2020 was a particularly tumultuous year for financial hardship. The Australian bushfires and Covid-19 both severely impacted the tourism and hospitality industries, leaving business owners and sole traders in particular strife.
Today more than 90,000 businesses have closed, including 5,000 Australian businesses that were predicted to fold from economic stress at the beginning of 2020. And regulations are continuously changing, meaning that many people will continue to face financial uncertainty into the future.
In Australia there are many financial counselling services available to assist those in urgent need of assistance.
Navigating personal and business debt is generally difficult and time consuming, let alone when things seem to be spiralling out of control. Delayed mortgage and bill repayments can have serious long term consequences so it is important to seek help quickly.
Community centres, government agencies and legal centres all offer free financial counselling, that is one on one, confidential and led by qualified professionals who are also trained in emotional support work..
Financial counsellors in Australia can assist you to understand your rights and obligations for negotiating with debt collectors, managing repayment and settlement of debts, and reorganisation of debts into manageable systems and regular repayments.
Debt Assist manages a team of qualified financial counsellors who can deliver comprehensive advice and support for managing difficult financial situations, and who can refer you to the relevant legal professionals for seeking legal advice.
See our list of additional resources below for more information about financial counselling services.
National Debt Helpline Open from 9:30 - 4:30 Mon-Fri Operators will connect you to the designated department for the state you live in.
For assistance with: ● Dealing with financial issues resulting from Covid-19 ● Recovering from natural disasters ● Managing and disputing business and personal debt ● Negotiation for tax and government debt ● Emotional counselling with trained counsellors
For General Financial Tools and Guidelines
Visit Money Smart.org
For Legal Advice about Consumer Matters
Visir Consumer Action Law centre
For Assistance with Debt to Utility, Phone and Internet Companies
Contact the Energy and Water Ombudsman | 1800 500 509