Deferred debt - Interview with Karyn Hicks

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3 June, 2020


This stage into the COVID-19 pandemic we are hearing a lot on the Affordable SA Helpline about people struggling with deferred debt.

ABC Radio's Afternoon presenter Sonia Feldhoff spoke recently to Karyn Hicks, a Financial Counsellor for The Salvation Army's Moneycare program about deferred debt and what is of greatest concern for renters in managing their situation. Listen to the interview below.

Like all deferred debt, such as credit cards, loans and even current rental payment deferrals with your landlord during the pandemic, there comes a time to make good, to pay off your debt or rent owed. If people have been utilising extra payments from the Government to pay off some of their debt and rent then you may have this in hand but if not you may have been accumulating debt at a fast rate that could see you with an even bigger problem in the coming months as things return to some form of normality.

If you think you are headed for financial woe or are starting to see the signs of trouble ahead with debt seeking early help from a financial counsellor might be the best thing to do. Financial Counselling is free, confidential and independent. They are here to help you and can help you get back on your feet with a money plan.

People are managing this major crisis reasonably well but some are experiencing financial difficulty and feeling pressure from creditors or landlords as they struggle to manage or are entering into unreasonable payments that they simply cannot achieve. Karyn says that "if you are feeling pressured there are avenues to take such as seeking help from a financial counsellor or assistance from TIAS", the Tenants Information and Advisory Service. TIAS is also a free and independent service, and assists people to maintain their tenancies in private rental, community housing, public housing, housing cooperatives and boarding houses.

TIAS provides advice, guidance and advocacy regarding:

  • Leases
  • Bond disputes
  • Property maintenance
  • SACAT processes
  • Rent arrears
  • SA Housing authority processes and appeals
  • Community housing processes and appeals

They are here to help South Australians so they get the Affordable SA thumbs up.

See the Affordable SA App (free to download) or website for more information about the help that is available to South Australians such as financial counsellors from Moneycare 1800 722 363, the National Debt Helpline 1800 007 007 or if you need help negotiating problems with your rent TIAS, the Tenant Information & Advisory Service 1800 060 462.

By Graeme

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Pay Day Loans during a Pandemic

Unscrupulous Pay Day Lenders have been caught out using the current global pandemic to market their products.

With many Australian’s facing ongoing financial uncertainty, some day pay day lenders have come to the party offering quick, short term loans to ease the financial stress brought on by COVID-19.

As a financial counsellor, this makes my skin crawl.

Along with paying back the original amount, pay day lenders also charge high interest rates, lender’s fees, defer payment fees, default fees, etc.

Within my role, I have seen pay day loans snowball into more than triple the amount originally borrowed.

If you are struggling financially and you need funds to pay for an expense, there are alternative options available.

Other options include:

- [NILS (No Interest Loan)](

- [Speckle Loan](

- [Step Up Loan](

- [Household Relief Loan](

If you are struggling to afford essential living expenses, it may also be worthwhile booking an appointment with a financial counselor to discuss your options. To book a free appointment, call the Affordable SA Helpline on 1800 025 359 or search for [Financial Counselling]( at the Affordable SA website.

For more information about how pay day lenders are targeting vulnerable Australians, see the attached article from ABC news.

By [Sam](