Get help with money
Find out who can help
If you need help with your money, there are people you can go
to. If you're having trouble with debts or bills, try and get help
as soon as possible.
Get debt help
If you're finding it hard to pay your debts and need some help,
don't panic. Contact the company you owe money to as soon as you
can and ask to speak to their 'hardship officer'. They can look at
your situation and work out a new repayment plan. Find out how to
apply for a hardship variation on our trouble with debt page.
If the company is unhelpful you should make a
Low and no interest rate loans
The No Interest Loans Scheme (NILS®) offers loans with no
interest or fees to people on low incomes. The loans can be used
for essential household goods or medical goods or services, up to
the value of $1,500.
NILS providers are based in community centres and other local
organisations. To be eligible you must have a Centrelink health
care or pension card (or qualify for one) and show that you can
repay the loan within 12 or 18 months. For more information see no or
Visit the Good Shepherd Microfinance
website to find your nearest NILS provider or phone 13 64 57.
MoneySmart does not lend money
ASIC's MoneySmart website does not lend money or arrange loans
but is happy to answer questions you might have about borrowing
money. You can call ASIC's Indigenous Helpline on 1300 365 957 or
email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dealing with debt collectors
If you fall behind in your loan or credit card repayments, you
might be contacted by a debt collector.
A debt collector is a person who collects debts on behalf of
people you owe money to. They should only contact you when it is
necessary, and they are not allowed to bully or harass you into
paying your debts. If you are being harassed by a debt collector,
call ASIC's Indigenous Helpline on 1300 365 957 or ASIC's Infoline
on 1300 300 630.
For more information see dealing with debt
Talk to a free
If you're having trouble managing your debts, you can see a
financial counsellor for free. Financial counsellors can help you
solve your money problems. For more information see financial
Financial Capability workers
Financial capability workers can help you set up a budget and
learn how to manage your money better. They can also help you if
you are in a housing crisis. To find the one nearest to you visit
the Department of Social
Services' Grants Service Directory. When you use the directory,
choose 'Commonwealth Financial Counselling and Financial
Capability' for the service type.
Financial Information Service (FIS) officers
The Department of Human Services'
Financial Information Service provides free, independent
and expert financial information over the telephone and in person.
Centrelink can also give you information about whether you are
entitled to rent assistance, crisis payments or other social
To find out more, visit the Department of Human Services'
information for Indigenous
Australians or call the Centrelink Indigenous Call Centre on
1800 136 380.
Help if you are in a crisis
and need money fast
Charities can provide emergency help if you can't pay your rent,
mortgage, food or utility bills. Emergency relief is available from
many community organisations across Australia.
Here is how to find your nearest emergency relief service:
- Department of Social Services - Search for
emergency relief providers in your area using the Department of Social
Services' Grants Service Directory. Choose 'Financial Crisis
and Material Aid - Emergency Relief' in the 'Service Type'
- Salvation Army - Check the Salvation Army website or call
their national number on 13 72 58.
- St Vincent de Paul Society - Visit the St Vincent de Paul
Society's website or call their national number on 13 18
- Churches and community organisations - Contact
your local church, community centre or organisation and find out
where emergency relief is provided in your area.
If you're a Centrelink customer who is having personal or family
difficulties, you can use the Department of Human Service's
counselling services through its social worker network. Contact
their Indigenous Call Centre on 1800 136 380.
Get help with housing
State and territory government departments provide emergency
temporary accommodation in low-cost hotels, motels and caravan
parks for people who are homeless or experiencing a housing
Some people receive payments from the Government to help them
pay for their home, food or bills or help them find a job.
Find out if you're eligible for any payments or concessions by
visiting the Department of Human
Help with refunds and
State and territory fair trading offices can help you with
information about refunds and warranties, complaints about
door-to-door sales, funerals and other consumer issues. Here are
their contact details:
Help with legal issues
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander legal services can help
with your legal issues, including credit and debt issues, and they
can help you with your will. For your closest legal centre contact:
Do not ignore legal notices
If you receive a letter from a lawyer or notice that you're
being taken to court (such as a summons, statement of claim or
liquidated claim), get legal advice immediately. Do not ignore the
If you're struggling with your money, don't be
afraid to ask for help. There are people you can go to who can help
get your money back on track. For more information call ASIC's
Indigenous Helpline on 1300 365 957.
Last updated: 07 Nov 2018