Urgent money help
Where to get help if you're in crisis
Are you behind on your bills and struggling to cover your rent
or afford food? Whatever your situation, there are services that
can help you.
If you urgently need help with living expenses there are
charities and community organisations that can help you with:
- One-off food, transport or chemist vouchers
- Rent or accommodation
- Part-payment of electricity, gas or water bills
- Food parcels or clothing
- Budgeting or referrals to other programs
Here is how to find your nearest emergency relief service:
- Search for emergency relief providers in your area using
the Department of Social Services
Grants Service Directory. Within the directory, choose
'Financial Crisis and Material Aid - Emergency Relief' in the
'Service Type' field.
- See the directories on the Salvation Army website or call their
national number on 13 72 58, or see the St
Vincent de Paul website or call 13 18 12.
- Contact your local church, community centre or community
organisation and find out where emergency relief is provided in
Income support and other
The Department of Human Services provides social and
health-related payments and services to people going through major
change. They can also connect you with housing and other social
If you are already receiving Centrelink payments, the Department
may be able to arrange advance or urgent payments.
See the Department of Human
Services website for more details.
Emotional support and
You don't have to go it alone. There is free and confidential
13 11 14 (24 hours)
Lifeline's crisis support chat service
|Depression or anxiety
1300 22 46 36 (24 hours)
|Domestic violence and abuse
1800 737 732 (24 hours).
|Drug and alcohol addiction
1800 888 236 (24 hours)
National Gambling Helpline
1800 858 858 (24 hours)
See our free legal advice webpage for contact
|Health and emotional problems
||Your local doctor can provide general advice and help and refer
you to local services
Your local doctor can also give you support and advice and can
refer you to services.
If some of your financial problems are due to another
person running up debts in your name, or pressuring you to spend
money or sign up for a loan, you may be experiencing financial
abuse. Visit our financial abuse webpage for
a list of organisations that can help.
Help with housing
State and Territory Government Departments provide emergency
temporary accommodation in low-cost hotels, motels, caravan parks
and similar accommodation for people who are homeless or
experiencing a housing crisis. They may also be able to help with
your rental bond. Contact the housing
department in your state or territory to discuss your
||Housing and community services ACT
13 QGOV (13 74 68) (to find your nearest housing service
|New South Wales
||New South Wales Family and Community Services
1800 422 322 (open 24 hours)
||ShelterMe - a directory of services for homeless
||Government of South Australia
1800 003 308 (freecall from a landline, 24 hours)
1300 665 663
||Department of Human Services
1800 825 955 (statewide toll free number 24 hours)
||Shelter WA Homeless Advisory Service
1800 065 892
Help with debts and bills
Talk to your creditors
Start by contacting your bank, utility or phone provider and let
them know you're experiencing hardship. Talk to them about
adjusting your loan or bill repayments to a more manageable level.
Here are some tips on how to start talking to your credit providers.
If you're finding it hard to pay your phone or internet bill,
see the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network's
information on staying
connected when things get tough.
For more information on managing your bills see problems
paying your bills and council rates.
See a financial counsellor
Financial counsellors give advice on credit and debt issues and
can help you negotiate with your creditors. They work in community
organisations and their services are free, independent and
The National Debt Helpline website
has information to help you prioritise your debts.
Here's how you can find a financial counsellor in your local
Don't rush into anything
You may be tempted by quick fix solutions to your problems such
Before signing up to any of these talk to a financial counsellor. They
can clearly explain your options.
Consider a no or low interest loan
There may be better and cheaper options to manage your debt. See
or low interest loans webpage to find out more.
If you need urgent help with money, don't be
afraid to ask for help. There are services and support available
that can help you get through difficult times.
Last updated: 16 Jan 2020