IFA is an acronym for an independent financial advisor. There are two kinds of advisers working in the financial area, with the other being a restricted adviser.

There are many advantages to seeking advice from an IFA. The clue to the main advantage is in the name: They are independent and not attached to any lender or business. This means they can cover the whole market rather than just part of it. If you sought advice from a restricted adviser, they would only be able to recommend a limited range of products. These products would be ones from whichever lenders they are attached to.

An IFA is the best person to go to if you are looking to buy any type of financial product such as a mortgage, a loan, or a pension. You can be sure they will discuss your needs with you and then review everything on the market to identify the best options. They can usually find deals and offers that are not well known. It is easy enough to source products such as mortgages from banks and building societies you’ve heard of. However, an IFA will provide you with information about many other options too – and your ideal loan could be among them.

There are fees involved in using the services provided by an independent financial adviser. You should make sure you are clear about these before you start. You can usually get the first meeting free of charge, but make sure this is the case before you visit. After that, you could pay an hourly fee, a fixed fee covering the services you require, or a percentage fee relating to the value of the product they help you find.