Getting a financial education can be harder than many people realise. Many charities and organizations set up to provide a financial education will agree that nowhere near enough is taught in state schools in the UK. With so many different people and companies claiming to be able to provide you with financial advice or information it can be hard to know where to turn. As an introducer, we are well aware that one of the most essential features of a good financial education is knowing how to properly handle consumer credit. Knowing when and when not to take out a loan and how to efficiently pay it back is necessary information for many in our society, but how many of us can ever say we’ve really thought about this issue in depth?
The UK government launched the Money Advice service to help provide a free financial education to all who need and request it. One of the most accessible services they offer is the money “Health Check” available on their website. It is advisable that anyone take this health check if they are considering a loan or are wondering what to do next regarding their financial situation. According to surveys done by this organisation, a large number of Britons are failing to plan ahead financially, raising questions about the overall level of financial education in the country.
However, consumers should also be aware that there are many people and firms around that are committing scams, operating under fraudulent credentials or offering services and products that they are not authorised to promote or provide. In order to offer these services in the UK you need to be authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Anyone who is FCA authorised will be listed on the Financial Services register and you will be able to look them up using the online search tool. This gives you the ability to make sure that all financial services and products you are being offered are provided by someone who has the necessary regulatory permissions to do so.
This is also relevant if you are planning on seeking out an IFA or Independent Financial Advisor. These are qualified individuals who specialise in helping people to handle their finances as effectively as possible.