What is Unbiased?
Unbiased is a search engine dedicated to finding local financial advisers, mortgage brokers and accountants. It has a database of 27,000 qualified professionals and boasts having more than 10m users.
The website offers guides on pensions, mortgages, financial planning and small businesses as well as for life milestones including buying your first home, starting a family and retiring.
You can also use its mortgage or advice checklists to calculate what you could pay in various circumstances.
How does Unbiased work?
Unbiased offers two search options for users, a professional matchmaking-style service and simplified search based on location.
Search option 1 - 'Find me an expert'
The first option is for those who already know the specific type of advice they require such as financial planning or if you want to start a pension or ISA. First you select the product and then add your income and details of your specific goals before entering your postcode. You will be emailed a matched professional to contact based on your needs.
Search option 2 - Location-based search
Alternatively, you can search for a local adviser or mortgage broker based on postcode. Results can be displayed as a list or on a map and you can filter by the type of advice such as pensions, tax, expats, business, stockbrokers, sharia finance or long term care.
You can choose to view results based on how you would prefer to pay, such as through fixed fees, hourly rates or a percentage of assets. There are some further options if you want to opt for a male or female adviser, face to face, online or telephone advice or to have someone with specialist qualifications or accreditations. Users can also opt for independent financial advisers (those who search the whole of market for products and provide a range of services) or alternatively they can opt for those that offer restricted advice meaning they may be restricted to a particular product type.
One other important option is the ability to choose an adviser who has testimonials. Advisers can include testimonials on their profiles and this helps provide a sense of what they are like to work with.
You can click on each advisory firms profile to see the services they offer, its staff, their qualifications. Some advisers may also have special offers such as a free mortgage review or pension healthcheck. Their profiles will also indicate if they have a minimum investment they work with and also provide social media and contact details.
You can message your preferred adviser through Unbiased or request a callback. Each firm is given a response rating out of 10 which indicates how good they are at responding to enquiries. This can be a valuable indicator when choosing an adviser to work with as it can be frustrating having to chase up enquiries or having to wait long periods for a reply.
One thing to mention is that Unbiased's search function automatically defaults to those that have paid a fee. In order to reveal the full list, you need to scroll down and untick a box labelled 'show advisers available for contact'.
Is Unbiased free?
Unbiased is free for its users. You can make as many searches as you like and submit enquires at no cost. The only time you will have to pay fees is if you start working with an adviser but that will usually be agreed upfront.
How does Unbiased make money?
Unbiased is funded through the advisers who upload profiles to its database. Advisers can get a free subscription that just includes their basic details or they can pay to be able to accept and respond to enquires and track analytics such as seeing how often they appear in searches. Advisers can also pay extra to have their firm appear more prominently in results for certain postcodes.
Can I trust Unbiased?
Unbiased has a track record dating back three decades, launching in 1989 as a hotline for consumers to find local advisers. It has built up a respectable and reliable brand used by millions of people. All advisers signing up to Unbiased must provide their Financial Conduct Authority number to show they are regulated. Unbiased also ensures you get the best professionals by ensuring that the advisers search the whole of market. It will not allow advisers who can only recommend from a panel of products.
Unbiased vs VouchedFor
VouchedFor provides a similar service to Unbiased but hasn’t been around for as long, having launched in 2012. It doesn’t offer a matchmaking service meaning users can only search by postcode.
More VouchedFor users tend to display their fees and you can see client ratings, which Unbiased doesn’t offer. VouchedFor has a Trustpilot rating of 4.6 compared to a score of 3.9 for Unbiased.
Read our VouchedFor review to find out more.
Unbiased pros and cons
Pros of using unbiased
Search results are displayed either as a list or in map form so you can easily see how close an adviser is to you. There are also useful filters so you can choose by features such as product or fee type.
It is no use contacting an adviser who doesn’t check their enquiries. Unbiased gives each adviser a response rating out of 10 so you know how likely you are to get a response.
Lots of detail
You can learn a lot about the firm of your choice before even making contact. Each profile will feature headshots and details of staff members, their qualifications, type of advice and how they work (such as face-to-face or over the phone). You can even check their social media feeds.
Cons of using unbiased
Can’t see fees
Knowing how much you will be charged can be an important factor in choosing an adviser but not all display their fees, which can make it hard to decide.
Some advisers pay to be more prominent
Don’t just opt for the first adviser you see on the list as they may be paying to be displayed more prominently than others. It is important to click on each profile and actually read about the firm rather than just choosing who you see first.
Lack of customer reviews
Unlike its rival VouchedFor, Unbiased doesn’t make it mandatory to include customer reviews on profiles so not all include this, which can make it hard to choose an adviser if you don’t know about the experience of others.
Unbiased has built a tried and tested method for millions of people to find advisers. Remember local isn’t always better as many advisers will be happy to travel or deal with you on the phone but the search engine is an effective and accessible way to find the best adviser for you in one place. If you are still unsure, check out our article '10 tips on how to find a good financial adviser'.
Unbiased customer reviews
Unbiased has almost 4,000 Trustpilot reviews and scores 3.9 out of 5.0.
56% of users rate it as excellent and 17% as great. However, 14% rate their experience as bad, citing poor search results and choice of adviser.
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