COVID-19 Update: All appointments are phone based appointments.
The Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement (ALRM) provides financial counselling services to Aboriginal People. Our Financial Counsellors work with, and for, Aboriginal people facing financial hardship. [Aboriginal Financial Counselling Service](https://www.alrm.org.au/low-income-support-program/) (AFCS) has a team of highly qualified financial counsellors, who are more than willing to assist you with your financial needs.
AFCS offers counselling, sources financial assistance, and acts as Advocate. It also provides information on a range of financial areas such as budgeting, housing, Centrelink issues, superannuation in addition to giving financial advice.
AFCS in Port Augusta provides financial counselling services to Aboriginal People around the Port Augusta, Davenport Community, Port Pirie, Whyalla and in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Land regions
[Rural Business Support](https://www.ruralbusinesssupport.org.au/) provides free, independent and confidential financial counselling service for eligible clients who are experiencing financial hardship, or at risk of, financial hardship.
Programs and services are developed to inspire primary producers and small rural business owners to take action to improve their financial position and to manage change, risk and business challenges. Qualified Financial Counsellors can talk with you about your goals and plans for your business, discuss risk management and other strategies you may have, assess the options which may be available and help to make action plans to work towards business goals.
A rural financial counsellor can help you with:
- Understanding your financial position
- Future projections and scenarios
- Exploring financial assistance options
- Preparing for succession planning
- Negotiating with lenders
- Planning for family meetings
- Referrals to other support including accountants, agricultural advisors, education, or counselling
This service is available to:
- Primary producers
- fishing enterprises
- forest growers and harvesters, and
- small rural-related business owners
A help-line for consumers that provides advice on the following:
- Home building and or contents insurance
- Consumer credit insurance
- Life insurance
- Funeral insurance
- Pet insurance
- Income protection insurance
- Superannuation related insurance
- Travel insurance
- Motor vehicle insurance (other than CTP)
- Debts to insurance companies in relation to motor vehicle accidents
For further information call 1300 663 464 or visit the [website](https://insurancelaw.org.au/about-us/insurance-law-service/)
Usual hours: Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4.30pm.
Community Workshop Programs are suspended due to COVID-19. Find online videos and great tips at the [ConnectED website](https://connected.org.au/).
[ConnectEd](https://connected.org.au/) aims to increase knowledge, skills and resources of all community members so they are better able to manage their essential household utilities, including electricity, gas, water and communications. ConnectEd staff work with community members to understand bills, identify opportunities to use less and save, look for better deals, and talk with utilities companies to get a better, fairer outcome.
ConnectEd team members can come and talk to your community group. In a one to two hour session, they focus broadly on energy and water concerns in the community, as well as providing valuable information on ways to help maintain affordable household utilities.
ConnectEd also provide financial counselling case management for individuals and families experiencing difficulty with utilities bills, no matter how simple or complex the situation.
To find out more or make an appointment call or make an enquiry through their [website](https://connected.org.au/contact-us/).
What Is NILS?
The [No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS)](https://nils.com.au/) provides safe, fair and affordable loans to people on low incomes of up to $1500 with no interest, fees or charges.
What Is NILS?
The No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) provides safe, fair and affordable loans to people on low incomes of up to $1500 with no interest, fees or charges.
WHAT ARE THE LOANS FOR?
Loans are for significant or essential goods and services.
A NILS can be used for:
- Household items like fridges, washing machines, TVs and furniture.
- Technology such as a computer, laptop, tablet or mobile phone.
- Some medical and dental expenses including mobility scooters and wheelchairs.
- Education expenses such as course fees and school camps.
- Car repairs, tyres, registration and driving lessons.
- Other expenses like vet costs or relocation and funeral costs.
DO I QUALIFY FOR NILS?
To qualify you must:
- Be on a low income / hold a concession card.
- Reside in your current premises for more than 3 months (this can be waived in exceptional circumstances).
- Show a willingness and capacity to repay loan.
HOW DO I APPLY?
For more information about how to apply [contact a NILS provider](https://nils.com.au/find), contact NILS on 13 64 57 or the Affordable SA Helpline on 1800 025 539.
Many services are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by changing how they operate and facilitate services for those in need.
[StepUP](https://stepuploan.org.au/) provides safe, affordable low interest loans to people on low incomes who have difficulty accessing credit from a bank. Interest is charged at a fixed low rate, and loans can be repaid over three years. No fees apply.
StepUP offers loans of between $800 and $3000 for personal or household purposes such as:
- Household items including fridges, washing machines and furniture.
- Medical and Dental expenses
- House repairs
- Car repairs
Find a [StepUp Loan provider](https://stepuploan.org.au/find) near you or call 13 64 57.
[Speckle](https://www.speckle.com.au/) offers small loans from $200 to $2000 with repayment options ranging from 3 months to 1 year. The repayment options are flexible so you can pay early and as often as you like with no extra fees.
Am I eligible? As a minimum you:
- Must be an Australian citizen or a Permanent Resident residing in Australia
- Must be at least 18 years of age
- Must earn a minimum gross income of $22,000 annually
- Should not receive more than 50% of your total income from Centerlink
- Must have an Australian mobile number and valid email address
For further information visit the [website](https://www.speckle.com.au/).
If you are experiencing financial hardship a loan might not be the answer. Call the[Affordable SA Helpline](https://affordablesa.com.au/programs/money-and-finances/affordable-sa-helpline) on 1800 025 539 or the [National Debt Helpline](https://ndh.org.au/) on 1800 007 007 to speak to a Financial Counsellor to review your options. Financial Counsellors are free, independent and confidential.
The [Australian Financial Complaints Authority]( https://www.afca.org.au/) (AFCA) helps consumers and small business to make and resolve complaints about financial institutions such as banks, insurance agencies, financial planners, mortgage brokers or superannuation funds.
AFCA is a free and independent dispute resolution service that handles complaints about:
- Credit, finance and loans
- Banking deposits and payments
- Financial advice
For further information about their complaint process and to make a complaint online go to AFCA's [website]( https://www.afca.org.au/) or call the AFCA Helpline on the number below.
Good Shepherd in collaboration with the Australian Government, are providing no interest loans up to $3000 for rent, utilities, council rates and body corporate fees.
You may be eligible for a [Household Relief Loan](https://householdrelief.org.au/) without interest if you:
- Are 16 years or over
- Are an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or hold a valid visa that expires after the loan term
- Have a before tax annual income of less than $60,000 if you are single, or less than $100,000 for couples or people with dependents
- Have lost your job, had income reduced, moved onto Centrelink payments after February 2020 or been otherwise financially impacted by Covid-19
For more information or to apply online visit their [web site](https://householdrelief.org.au/) of call 1300 121 130.