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What is a Personal Finance Center?

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  • Written By: Laura M. Sands
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 19 September 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A personal finance center is a business staffed by professional advisers trained to offer personal finance advice and guidance to customers. Most counselors work with an individual client, but some also work with a group of clients to educate them on matters pertaining to personal finance. The assistance offered at a personal finance center generally ranges from education about the basics of personal finance to introducing clients to personal finance tools and products designed to help strengthen a client’s financial position.

Larger banking institutions will often offer a personal finance center on the same premises as an individual banking branch. The services and personal finance tools offered, as well as the personal finance products sold, are usually separate from those featured in the institution’s banking center. While the two businesses may operate from the same location, the services provided rarely, if ever, overlap. To wit, banking transactions are done through a bank official, while more specific matters relating to personal finance are referred to a personal finance center. Though they operate exclusively, housing a financial center in the same location as a banking branch is seen as an added convenience for personal and business banking customers.

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Besides banks, certain credit unions also offer their customers access to a personal finance counselor. A personal finance center is also often housed in the same location as a credit union, although some are housed in separate offices. A personal financial center does not have to be a part of a larger financial institution, however. Many are standalone operations that offer personal finance advice via independent office locations.

A personal finance counselor works within a personal finance center to help clients with specific financial concerns. Such may include questions about creating a budget, debt management, saving for a home, estate planning, retirement planning, college savings plans and a variety of other personal finance tips. Counselors are trained and licensed to offer financial advice within the jurisdiction where the personal finance center is located.

Sometimes a personal finance center will offer financial classes and workshops for clients and the community. These classes are usually free and offer a way for financial advisers to introduce and explain new financial products, as well as connect with new customers. Although some financial concepts can be confusing or overwhelming for customers to learn alone, an experienced personal finance counselor can help explain different savings and investment options, as well as help clients determine the degree to which they can afford to take an investment risk.

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