Tel: 1800 007 007 (Monday to Friday, 9.30 am to 4.30 pm)
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, but provides the following:
• free financial counselling over the phone: financial counsellors can help anyone in Australia over the phone; the counsellors can assist with a wide range of financial troubles, such as difficulty paying utilities bills, mortgage stress, problems paying rent, and trouble repaying credit card debt;
• referrals: if necessary, the financial counsellors can refer you to a face-to-face financial counselling service near your home; the counsellors will also put you in touch with any other services you may need (e.g. legal services, crisis food and accommodation services, and health services);
• a comprehensive website: the National Debt Helpline website provides information on key areas that can cause financial problems (e.g. housing, cars, utility bills and product rentals). The site also provides advice on how to manage debt.
MoneySmart is run by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC); ASIC is an agency of the Australian federal government. The MoneySmart website provides free and independent financial guidance and financial tools (e.g. a step-by-step guide on how to set-up a budget, information on how to manage debt, and loan, credit and debt calculators). The website also has a “Find a financial counsellor” map, which allows you to find financial counsellors by postcode.