Financial counsellors are highly skilled professionals who provide assistance, advocacy and information to people experiencing financial difficulty or who have problems with debt. Financial counsellors are independent, their services are free, and they are bound by law to keep matters relating to your finances confidential. Most financial counselling services are funded by state and federal governments.
Financial counsellors are trained to look at your financial situation (e.g. your income, expenses, assets and debts) and identify options you have to manage your situation.
Financial counsellors can provide the following support to their clients:
- advise and assist with problems related to debt and debt enforcement;
- advocate and negotiate with banks and other lenders;
- assist with concessions, grant eligibility and applications;
- assist with lodging complaints to external dispute resolution services;
- refer to community, health and legal services;
- provide information about consumer rights.
Financial counsellors do not:
- lend money (this includes paying debts and paying bills);
- complete tax returns;
- take over your finances;
- recommend any kinds of loan products;
- provide debt consolidation services;
- provide financial product advice;
- deal with investments.