Financial counsellors can provide free, confidential and independent advice about debts, money management and the debt recovery system. They act as negotiators with creditors, and provide paralegal advice on credit, debt and bankruptcy. A directory of financial counselling organisations is in Financial counselling services.
If you need to seek legal advice, you can contact the Consumer Action Law Centre, your local community legal centre or VLA (see Legal services that can help, for contact details).
The Consumer Action Law Centre (CALC) provides free legal advice and representation to vulnerable and disadvantaged consumers across Victoria. CALC advise you about whether you have grounds to dispute a debt. CALC’s website has fact sheets about credit and debt.
Consumer Action Law Centre (CALC)
Tel (consumer legal advice line): 9629 6300;
1800 466 477 (Monday to Friday, 10 am to 1 pm)
You can contact Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) about debt problems.
Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV)
121 Exhibition Street, Melbourne Vic 3000
Tel: 1300 558 181
CAV has offices in metropolitan and regional Victoria; see their website for office contact details.
The National Debt Helpline is a not-for-profit service that is available nationwide. Professional financial counsellors provide free, confidential and independent financial advice. The National Debt Helpline does not loan money.
National Debt Helpline
Tel: 1800 007 007 (Monday to Friday, 9.30 am to 4.30 pm)
Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) has published a booklet, Debt Problems: The Law, Your Options (January 2013) that provides information about what can happen if you do not pay your debts. This booklet is available from VLA’s website.
Victoria Legal Aid (VLA)
Tel (legal help line): 1300 792 387
VLA has offices in metropolitan and regional Victoria; see their website for office contact details.