In Finland, financial and debt counseling is offered mainly by the following governmental and non-governmental organization. Services are nationwide and free of charge.
National Public Authority for debt advise
Financial and debt counseling is provided by 23 state legal aid offices across Finland. The services are intended for private individuals as well as self-employed persons and private traders who carry out small-scale business activities. A financial and debt counselor helps to weigh different solutions and make payment agreements and advises how to apply for a restructuring loan and debt adjustment.
The National Public Authority started in 2020 a financial advice clinic service. It is a low-threshold service providing a possibility to discuss everyday financial questions without booking an appointment. People can reflect on their situation, receive advice and go through different options with experts. At a clinic, people can talk to various professionals besides financial and debt counselors working at a legal aid. Advice is not yet nationwide.
The Guarantee Foundation (Takuusäätiö)
Services include Debt Line and chat advice, guarantees for restructuring loan provided by banks (34,000 for single people or 45,000 for couples) and small loans (max. 2 000 eur) for necessary and considered acquisitions such as car repair, household appliances, moving expenses).
In addition, the foundation helps professionals in the social and health sector to discuss financial matters and guide their clients with debt problems to get help. The Guarantee Foundation also develops various financial management tools and operating models alone and in cooperation with various actors. One example is Penno.fi.
The Guarantee Foundation operates nationwide and receives its funding mainly from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.
Helpline for entrepreneurs (Yrittäjän talousapu)
Counsellors in the entrepreneur’s financial advice are experts of business finances and mending them. They assess the real financial situation of the company or entrepreneur, give advice and operating instructions, and refer the caller to other services.
Entrepreneurs are also advised on debt settlement issues. The experts make a preliminary assessment of the profitability of the business included in the entrepreneur’s debt arrangement and guide them forward in the process. In addition, they provide guidance in the reorganization of the business or its termination.
The service is a part of the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment.In addition to this Finland’s entrepreneurs NGO has also opened a New Website for entrepreneurs.
Finland has a law on social credit. Social lending for low-income people has been a municipal service, but its operations are currently under reorganizing. Up until now it has mainly been the consolidation of debts and some financing of new acquisitions.