From today, people struggling to pay their bills and debts will find it easier to access trustworthy information and advice that will help them get back on top. Today (Wed 7 Dec 2016) Financial Counselling Australia, with special guest Paul Clitheroe, are launching the new National Debt Helpline website and national brand for the telephone financial counselling helpline.
“We’re excited to be taking this new step towards a recognisable brand for conflict-free consumer help. There are no flashing lights, no men dressed as bunnies, but that’s what financial counselling is about – ordinary, honest, step-by-step help in dealing with life’s ordinary debts and bills,” said Fiona Guthrie, CEO of Financial Counselling Australia.
The National Debt Helpline is a not-for-profit, community-based phone financial counselling service (1800 007 007) and supporting website (ndh.org.au).
The website has simple step-by-step guides explaining how to fix common debt problems, such as what to do if you can’t pay your energy bills, internet or phone bills, mortgage, credit cards, car repairer, or payday loans. How do you know how much you can afford to pay? And then how do you negotiate with your creditor? The website also has information on many of the debt solutions out there in the marketplace and how to assess whether they’ll help or get people into further debt.
“We know that many people can self-help if given the right information. But it is really tricky to find independent information” said Ms Guthrie.
If a person needs more help, they are encouraged to ring the National Debt Helpline and speak to one of our professional and independent financial counsellors.
Financial counselling is free, confidential and independent of industry.
Why is this important?
Increasing access – The launch of the National Debt Helpline will mean we can more effectively promote the phone service and website. Having a strong branded identity will make it easier for people to find us and importantly, increase access to financial counselling. The National Debt Helpline 1800 007 007 number will be a major gateway into financial counselling for the Australian community.
Taking on the for-profits – There are an increasing number of for-profit debt management firms, advertising on the internet, television and radio, that are self-interested, charge high fees and can leave people in debt worse off. These firms include credit repair agencies, debt agreement providers, budgeting services and debt negotiators. The National Debt Helpline website and the phone service are completely independent. Financial counsellors are highly qualified professions and act only in the interests of their clients.
Fiona Guthrie, CEO, Financial Counselling Australia – 0402 426 835