Feeling financial hardship, get help

Are you experiencing financial hardship, difficulties? Finding it harder to pay your bills? Don’t know where the money should come from to pay your child’s school fees next year?

There is some help. Not exactly free money but free professional help to organize your affairs better through these tough times.

You will get free help by contacting National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 or ndh.org.au.

By contributing to the National Debt Helpline, ndh.org.au – which has the ongoing financial contribution to support Victorians, the state government is providing free financial counselling to thousands of Victorians who are experiencing financial hardship.

The Financial Counselling Program is funded by the Labor Government through Consumer Affairs Victoria and links a financial counsellor with people facing financial difficulties. The program provides free, confidential and independent advice.

Financial counsellors can offer a range of support, from providing advice about rights and responsibilities to negotiating with a creditor or working out a realistic payment plan for debts.

In the 2022-23 financial year, the Financial Counselling Program supported almost 19,000 Victorians. The figure includes 3,806 Victorians who were also affected by family violence while facing financial hardships.

Also read: Flood victims turn to fundraising to find their feet

The support also includes dedicated financial counselling services to help people and communities in areas affected by the October 2022 floods which saw many Victorians displaced and financially stressed. These services started in January and provided help to 345 flood victims in six months.

“Unexpected financial hardship can come at any time and as a community, it’s really important that we stand together to help those in need,” Minister for Consumer Affairs Gabrielle Williams said.

A further 9,137 Victorians received financial counselling for renting and consumer issues in the past financial year.

A $15 million investment in the program in 2023-24 includes an additional $1.7 million for family violence financial counselling, bringing the total allocation for this area of specialised need to almost $3.5 million.

“Making free, confidential financial counselling available during difficult times can help people take stock, get back on their feet and thrive,” Minister Williams added.

The Government has invested more than $39 million over three years to enable 12 community agencies across the state to deliver general and family violence financial counselling to Victorians.

This funding includes more than $1 million for the National Debt Helpline, a website and phone service that provides a central point of information and referrals for people needing help with financial issues.


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