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.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2018!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
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1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.87% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.47% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.87% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of Month/Day/Year, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 08/21/18. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at email@example.com, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on ourstudent loan refinance product.
© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
Savings example: average savings calculated based on single loans refinanced from 9/2013 to 12/2017 where borrowers’ previous rates were disclosed. Assumes same loan terms for previous and refinanced loans, and payments made to maturity with no prepayments. Actual savings for individual loans vary based on loan balance, interest rates, and other factors.
Application detail: 5 minutes indicates typical time it takes to complete application with applicant information readily available. It does not include time taken to provide underwriting decision or funding of the loan.
Instant rates mean a delivery of personalized rates for those individuals who provide sufficient information to return a rate. For instant rates a soft credit pull will be conducted, which will not affect your credit score. To proceed with an application, a hard credit pull will be required, which may affect your credit score.
Total savings calculated by aggregating individual average savings across total borrower population from 9/2013 to 12/2017. Individual average savings calculation based on single loans refinanced from 9/2013 to 12/2017 where borrowers’ previous rates were provided. Assumes same loan terms for previous and refinanced loans, and payments made to maturity with no prepayments. Actual savings for individual loans vary based on loan balance, interest rates, and other factors.
3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.47% – 6.99%3||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit SoFi|
|2.47% – 5.87%1||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Earnest|
|2.47% – 8.03%4||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Lendkey|
|2.95% – 6.37%2||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Laurel Road|
|2.48% – 6.25%5||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit CommonBond|
|2.72% – 8.32%6||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Citizens|