credit-card-advice

How to Get Credit Card Advice From Australian Government Bodies and Banks

Information verified correct on December 9th, 2016

Are you struggling to repay a debt or want some financial advice? Find official numbers and information with this guide.

Death, redundancy or injury – there are a number of reasons why we can fall behind in meeting our credit card repayments and financial obligations. While we provide general advice to Australians looking to make smarter decisions about their finances, there are a number of government bodies that can give you specific and free financial counselling and crisis support.

Here, we give you an overview of the government services and agencies you can contact for general credit card information and advice. We also outline hardship programs you can consider to help meet your financial obligations.

Where can I get financial and credit card advice?

Whether you’re looking to find out about changes to credit card surcharge laws, the latest scams or need financial advice, there are a number of agencies and websites you can use for help and information. We’ve categorised them here based on specific credit card issues you may be dealing with.

Bank fees and credit card surcharges

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) is the government watchdog responsible for maintaining a fair banking landscape. The ACCC has been active in policing excessive surcharging practices and is the institution to watch for publications and regulation around industry-wide changes to bank fees and credit card surcharging. If you want to make a general enquiry or complaint about credit card fees, charges or anything else, you can contact the ACCC on 1300 302 502.

How to avoid credit card surcharges.

To report credit card scams

You can reach out to scamwatch.gov.au to discuss and report financial scams. Scamwatch is operated by the ACCC and aims to raise awareness within the community and provide information so members of the public can recognise, avoid and report scams and fraud.

You can report a scam to Scamwatch by completing the online form, or over the phone via 1300 795 995.

How to avoid credit card fraud, traps and scams.

Transferring your credit card balance

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) MoneySmart website provides information on credit cards, including how to deal with credit card debt, such as with a balance transfer offer. You can also contact a MoneySmart representative on Facebook or Twitter, or call ASIC on 1300 300 630 with specific questions about credit card balance transfers.

Otherwise, if you have a specific question about a balance transfer product or promotion, you can contact your existing bank or the bank you wish to transfer your balance to for further information.

If you need help with a balance transfer, you can also use our balance transfer guide for further information on how a balance transfer works and the options available to you.

What is a balance transfer?

Financial assistance with a bank

Your bank or financial institution can help you with questions about your credit card account, financial hardship support services and more. Use the table below to find the contact details for your bank.

Credit card issuer Financial assistance contact number
American Express1300 660 562
ANZ1800 252 845
Bankwest1300 769 173
Citibank1800 722 879
Commonwealth Bank1300 653 012
HSBC1300 555 988
Latitude Financial Services1800 220 718
NAB1800 701 599
St.George Bank1800 629 795
Suncorp Bank1800 225 223
Westpac1800 007 007

Financial counsellors

Many community groups, government organisations and legal aid services can provide you with free financial counselling services.

A financial counsellor can work with you to improve your financial situation by:

  • Recommending government assistance and grants
  • Helping you apply for hardship provisions
  • Negotiating repayment plans with creditors
  • Creating a budget and a plan of action so you can get back on top of your finances

Visit the Financial Counselling Australia website to find a financial counsellor near you.

There are many resources available for credit card holders looking for credit card advice. Whether you use a government agency such as ScamWatch and MoneySmart or contact your bank directly, the right person to contact will depend on the credit card enquiry you have. While finder.com.au cannot provide specific financial advice to our users, you can contact us for assistance or use our helpful guides for further information to make the right decision for you.

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Jeremy Cabral

Jeremy is a publisher for finder.com.au, he is also a personal finance all-rounder specialising in: Credit Cards, Savings Accounts, Personal Loans, Home Loans & Online Shopping.

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6 Responses to How to Get Credit Card Advice From Australian Government Bodies and Banks

  1. Default Gravatar
    Grant | August 27, 2013

    I have recently been approved for a home loan and it is currently at settlement stage. Settlement will be the 17th of september. At what stage is it safe for me to apply for a credit card, without impacting on the success of the home loan?

    • Staff
      Jacob | August 27, 2013

      Hi Grant.

      You should be fine as credit checks have probably already been done; however, wait till the loan is settled and you have the keys to your home to be safe.

      Thanks for your question.

  2. Default Gravatar
    Cheryl | July 22, 2013

    Are the new credit card laws applicable to current credit cards that were in use prior to the Acts and when were they officially instigated?

  3. Default Gravatar
    Lynette | October 22, 2012

    moving to darwin from nsw will travel between the 2 states i would like to know the best c/card so i can earn fly points i don’t have a credit card dept. could you please advise.

    • Staff
      Jacob | October 23, 2012

      Hi Lynette. The best card for you will depend on your personal circumstances. Please refer to our rewards and frequent flyer comparison pages to find the card that’s right for you. Thanks.

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