Financial Counselling

    Financial Counsellors are professionals that provide free financial advice and support for financial problems. They advise on options given your situation. If your debt is unmanageable, they’ll help identify next steps. Services may include:
  • Negotiating new repayments with creditors
  • Reviewing eligibility for government assistance
  • Budgeting and bill assistance
  • Help applying for Hardship Variation
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Service Network

National network across non-profits, community centres & government agencies – city & rural areas

Qualified Professionals

Specialising in finance, consumer credit laws, hardship policies, government assistance and more.

Referral Services

Family Support – Gambling Help – Legal Help – Personal Counselling

How it works

What exactly is Financial Counselling?

Financial counsellors provide a range of services to those dealing with financial difficulties. Their services are free and confidential – offering information and advice to help you understand your options and develop plans so that you can reduce debt and/or manage on your income.

True financial counselling is independent from creditors and lenders i.e. providers may be charity organisations, certain government departments and some community centres.

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What are the benefits?

Counsellors are trained to review your financial position and deliver practical information that’s relevant to your needs.  Benefits include:

  • Free, supportive, independent and confidential
  • Tailored support for your situation
  • Access to a wide range of different strategies, services and support
  • Can help negotiate with creditors, debt collectors and others
  • Create custom budgets and payment plans

What are the drawbacks?

There are limits to what a financial counsellor can provide.

  • Financial counsellors are unable to take over your finance.
  • They can not lend money or deal direct with a clients money.
  • They won’t recommend any particular credit product.
  • Accessing a counsellor can sometimes be slow, based on demand.
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Accessing Financial Counselling

Be prepared for assistance

To help with the accuracy and speed of assistance, below are a few things to consider:

  • Have a list of all income, including benefits
  • Have a detailed list of bills (debts).
  • Copies of any contracts/agreements
  • Details on any overdue bills
  • Details on any legal notices
  • Any other documents you have concerns on

By having information ready to go, the process can be quicker. Eliminating the back and forth which can cost time.

Contacting a Financial Counsellor

There are numerous ways to find a counsellor:

  • National Debt Helpline – 1800 007 007
  • Online search via suburb or postcode – Interactive map
  • Local communities centres and charities like the Salvos may provide assistance.
  • Services are available in both metro and rural areas

Any of the above sources should be able to point you in the right direction, even if they don’t have an office in your immediate area.

FAQ's

Need some help?

How much is a Financial Counsellor?

Financial Counselling is a free service. Please visit our “Accessing Financial Counselling” section to find a counsellor near you.

Do I really need a Financial Counsellor?

If you are facing unmanageable debt and are unable to get in control of your finance, a Financial Counsellor is a good option.

They can assist with the following situations:

  • Debts that you are unable to pay
  • Threatening letters from creditors or debt collectors.
  • Debt recovery from the courts
  • Eviction, disconnection of utilities or essential household needs.
  • Uninsured car accidents, taxation debts, and unpaid fines/tickets

Financial Counsellors versus Financial Planners

Generally Financial Counsellors help people struggling with debt. Financial Planners typically help people with investment advice.

Exactly what do Financial Counsellors provide?

Financial Counsellors provide free financial assistance with those struggling with unmanageable debt. They also have the ability to directly help or connect people to other service such as:

  • Free legal advice
  • Crisis support
  • Gambling helpline
  • Family support
  • Personal counselling

Does free Financial Counselling work?

Below are some statistics on the outcomes of Free Financial Counselling.

– 66% resolve their financial difficulties
– 74% avoid legal action
– 53% avoid bankruptcy
– 63% improve their mental wellbeing
– 45% improve their physical health
– Cost-Benefit: $5 return for every $1 invested

Source: Financial Counselling Australia

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