A reader thinks her husband is crazy to pay for someone to advise them when they have no money.

Question: All of a sudden, my husband wants us to go to a financial adviser. I think he saw a TV commercial or something — he’s the kind of guy who wants to buy kitchen knives after seeing an infomercial.

I said no, I don’t want to pay someone to tell us how to invest our money. And besides, we don’t HAVE any money. We got $7,500 spread out on six credit cards. He’s insisting, and we agreed we’d follow whatever advice you give us, Howard. So who’s right?

— Summer in Pennsylvania

Howard Dvorkin CPA answers…

You’re right, Summer, but not for the best reasons.

Like any other profession, there are good and bad financial advisers. More than that, however, there are right and wrong circumstances for engaging one.

In your case, you don’t need a financial adviser. You need a credit counselor. The former can instruct you on how to invest your money, while the latter can help you get out of debt so you can save money to invest. So you see, it’s about taking the right steps at the right time.

Right now, you need to get out of debt. You’re actually spending money on those high credit-card interest rates that you could be investing in retirement savings or an emergency fund.

Even better, while financial advisers can either charge you directly or make a commission off the investments they point you to, credit counseling is free. You can call Debt.com’s certified counselors right now at  1-888-472-0365 and receive a free debt analysis. You’ll receive an objective financial snapshot and all the options available to you, whether it’s debt management, debt consolidation, or debt settlement.

Those terms sound alike and can get confusing, so I urge you to click on those links and read up on those options. While this isn’t the most fun you’ll ever have, I can guarantee you this: If you choose the right plan and stick with it, you’ll have a lot more money and fun later.

Then you can decide what to do about financial advising. I’ll even make you a promise, Summer: Get out of the red and into the black, and I’ll tell you all you need to know about finding the perfect investment advice for your situation. Deal?

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About the Author

Howard Dvorkin, CPA

Howard Dvorkin, CPA

I’m a certified public accountant who has authored two books on getting out of debt, Credit Hell and Power Up, and I am one of the personal finance experts for Debt.com. I have focused my professional endeavors in the consumer finance, technology, media and real estate industries creating not only Debt.com, but also Financial Apps and Start Fresh Today, among others. My personal finance advice has been included in countless articles, and has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Forbes and Entrepreneur as well as virtually every national and local newspaper in the country. Everyone should have a reason for living that’s bigger than themselves, and besides my family, mine is this: Teaching Americans how to live happily within their means. To me, money is not the root of all evil. Poor money management is. Money cannot buy happiness, but going into debt always buys misery. That’s why I launched Debt.com. I’m glad you’re here.

Published by Debt.com, LLC