The National Debt Helpline has launched a campaign encouraging people in financial stress to contact a free and confidential financial counsellor.
The launch of the campaign follows the end of the various financial support arrangements put in place by Government and industry during the pandemic.
The JobKeeper and JobSeeker supplements finished at the end of March, meaning that many Australians now have less money to make ends meet.
Other financial support is also tapering or has ended. These supports include standard loan deferrals from banks, rental moratorium arrangements and protection from energy disconnection.
“The next few months are going to be tough and worrying for many people. We want them to know there is free assistance available through the National Debt Helpline,” said Fiona Guthrie, CEO of Financial Counselling Australia.
“The time to act is now. Don’t wait for your bills and debts to spiral out of control. We care, we can help, and we are free,” she said.
The awareness campaign involves sponsored social media content, posters and short videos in medical clinics across the country, and advertisements on taxis and buses.
The National Debt Helpline is a not-for-profit service that helps people in Australia tackle their debt problems.
Its website has helpful guides on how to deal with bills and debt and there is a helpline on 1800 007 007, which is staffed by professional financial counsellors who provide a independent and confidential service.
Financial counsellors can advise people about how to get through the next few months. For example, by providing guidance about accessing hardship arrangements with lenders and utility providers.
“Financial counsellors are trained to deal with people in financial stress. We help people who are worried about their debt and bills to get back on track financially,” Ms Guthrie said.
“We’re also warning people to be wary of services offering to negotiate your debts or fix your credit report for a fee.
“These services do not always act in the best interests of the people they purport to help. They can cost thousands of dollars, for not much in return,” Ms Guthrie said.
National Debt Helpline vehicle advertisements: