Services that can help

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).

Consumer Action Law Centre

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)

Web: http://consumeraction.org.au

Consumer Affairs Victoria

You can contact Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) about debt problems.

Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV)

Head office:

121 Exhibition Street, Melbourne Vic 3000

Tel: 1300 558 181

Web: www.consumer.vic.gov.au

CAV has offices in metropolitan and regional Victoria; see their website for office contact details.

Community legal centres

Assistance and advice can also be obtained from a community legal centre (CLC). To find your nearest CLC, visit http://fclc.org.au. There is also a list of CLCs in Legal services that can help.

National Debt Helpline

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

Web: www.ndh.org.au

Victoria Legal Aid

The Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) website has information and resources to help those in debt. VLA also provides assistance over the phone, via its legal help line.

Victoria Legal Aid (VLA)

Tel (legal help line): 1300 792 387

Web: www.legalaid.vic.gov.au

VLA has offices in metropolitan and regional Victoria; see their website for office contact details.