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Published on 27th January 2016

How to Choose the Right Financial Product

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Picking the right financial product for you can feel like a bit of a minefield. There are lots of things to consider, but keeping a few helpful pointers in mind can make all the difference.

What's a financial product, I hear you ask? Well, a financial product is basically any product that is connected with the way you manage your money - so this could be a bank account, credit card, insurance etc. Need a new financial product? Read these five tips first

For many of us, price or rate rule supreme when it comes to choosing a financial product. But what else should you think about as you go ahead and sign on the dotted line?

1. Top customer service can help make your financial life easier!

We’ve all experienced ‘computer says no’ moments…but as one of our reviewers has come to find “no matter how small the problem, it was always a hassle to get it sorted.”

You can avoid this by taking a look at what other customers have to say about their experiences before choosing your next financial product. When something goes wrong, you’ll be pleased that your issue has been dealt with efficiently, by a friendly person, or in the not to distant future, maybe even a friendly robot!

2. Remember…don’t forget to keep looking!

Often the last thing on your mind when you’ve just opened a new account or bought a new insurance policy, but don’t forget to keep an eye out to ensure that you’re still getting a good deal a few months or years down the line.

We’ve found that things like interest rate reductions and service level changes can help to decrease customer satisfaction quite significantly.

Find out how to choose the right bank account for you.

3. Understand what’s in the small print

Ok, so many of us skip the small print when it comes to most things. But it really can be worth taking the time to dig a little deeper.

For example, we’ve seen that one big bug bear of car insurance customers is the high admin fees that some companies charge should you wish to cancel (even within the cancellation period).

4. Made for you? Does your product fit you like a glove?

Many of us have come to see financial organisations and financial products as ‘all the same.’ All travel insurance is the same right? Wrong. If you plan on doing that bungee jump, make sure you’re covered for it!

The same applies for other products such as credit cards. It’s also worth thinking about how you want to communicate. Do you value walking into a local branch, or are you happy to manage your products from your mobile phone?

5. Pause, and think about what’s next

Stay with us on this one…but understanding what financial goals you have can help you to pick better products. Say for example you’re thinking about getting a mortgage in the next few years, getting a monthly saver could be a good idea.

However, making a few credit card applications shortly before seeking a mortgage may be viewed negatively.

Using these 5 trump cards could help you when it comes to choosing your next financial product. It may even prevent you from becoming one of the 10% of Smart Money People reviewers who feel that they have been unfairly treated by their financial services providers.

This is an extract of a blog post published by our founder, Mike Fotis on the Money Advice Service this week. 

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