If you’re struggling with debt, it can feel overwhelming. But you’ll be glad to know that you’re not alone – there are plenty of debt help options available to you.
Here’s how to go about getting help managing your debt.
Debt help is available from many different sources. It can help you find manageable and affordable solutions to your debt problems.
If you’re in debt, it’s important to get help quickly. Many people may feel scared or embarrassed, which may lead them to ignore their money problems. However, putting your debt problems right quickly will make you feel much better, easing your worries and helping you to live life to the fullest.
There are many debt help options and services available which can help you if you’re struggling to pay what you owe. Here are some of the different ways you can get debt help.
If you can’t afford your repayments, you should contact your credit provider to let them know you’re struggling. They can help you negotiate an affordable payment arrangement.
It’s important to be honest with them, and yourself, about what you can afford to pay each month. Think about all your other expenses compared to your income to work out a realistic figure.
If your circumstances have changed for reasons out of your control, such as illness, injury or redundancy, you should ask them for a “hardship variation.” Explain your situation, and let them know how long your financial difficulties are likely to continue. They may be able to alter your repayments for you.
The National Debt Helpline offers free confidential advice for people who are struggling with debt. Their advice is completely impartial and professional.
You can speak to them on 1800 007 007 between 9.30am and 4.30pm, Monday to Friday, or you can visit their website for more information and advice.
Financial counselors can provide practical solutions to ease your money worries and help you manage your budget. They can give you the confidence and support you need to tackle your debt, and may even be able to negotiate with your credit provider on your behalf.
There are free, independent financial counselling services available in all Australian states and territories.
If you feel you’re being treated unfairly by your credit provider, or you don’t think you owe as much as they say, you should contact the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). This is a body which resolves disputes between customers and financial service providers including banks, credit card companies, and insurance companies.
The FOS can handle your complaint if it relates to an amount of $500,000 or less.
Credit providers use your credit file to work out how much money they can lend you. This is a report which contains your personal and financial details, including previous debts you may have. Occasionally, there can be mistakes on your credit file, and this can affect your financial situation.
It’s important to access your credit report so you can check it and make sure it’s accurate. You can get a free copy of your report once a year.
If you’re struggling with a number of debts, you can contact a debt consolidation company. They can help you by rolling all your debts into one new loan. This makes it easier for you to manage your budget, as you only have to make one repayment every month.
This service isn’t free – it’s important to use a reputable company, and check that the repayments won’t cost you more than you’re currently paying.
Debt consolidation companies can also offer other financial advice, so it’s worth finding out if they can provide you with any extra help you can’t access for free.
If you’d like to know more about the debt help options available to you, please contact us. We’re always happy to offer friendly, impartial advice to help ease your financial stress.