ac.care Financial Counselling provides a free and independent financial counselling service offering information and support to individuals and families who are experiencing financial difficulties.
The reasons for seeking financial counselling are different for everyone, however, you may be experiencing one or many of the following issues relating to managing your money:
- Keep running short of money
- Are frightened that the bank or lender is going to take action against you
- Have received a disconnection notice from your utility provider
- Have received a final notice from lenders, banks, utility providers, (i.e.) gas, electricity, landlord, phone
- Have received a legal document or letter that you don't understand
- Need someone to discuss better budgeting practices
- Have a debt that was jointly borrowed and needs to be sorted out
- Leaving a relationship and struggling financially
When you use ac.care's financial counselling you receive:
- Information on benefits and entitlements
- Information about rules and laws relating to payments
- Assistance with negotiating with creditors
- Assistance with consumer issues
- Information on bankruptcy and alternative options
- Referrals to alternative agencies for assistance with specific issues
Financial counsellors provide guidance to help balance home budgets
DIVERSE people across regional South Australia are assisted by ac.care’s financial counselling service.
Our staff and volunteers are passionate about educating people of all ages and backgrounds through free, confidential and non-judgmental services to help clients avoid a crisis or overcome challenging situations.
This has included attending schools to speak with students, as well as helping people get their finances back on track and plan for a better future.
Financial counsellors provide information, advice and advocacy to people in debt or unable to meet their ongoing expenses.
Our financial counsellors help people prioritise their debts, develop budgets and money plans, access grants or concessions, negotiate with creditors, access dispute resolution services or legal help and understand their rights.
Specific knowledge about the credit, bankruptcy and debt collection laws, along with training in negotiation and counselling, along with a willingness to offer emotional support and a listening ear when people really need it can make a huge difference.
INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS REACH OUT FROM COVID-19 SHADOWS
Our financial counsellors assisted international students during 2020/21 who communicated through an interpreter as they were unable to speak English and faced a lack of support far from home when the global COVID-19 pandemic affected vulnerable people in South Australia.
One of these students told an ac.care financial counsellor she was due to give birth without the assistance of Medicare.
Her family had been supporting her while she was living in Australia, but after the pandemic struck there were weeks and sometimes months between when they could deposit money into her account.
In cases like these, ac.care has also been able to provide emergency relief, and the woman was assisted with funds to cover a bed, clothes and feeding support for her baby’s arrival, along with referrals for counselling support. Her caseworker also advocated on the client’s behalf to a senator for systemic changes to support people in similar situations.
SECOND CHANCE AT LIFE
A man made contact with ac.care at a low point in his life when he was facing divorce, the collapse of his interstate business and significant debts spread across a credit card and flexi-loan. Although he had gained employment and started building a better future for himself in the Riverland, his arthritis worsened and he was forced to leave work and move in with his son.
Feeling embarrassed after having to rely on his adult son, he continued to use his loan and credit card, using one for funds and then paying back with the other – it’s a situation often seen by financial counsellors, but one that creates a spiralling debt trap for individuals. Having become unemployed, he was unable to continue payments and the debt reached more than $33,000.
He reached out for the support of ac.care and financial counsellor Emma provided hope by starting a debt waiver process. In a dramatic turnaround, the man was contacted on Christmas Eve and told the bank agreed to wipe his debts. “I shared 10 minutes listening to him cry about how he now had a second chance at life,” Emma said.
ac.care Financial Counselling workers available to speak to groups and organisations on financial management skills
Financial Counselling is available by appointment and to book an appointment with one of our financial counsellors please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call:
Adelaide Hills - Murray Mallee | 8531 4900
Berri | 8580 5300
Limestone Coast - Mount Gambier | 8724 5400
Limestone Coast - Millicent | 8735 5700