Financial counsellors can provide free, confidential and independent advice about debts, money management and the debt recovery system.
They act as negotiators with creditors, and provide paralegal advice on credit, debt and bankruptcy. A directory of financial counselling organisations is in Chapter 5.4: Financial counselling services.
If you need to seek legal advice, you can contact the Consumer Action Law Centre, your local community legal centre or VLA (see Chapter 2.4: Legal services that can help, for contact details).
Consumer Action Law Centre
The Consumer Action Law Centre (CALC) provides free legal advice and representation to vulnerable and disadvantaged consumers across Victoria. CALC advise you about whether you have grounds to dispute a debt. CALC’s website has fact sheets about credit and debt.
Tel: 1800 466 477 (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 10am to 1 m)
Consumer Affairs Victoria
You can contact Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) about debt problems.
Tel: 1300 558 181
CAV has offices in metropolitan and regional Victoria; see CAV’s website for addresses.
National Debt Helpline
The National Debt Helpline is a not-for-profit service that is available nationwide. Professional financial counsellors provide free, confidential and independent financial advice. The National Debt Helpline does not loan money.
Tel: 1800 007 007
Victoria Legal Aid
The Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) website has information and resources to help those in debt. VLA also provides assistance over the phone, via its legal help line.
Tel (legal help line): 1300 792 387
VLA has offices in metropolitan and regional Victoria; see VLA’s website for addresses.