You probably go to friends or even your favorite search engine for personal finance advice. You’d rather not pay for it, and you want your questions answered quickly.
But have you tried question-and-answer websites?
Although they can’t beat the wisdom of certified financial planners, these five sites might just be your best bet.
5 best websites for personal finance questions
There are many unique question-and-answer platforms online. There’s a good chance that many such platforms won’t answer your personal finance questions in enough time or enough depth.
They also might not always be accurate. Crowdsourced websites allow any user to answer any question. And although these answers can be moderated — or mocked — by other users, it might be difficult to tell fact from fiction.
On sites like these, it’s imperative to hold fellow users accountable. You can do this by asking for a linked source anytime a stranger offers a response to one of your queries.
If you’re also wary of paying for expert advice using a website like JustAnswer.com, consider these five free websites. Each caters, at least in part, to users interested in popular personal finance topics. You might learn about how to save money, how to invest wisely, or how to repay student loans.
It works simply: These platforms allow you to post finance questions (or answers) for free and be notified via email when you’ve received answers.
Unlike some of the other websites on this list, Reddit functions as a message board with distinct threads. The site’s personal finance subreddit — with its 12 million subscribers — contains categories like budgeting, credit, and debt. There’s also a subreddit with valuable discussions about student loans.
You’ll need to create an account to join the community, and that’s what Reddit is — a community. When you post a question, you’re actually starting a discussion.
There are replies to replies. A personal finance question you ask might turn into a few different questions and answers that could lead you down a better path.
Among its rules, the subreddit forbids self-promoting users, so you can be sure you’re receiving advice from a peer who’s actually trying to help. Guest experts also field finance questions.
Best use: Because of its neighborhood feel, Reddit might be best for questions specific to your situation. You’re likely to receive some sympathy and street smarts. Users often discuss their own life experiences in answers.
Quora’s personal finance feed compiles responses to finance questions. A voting system ranks responses. The feed hosts more than 69,000 questions and 1.2 million followers.
“Following” is one of the site’s unique features. It allows you to customize a Facebook-like news feed by tracking various personal finance topics. If you receive a helpful answer from a user, you can also follow them. Users like our CEO have a profile page where you can learn more about the people answering your questions.
Another benefit of asking personal finance questions here is that the site will guide you toward similar questions. If you ask about how to teach kids about money, for example, you’ll have the option of clicking on answers to questions about how to teach kids about saving or investing.
Best use: Quora might be your top choice when seeking expert advice for free. You’ll have to look past the answers provided by non-experts (expert answers will be highlighted). The site also encourages users to edit each other’s answers, increasing the likelihood that the responses you receive are accurate.
3. Yahoo! Answers
Yahoo! Answers has a large user base, in part, because it was launched way back in 2005. This makes it even likelier that you’ll receive timely responses to queries posted in its personal finance section.
For comparison’s sake, newer platforms with smaller audiences like Blurtit might have higher-quality questions and answers, but they can’t catch up in quantity.
Given its sheer size, Yahoo! Answers is less intuitive, but it’s still easy to find the answers to personal finance questions you might have. The platform also has channels for taxes, investing, and real estate.
There’s less of an emphasis on expert-provided answers here. In fact, all users are encouraged to answer questions to compete for points via a scoring system. It’s designed this way to motivate users to provide the best possible answers.
Best use: Given the casual culture of Yahoo! Answers, the site might be best for quick, fact-based questions. Just make sure to ask your respondents for their sources.
Touting its top-20 comScore, a measurement of a website’s reach, Answers.com offers a personal finance category that’s easy to navigate. The category boasts over 17,100 answered questions, so it’s possible yours has already been posted.
Every reader of a question’s answer is asked to help compile the “confidence score” of the respondent. It’s not a perfect way to legitimize answers, but it means well.
Answers.com also accomplishes a couple of the highlights of Quora: having clear-cut subcategories of questions and populating a list of related finance questions.
Best use: Utilize the platform’s “Ask Us Anything” search bar to see if your question has already been answered. Answers.com has an extensive library of personal finance questions and answers, so even if you don’t end up posting your query on the site, it’s worth a look.
5. Student Loan Hero support
We realize our calculators, tools, and content might not answer every user’s question, so we have our support form, too. Unlike some of the other sites on this list, you don’t need to create an account to ask a question. Just input your name, email address, and question before submitting.
You’ll receive an email reply from us with a response from one of our support specialists. In addition to answering your question, we might point you in the direction of a related tool or blog post.
If you think your question is a common one, consult our FAQ page first, as it contains digestible answers and recommended resources. You can also review our list of the most Googled questions about student loans.
Best use: We live and breathe personal finance, so we can help you tackle your questions. If you’d like to have a private question-and-answer session, get in touch with us. At the least, we can point toward resources to help you better manage your money.
These five websites for asking personal finance questions aren’t always about finding a single answer. Sometimes, you can take different approaches to resolve an issue. Hopefully, these websites will help you learn about your options.
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