Some debts may be easy enough to manage on your own, but others may be better handled with the help of financial advisors. While it is easy enough to do a comparison and switch to a card with a low balance transfer rate, the change does not guarantee that you will become debt free.
But on the other hand, you could quickly end up with another big balance if you do not look at the actual causes of the debt. This aspect is where financial advice can come in handy.
According to the annual Australian Debt Survey, conducted by credit reporting agency Veda Advantage, only 57% of people feel their debt is within their budget and 21% are seriously struggling to meet credit commitments.
Unfortunately the 2012 report also shows that only one in five people have already sought financial advice.
But with Veda predicting “around 750,000 Australian consumers risk falling into a debt spiral if the country experiences an economic downturn”, seeking help may be the best way forward.
One of the reasons people may not be looking for financial advice could be the cost associated with using a financial advisor.
Fortunately these expenses could be balances out and made more reasonable for people dealing with debts thanks to the government’s Future of Financial Advice reforms.
Like the Banking Reforms that have made lending and everyday banking more transparent and affordable for us, these changes are designed to encourage you to learn more about your finances and seek professional help if you need it.
The reforms include increasing the transparency and flexibility of payments for financial advice through an “adviser charging system” and expanding the availability of low cost advice for consumers.
But choosing to go to an independent financial adviser is not the only option that you have.
Banks such as ANZ and NAB have their own financial advice services, and there are also government initiatives, like MoneySmart, that aim to increase financial knowledge and awareness through a wide range of free resources.
Accessing any or all of these resources gives you a better chance of paying off your debts and managing your money more effectively so that you do not have to deal with problems in the future.
While not everyone may feel the need for financial advice when they are considering a balance transfer, it is important to be aware of all the resources available to you.
By getting some financial advice when you want or need it, you should be able to make changes that stay with you for good.
Founder of Creditcard.com.au. Roland has extensive knowledge about credit cards in Australia. Known as a credit card expert, he has been featured on tv and in various publications. Some popular offers on our site right now include the ANZ Low Rate. Ever popular with no annual fee first year, low purchase rate and 0% balance transfer. Have a look also at the 0% balance transfer HSBC offer with no balance transfer fee, plus an annual fee waiver each year you meet a spend criteria.