Financial counsellors provide free, confidential and independent advice to people who have money and debt problems, so that they understand their options and get back on track. Financial counsellors differ from financial planners and advisors in that they don’t recommend products or advise people on how to invest. Financial counselling is always free. If someone says that they are offering financial counselling and want to charge for the service, it’s likely they are breaking the law.

The National Debt Helpline is the national phone financial counselling service. It’s never too early or late to call the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 – open weekdays from 9.30am to 4.30pm. The National Debt Helpline website also has a live chat service. Live chat is available 9am to 8pm weekdays. Go to:

Other national support services include Way Forward & Credit Smart.

Way Forward is a not-for-profit organisation whose sole purpose is to help people manage and repay their debts. Way Forward can help if you have debts across multiple banks, are experiencing financial difficulty and would benefit from someone working with the banks on your behalf. Go to:

Credit Smart is an online self-help resource designed by the Australian Retail Credit Association. The information, tools and strategies on the site are designed to help you understand credit reporting and how you can view, control or repair your credit information. Go to: