If you're having problems with debt, your starting point should be the [National Debt Helpline](https://ndh.org.au/) 1800 007 007 for financial counselling support.
Financial counselling helps you manage your debts and get your finances back under control.
Get advice about
- Your financial situation, to help you fully understand your position.
- How to prioritise your debts
- The pros and cons of the options that might work for you in addressing your debts (for example, repayment of loans, negotiating with creditors, bankruptcy and so on. There are always options.
- Your rights and responsibilities around credit and debt
- How to access other services you may need, such as legal services, crisis food and accommodation services, and health services.
Financial counselling is free, confidential and independent. The [National Deb Helpline](https://ndh.org.au/) is a not-for-profit, community based service that's available to people in Australia experiencing financial difficulty.
Please call 1800 007 007 to talk about your situation or send us a message [here](https://ndh.org.au/about-national-debt-helpline/contact-us/).
For South Australians needing advice or assistance with managing the cost of living or budgeting. The Helpline provides information, advice and referrals to appropriate services such as financial counselling, case work, advocacy or community education.
The Helpline Service is available from Monday to Thursdays between the hours of 9.30 am and 5 pm and Fridays 9.30am and 4.30pm (except Public Holidays). To access information, support, or referrals, call the Helpline on the number provided.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic services may have changed to non contact or phone based service. Strict social distancing and other COVID-19 restrictions may be in place.
Financial counselling is a free, independent and confidential service offering support, information and advocacy to anyone experiencing financial hardship.
A Financial Counsellor will look at your overall financial situation and provide you with your options. They can advocate and negotiate on your behalf if needed.
A Financial Counsellor cannot provide investment advice, financial planning, or monetary assistance.
Financial counselling is offered by a range of service providers throughout South Australia via an appointment based service. See locations below for providers in your area.
Alternatively, you can call the [National Debt Helpline](https://ndh.org.au/) on 1800 007 007 for telephone financial counselling or a referral to a financial counsellor in your area.
The Helpline Service is available from Monday to Thursday between the hours of 9.30 am - 8 pm and Fridays 9.30am - 4.30pm (closed public holidays).
Issues a Financial Counsellor can assist with include:
- Financial rights and responsibilities
- Budgeting and money management
- Applications for hardship
- Debts and debt recovery processes
- Concessions and related entitlements
- Referrals to complementary services
- Insolvency and bankruptcy options
Several organisations in South Australia operate to assist refugees and migrants and can extend to International students and temporary visa holders, providing help in learning new financial systems and assisting with basic needs and support such as food through an Emergency Relief service.
These organisations have access to Financial Counselling and caseworkers to help individuals negotiate with utility companies, government departments. It is expected that these organisation will also refer to other community services as appropriate.
The Australian Refugee Association and the Australian Migrant Resource Centres are located in Adelaide and across many parts of South Australia.
International students can approach financial counselling services within the SA Universities provided by student services to access help.
Please refer to each location for more information about services offered.
Financial troubles can be a major cause of stress, but if you’re struggling with money, you’re not alone. You can start to solve your money worries with Moneycare services.
They can offer you step-by-step advice on how to put your money problems behind you. You can get help with:
- Get free, confidential and independent advice from caring, qualified financial counsellors who really listen without judgement and can provide financially sustainable options to manage the debt
- Build confidence in managing your money through a financial-skill-building program called [You’re the Boss](https://www.salvationarmy.org.au/need-help/financial-assistance/youre-the-boss/).
No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS)
- Sometimes we all need a little bit of extra help. If you’re on a low income and need a loan for essentials, apply for a no-interest loan today. It’s safer – and cheaper – than pay day loans, pawning your goods or renting appliances.
Many services are responding to the COVID-19 Crisis by changing how they operate and facilitate services for those in need.
PHONE BASED SERVICES remain open and available for clients. These include Financial Counselling that would normally take many face to face appointments around the state. Most of these resources have now been made available as phone appointments. (To make document presentation easier you may want to download a mobile scanner App if you do not have scanning capability at home. Apps such as Fast scanner, Genius and Tiny Scanner are available from Apple and Google play).
FACE-TO-FACE appointments and contacts have been reduced, cancelled or are managed through social distancing. Most services have put in place an appointment booking system with no walk ins. Information about these services and their operating policies may be updated on the service's website and worth checking before you make an enquiry.
All services will be responding to current health advice and so you can presume that the Governments current Health guidelines will need to be followed. Anyone with health issues as indicated by the health advice should refrain from attending and should indicate this before making appointments. South Australian Governments Social Distancing measures: https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/how-to-protect-yourself-and-others-from-coronavirus-covid-19/physical-distancing-for-coronavirus-covid-19
If you cannot find a service in the App or Website then it may not be operating through the crisis and has been removed to make it easier to navigate through services that are still operating.
Please be patient with service staff and let us know of any good or bad experiences, changes you think we have missed or ways in which you have managed through this crisis. You can contact us by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or drop us a line on social media.
Stay informed, stay safe and if possible stay at home.
The [Australian Red Cross](https://www.redcross.org.au/news-and-media/news/help-for-migrants-in-transition) are providing a small one-off emergency relief payment for people on temporary visas to meet urgent financial needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Available to people in Australia with urgent needs who:
- are not Australian citizens or permanent residents; and
- have a need such as a utility bill or medical expenses, and are unable to meet that need.
To apply you will need evidence of your current or most recent visa and evidence of financial hardship.
Applications are made online at their [website](https://www.redcross.org.au/news-and-media/news/help-for-migrants-in-transition).
[ACCAN](https://accan.org.au/media-centre/covid19-telco-services-and-technology/1708-covid-19-supporting-families-and-households#EducationAssistance) supporting families and households with NBN Education Assistance Packages, Online Learning and Access to Devices and Telco Assistance Packages.
NBN Education Assistance Packages help Australians respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, NBN Co is providing up to $50 million to assist phone and internet providers to support low-income family households with school-aged children who do not currently have an active nbn connection at home.
Online Learning and Access to Devices - COVID-19 containment measures may require school students to learn from home. Access to suitable online equipment is a significant education barrier for students and families. Device loan schemes are arrangements where a school temporarily loans a device to a student who requires one for the purpose of education. **Parents seeking information and advice on loan devices should contact their child’s or children’s school for assistance**
For more information go to their [website](https://accan.org.au/media-centre/covid19-telco-services-and-technology/1708-covid-19-supporting-families-and-households#EducationAssistance).
Up to $3,000 per household is available to farmers, farm workers or farm suppliers/contractors who are struggling financially because of the drought.
Payments can help cover expenses such as groceries, vehicle maintenance, energy and utility bills, health and medical expenses.
To be eligible you must:
- Be currently living in an eligible drought affected area in South Australia
- Be over 18
- Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
- Live/work in a specified Local Government Area (LGA)
- Have not already received DCSI – Round 2 assistance since 19 November 2019 (only one payment per household)
Around the country and in South Australia St Vincent de Paul and The Salvation Army are working to deliver these assistance packages. Please apply or contact the provider in your area.
Vinnies: Barossa, Berri, Barmera, Ceduna, Claire, Gilbert Valleys, Cleve, Copper Coast, Flinders Rangers, Franklin Harbour, Goyder, Kangaroo Island, Kimba, Light, Loxton, Wakerie, Mount Remarkable, Northern Areas, Orroroo, Carrieton, Port Pirie City and District, Renmark, Paringa, Southern Mallee, Streaky Bay, Tatiara, The Coorong, Unincorporated Far North SA, Wakefield, Wudinna, Yorke Peninsula.
The Salvation Army: Alexandrina, Karoonda East Murray, Mid Murray, Murray Bridge, Peterborough,