Help with your finances
Financial counselling is a free service offered by community
organisations, community legal centres and some government
agencies. Financial counsellors can help you solve your money
How to find a financial
If you're struggling with debt, seek help straight away. There
are far more options if you get advice early.
National Debt Helpline 1800 007 007
The free hotline is open from 9:30am to 4.30pm, Monday to
Friday. When you call this number you will be automatically
transferred to the phone service in your state (opening hours can
differ in different states). Calls from mobile phones may incur a
fee from the mobile phone carrier.
You can also visit the National Debt Helpline website
for information and resources that can help if you're struggling
Find your nearest financial counsellor
Use our map to search for a financial counsellor.
If you are struggling with your debts
Search for a financial counsellor now
Free legal advice
Other organisations can also provide legal services to help you.
Visit National Legal Aid for more
information or see free legal advice.
Call Lifeline's 24-hour crisis support service on
13 11 14 or try their crisis support chat
service if you need emotional support.
What financial counsellors do
Financial counsellors provide a free, confidential and
Financial counsellors can:
- Suggest ways to improve your financial situation
- See if you are eligible for government assistance
- Negotiate repayment arrangements with your creditors
- Explain your options and their consequences, including debt
recovery procedures, bankruptcy and other
- Help you apply for a hardship variation
- Help you organise your finances and do a budget
- Refer you to other services, for example, a gambling helpline,
family support, personal counselling or community legal aid
Financial counsellors can also help with the following
- Debts that you are struggling to pay
- Threatening letters or harassment by debt
- Debt recovery through the courts
- House eviction, disconnection of gas, electricity, phone
- Uninsured car accidents, taxation debts and unpaid fines
See our video about Tran
who sees a financial counsellor when he struggles to pay his
Financial counselling for rural
The Department of Agriculture runs a Rural Financial Counselling
Service to support primary producers, fishermen and small rural
businesses that are suffering financial hardship.
Call 1800 686 175 for details.
Debt consolidation vs Financial
Other businesses provide services to help people
struggling with debt but they charge fees and are really debt
consolidation companies. They charge their fees either up
front or as a commission on the new loan.
Be cautious and find out what services you are getting from
these businesses and how much it will cost you. You may be
able to get the same services from a financial counsellor for
Debt consolidation companies must be licensed by
ASIC. Search ASIC Connect's Professional Registers to
check your credit provider has been licensed or you can
phone ASIC's Infoline on 1300 300 630.
For more information on debt consolidation see consolidating and
If you are having financial difficulties,
contact a financial counsellor as soon as possible. They can help
you come up with a plan to sort out your money problems.
Last updated: 29 Sep 2017