If you are after free independent financial advice online or free independent mortgage advice there are a number of options open to you. Typically an independent financial adviser charges for providing financial advice and the cost will depend on the work that needs to be carried out. In the past financial advisers were able to cover the cost of their advice by taking commission from the products they recommended to their clients. This meant that from a consumer's perspective it felt like free financial advice but ultimately they did foot the bill through higher product charges. Now the regulations surrounding how an independent financial adviser (IFA) can charge for advice has changed. If they are providing independent financial advice or investment advice they cannot be paid via a commission from the products they recommend. Instead, they have to charge a separate explicit fee to cover the cost of financial advice. Typically IFAs offer a free initial meeting with fees contingent on whether you act upon their recommendation. Other financial advisers will charge a fee of around £500 for an initial review and then further fees dependent on the level of work involved in implementing their recommendation.
However financial advisers can still be paid via product commisions when they provide independent mortgage advice or recommend a life insurance product.
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Other ways to get free financial advice online
When looking for financial advice there are many options that are totally free, here is my roundup of what is available.
Money Advice Service
Government-backed service offering free financial advice – www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk
Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB)
Provides advice on money, benefits, employment issues and consumer issues – www.citizensadvice.org.uk
Campaigns on consumer issues and offers independent advice on many finance topics, Charges a subscription for some of their services – www.which.co.uk
Offers advice on housing, debt, benefits care and health issues – www.shelter.org.uk
Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS)
Free and confidential advice on debt problems including budgeting and credit advice – www.cccs.co.uk
Free and confidential advice given over the phone – www.nationaldebtline.co.uk
Financial Ombudsman Service
Free service that helps settle disputes between consumers and UK based financial services businesses – www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk
Finance advice for over 50s – www.ageuk.org.uk
The Pensions Advisory Service
Information and advice related to pensions – www.pensionsadvisoryservice.org.uk
TaxHelp for Older People
Tax advice for older people on low incomes that can't afford professional advice – www.taxvol.org.uk