Using a financial counsellor
If you are experiencing financial difficulty, you may choose to use financial counselling services. These services are available in every state and territory and provide a free, independent and confidential service. They can help you manage a short-term crisis and plan to prevent a future one. Financial counsellors can help you remain independent and take full control of your own financial affairs.
Some businesses also provide a service to help people struggling with debt – for a fee. Make sure you know what service you are getting from these businesses, how much it is going to cost you and whether you can get the same service for free from a financial counsellor.
To find out more, visit Family Budgeting Services.
What do financial counsellors do?
Financial counsellors can:
- help you organise your financial information, design a personal budget and suggest ways to change and improve your financial situation
- assess your eligibility for government assistance
- negotiate with your creditors
- explain debt recovery procedures, bankruptcy and other alternatives
- refer you to other services, for example, gambling, family support, personal counselling or community legal aid.
Typical problems counsellors can assist with include:
- financial over-commitment – having more debt than you can deal with
- threatening letters - harassment by debt collectors
- debt recovery through the courts
- house eviction, disconnection of gas, electricity, phone etc
- uninsured car accidents, taxation debts and unpaid fines.
Find more related articles and information on managing the family finances
- How to prepare a family budget
- How to cut the family budget
- Managing your credit card
- How to cut your shopping bill
- Find out if you are eligible for government parenting payments
This article was created by Ella Walsh for Kidspot - New Zealand's leading parenting website. Sources include the federal government and ASIC.