Free Financial Advice in NZ: Where to Find it

Navigating the world of finance and staying on top of your money can be challenging. So, it’s no surprise that many Kiwis choose to seek help from a financial adviser. Canstar explores some options to consider if you’re looking for free financial advice.

If your budget is tight, but you feel like you could use some guidance on managing your debt, investing, KiwiSaver, insurance, or other aspects of managing your money, there may be ways to get financial advice for free.

Remember, regardless of whether or not you’re paying for the financial advice you receive, it’s important to carefully consider its source and whether it’s suitable for you.

Free Financial Advice in NZ: Where To Find It. In this article, we cover:

What is financial advice?

Financial advice is a service provided by qualified and licensed professionals. It is designed to assist individuals and families in planning their finances and making important decisions about their money. Those seeking financial advice may require assistance in areas such as budgeting, investing, retirement planning, and insurance.

When seeking advice regarding your finances, it is crucial to differentiate between general and personal advice. Individuals offering ‘general advice’ typically provide information to help people understand financial products, processes, and guidelines at a general level. Importantly, this type of advice does not consider an individual’s personal circumstances, although organizations and individuals must still be licensed to offer general advice.

If you are seeking personalised advice tailored to your specific circumstances and financial needs, you should consider consulting a financial planner or adviser licensed to provide ‘personal advice’. These tailored services may be offered over the phone, via video call, or in person, and often involve a fee.

→Related article: Timeless Money Tips

Where can I get free financial advice?

If you’re looking for free financial advice, there are several possible options that may be appropriate. Your choice will depend on your life stage, the product or area you need help with and the urgency of your situation. There are also some key potential issues to be aware of when receiving free advice from these sources.

1. Moneytalks

If you’re looking for free (and trustworthy) financial advice, your first port of call should be MoneyTalks. MoneyTalks is a free financial helpline set up by the government to provide Kiwis with advice and support from trained financial mentors. MoneyTalks can also connect you with with financial mentoring and other community services. You can contact MoneyTalks via:

  • Freephone: 0800 345 123
  • Email:
  • Text: 4029

2. Face-to-face help from a financial advisor

You can get face-to-face help with your household and personal finances in NZ from a financial advisor (sometimes known as a budget advisor). A financial mentor can help you:

  • Deal with your immediate money problems
  • Support you to complete a financial plan of action to help you achieve your goals
  • Negotiate reduced payments
  • Find other resources

There’s a directory of financial services provided by the family services directory. These services are generally aimed at those experiencing financial difficulties. For example, those struggling with debt, who need information and support. In some circumstances, financial counsellors may negotiate directly with your creditors if you are struggling with repayments.

3. Sorted website

Sorted, a government-funded financial agency is a great resource for all things money. It’s an independent online money management guide, full of information to help you manage your personal finances throughout different points of life, and is packed with useful tips.

4. National Building Financial Capability Charitable Trust

The national directory of budgeting services from FinCap can help connect you with free local budgeting services. Boasting almost 200 free independent organisations that provide free and confidential budgeting advice, it offers something for every Kiwi.

5. Citizens Advice Bureau

If you can’t find a financial service available close by, you can always reach out to your local Citizens Advice Bureau for contacts in your area. Some Citizens Advice services offer budgeting advice, too. And even if they don’t, they’ll know the community organisations in your area that do.

Mortgage brokers

Individuals looking for guidance around the home buying process often seek the assistance of a mortgage broker. Generally, mortgage brokers do not charge for advising their clients. However, as with some financial advisers, they typically make money by earning a commission from the financial institutions whose products they recommend.

It’s important to remember this when assessing a mortgage broker and any options they present to you. Some mortgage brokers may not offer their clients a full range of home loan options. They may have arrangements in place to sell only some providers’ products. So it’s worth doing your own research to ensure you’re comparing as many home loan options as possible.

→Related article: What is the First Home Loan?

KiwiSaver advice

Your fund provider should be able to offer you solid KiwiSaver advice, and answer any questions. Tell your provider what your plans are for the future. For example, when you hope to retire or if you want to use your funds for a first home. This way, they’ll be able to tailor advice to suit you.

The quality of the responses and advice you receive will, of course, depend on your provider. Some providers offer fantastic advice services. Have a search of what your provider offers.

KiwiSaver is a personal investment, so it’s up to you to learn about your options. Have a good hunt around and start by checking out Canstar’s best rated KiwiSaver providers by clicking the button below.

Compare KiwiSaver providers for free with Canstar!

What are the advantages?

Free financial advisors, often available through various channels such as government agencies, non-profit organisations, or financial education programs, offer several advantages:

1. Accessibility

Free financial advisors make financial advice accessible to individuals who may not have the means to pay for professional services. This accessibility ensures that everyone, regardless of income level, has access to essential financial guidance.

Free financial advisors often prioritise financial education. They can provide valuable information and resources to help individuals improve their financial literacy, understand basic financial concepts, and make informed decisions about their money.

2. Objective advice

Since they are not typically motivated by commissions or fees for their services, free financial advisors can provide objective advice. Their recommendations are not influenced by financial products or services they may be incentivised to sell, allowing them to focus solely on the client’s best interests.

3. Community support

Free financial advisors may be embedded within community organisations or government agencies, offering a sense of trust and support within the community. Clients may feel more comfortable seeking advice from familiar and trusted sources within their community.

What to look out for

While free financial advisors can provide valuable guidance, it’s essential to approach them with caution and be aware of potential limitations. Here are some factors to consider when working with free financial advisors:

1. Qualifications and credentials

Verify the qualifications and credentials of the advisor. Even though the service is free, it’s crucial to ensure that the advisor has the necessary expertise and experience in financial planning.

You can check whether any business or individual is a registered adviser online at the Financial Service Providers Register website.

2. Conflicts of interest

While free financial advisors may not charge fees for their services, they may still have conflicts of interest. For example, they may be affiliated with financial institutions or receive incentives for promoting certain products. Be cautious of any recommendations that seem biased or driven by commissions.

3. Resource limitations

Understand the limitations of the free financial advisor’s resources and capabilities. Free services may have limited resources or access to advanced financial planning tools compared to fee-based advisors.

Free financial advisors may provide general advice that may not be tailored to your specific financial goals, circumstances, and risk tolerance. Consider whether personalised advice is necessary for your situation.

About the author of this page

This report was written by Canstar Content Producer, Caitlin Bingham. Caitlin is an experienced writer whose passion for creativity led her to study communication and journalism. She began her career freelancing as a content writer, before joining the Canstar team.

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