Meeting With Your Financial Adviser
We know that it can be pretty nerve-wracking to set up the first meeting with your new financial adviser; allowing a stranger to see so much personal information can be embarrassing. You’re scared of being judged for whatever decisions you’ve made in the past, and it’s intimidating to sit in front of someone who is an expert in finances -- especially if you are the exact opposite of a financial expert.
You may not realize that many financial consultants know exactly how you feel. Many of them were in your shoes at some point, and they decided to seek help and to become as knowledgeable about finances as possible so that they could help others who feel overwhelmed by debt. Financial advisers know that their clients aren’t the experts -- and they aren’t expecting their clients to be the experts.
The main thing that matters when you set up a meeting with a financial adviser is that you honestly want to get yourself out of debt, and that you’re willing to learn new strategies which will help you stay out of debt. As long as you’re willing to trust your adviser, and as long as you’re ready to make some small sacrifices, you don’t have anything to be worried about.
Nevertheless, we still want you to know exactly what you should expect when you start looking for an adviser, and when you actually find an adviser. We want our clients to feel as comfortable as possible, and we know that a well-informed client is a relaxed and trusting client.
So what should you expect when you start looking for a debt relief adviser?
First, it’s important to find an individual (or an agency) who is trustworthy and professional. A great way to start is to ask around and talk to people who have received help with managing their debts. You’ll find plenty of customer reviews for financial advisers when you search for an agency on Google, but if you want to make sure that you’re getting honest feedback, it never hurts to talk to some real people.
Second, when you do find an adviser you think you like, it’s perfectly okay to ask if he/she has any references. This might include business partnerships and certifications, or it might mean that he/she will put you in touch with a previous client who has received debt management help from that particular adviser or agency. If references aren’t offered, don’t be afraid to ask.
Third, remember that it’s unlikely that you’ll find an adviser or agency with absolutely no negative feedback from previous clients. It isn’t possible to please every client all of the time, and any agency that claims to do this is not being completely honest with you.
So now that your first meeting is scheduled, what can you do to prepare?
This probably goes without saying, but you’ll need to accept that your adviser is going to be looking through a lot of personal information. You don’t have to be completely comfortable with this, but know that it’s a necessary part of figuring out how to manage your debt.
More than anything else, this consultation is intended to provide your adviser with as many details about your situation as possible. If you’re able to find your credit score and/or details about outstanding debts you have, this is the perfect time to give that information to the adviser. If you don’t have this information, that’s okay too. Just having basic and informal information organized -- bank statements, monthly income, monthly spending habits, etc. -- will make it easier to assess your current predicament.
If you want to do even more research regarding possible debt solutions, that certainly never hurts. This can be as simple as collecting a list of savings strategies, or as complex as researching different types of consolidation loans. If nothing else, doing this research will show your adviser that you want to manage your debt and that you’re willing to put in the effort to do so.
Above all else, remember that this is about your money and your future. You have every right to be as knowledgeable about the debt management process as you want to be, and you deserve to have an adviser who is willing to offer complete transparency throughout everything.