5 times to ask for financial help rather than go it alone

There are times when it’s worth seeking financial help rather than going it alone. If you want to know when you should get help, read on.

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Financial advisers are readily available, but it’s easy to think of them as a luxury rather than a necessity. However, there are times when it is better to ask for professional financial help rather than go it alone. Read on to find out about five situations in which professional advice is recommended.

1. Your debts are out of control

If you’ve maxed out your credit, stopped opening your mail and have absolutely no idea where your money goes every month, it’s probably worth getting some help.

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It is very easy to feel overwhelmed by excessive debts, and a common response is to bury your head in the sand in the hope that the problem goes away. But this is not the solution.

If you are in this situation, there is nothing wrong with asking for financial help. Admitting that your personal debts are out of control is the first step towards finding a solution.

There are a number of agencies that offer free impartial debt advice. They include Citizen’s Advice, Step Change and the Debt Advice Foundation.

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2. You are looking for a mortgage

Looking for a mortgage can be confusing, to say the least. There is a wide range of available products and numerous decisions that need to be made.

It’s probably one of the biggest financial commitments you will ever make, so it’s important to make the right choices that best suit your circumstances.

It is worth seeking financial advice, especially if you have never had a mortgage before. A good mortgage broker will search for the products that best suit your personal situation.

If you can, do some research beforehand so you understand the basic terminology before your first appointment. A good place to start is our complete guide to mortgages. Prepare a list of questions with anything you are unsure about. This will allow you to get the most out of your meetings.

3. You have mortgage arrears

If you’ve missed mortgage repayments and you are worried that you may lose your home, it’s definitely worth seeking financial help sooner rather than later.

As with any debt, ignoring the situation will not make it go away. While the thought of losing your home is a scary prospect, bank repossessions are not as common as they once were. Most lenders will try to find a way for you to keep your home, and they view court action as a last resort.

While it’s best to inform your lender as soon as possible, it’s also a good idea to get impartial financial advice too.

Agencies that can help include Step Change, Citizen’s Advice and the Money Advice Service.

4. You are approaching retirement

If you are close to retirement and thinking about how to get an income from your pension, it is worth consulting with a financial adviser. For further information, check out our article on when you should seek pension advice.

It’s also worth contacting Pension Wise, a government service that offers pension advice. If you are aged 50 or over and have a UK-based defined contribution pension, you can book a 45-minute appointment with a guidance specialist. They will offer free impartial advice on what options are available to you.

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5. You want to plan for the inevitable

Estate planning isn’t just for people with stately homes and works of art. Most people can benefit from planning for the inevitable.

Making plans for when you die will ensure your loved ones are taken care of and are not left with the burden of a financial mess. It will also reduce your tax bill and could minimise any family animosity, since everyone will know where they stand.

If you are considering estate planning, check out our article on where you can go for this type of financial help.

Take home

There are many different agencies available that offer free and impartial advice, so a lack of funds needn’t be a problem.

When seeking help, make sure you ask as many questions as you need to. It’s in your best interest to make the most of your appointment.

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