touch through their live chat service.
- Pension Wise: a free and impartial retirement planning service, introduced by the government to help you understand your options. Give them a call on 0800 138 3944 to book a free appointment, or visit the website to book a free appointment.
Help with debt
- StepChange: a charity that can help you get back in control of your finances and advise you on debt solutions, including debt management plans, individual voluntary arrangements, debt arrangement schemes and bankruptcy. For tailored debt advice, visit the website or give them a call on 0800 138 1111.
- Debt Advice Foundation: a specialist debt charity offering free, confidential advice on any aspect of debt. Call the free debt advice helpline on 0800 043 40 50 or visit the website for information about tools and guides you can use to help you manage your debt.
Help with your taxes
- HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC): the government department responsible for collecting taxes. If you have a simple question, or you can’t pay your tax bill on time, you can contact HMRC direct. Visit the website for more information.
- TaxAid: provides free, independent advice across a range of tax issues for people on low incomes, who can’t afford to pay for professional advice. Call them on 0345 120 3779 to find out more.
- Tax Help for Older People: a charity providing help for people aged 60+ who earn £20,000 or less. Call the tax help number on 01308 488 066 or complete their contact form to get in touch and explain what you need help with.
Help for older people
- Age UK: a leading charity for older people, providing advice and information online and over the phone to older people, their families, friends, carers and professionals. Call the free and confidential Age UK Advice Line on 0800 678 1602. Age UK also publishes a wide range of guides and factsheets, ranging from money and legal issues to health and housing.
Help if you’re struggling
Turn2us is a national charity that offers practical help to people who are struggling financially. They support over 11 million people each year by providing guidance and support, online tools and financial relief to people in crisis. Visit the website to find out how you can get support or call the helpline on 0808 802 2000.
We all face unexpected shocks at one point or another, from being made redundant or coping with an illness, to losing a loved one. These events can often have a big impact on our finances. We’ve partnered with Turn2us to help more people prevent a life shock from becoming a crisis. Visit our flagship partnership page for more information.
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