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🆘 If you or someone you are with is in immediate danger, then call 000 immediately.
If you're in a position where you need financial help – whether it's mounting debt or emergency food and housing – there is assistance available. There are a number of government and financial hardship schemes, charities and emergency relief organisations that can help you.
If you need help immediately then the services below can provide you with urgent support in Australia:
Depending on the financial help you are looking for, there are a number of services available. These include:
There are also other counselling services, like free legal advice, language assistance, Indigenous assistance, mental health support and domestic violence, family violence or abuse support services.
If you're struggling with your loan payments or bills, your lender will have a financial hardship scheme in place.
You could experience hardship for a number of reasons, including loss of income, natural disasters, family matters, medical reasons or unexpected expenses.
Financial hardship involves changes to your loan contract to accommodate your changed financial circumstances. This can include temporarily changing your loan repayments or setting up a payment plan.
The first step is to contact your lender. You will be asked to demonstrate why you're experiencing hardship, your current income, other financial expenses and what repayments you can afford. Financial problems resulting from gambling or excessive spending are usually not a suitable cause.
You can use the Australian Banking Association's financial assistance hub to find out what your options are and to retrieve your bank's contact details.
The Australian government offers the following provisions:
You also have the option of requesting for an early release of your super. You can apply to the ATO on compassionate grounds. However, this option should only be used in extreme circumstances, as you'll be dipping into your retirement fund. This means that by the time you're ready to retire, you'll have less to go on.
If your financial situation and the rising cost of living are impacting your mental health or wellbeing, you are absolutely not alone. Data released from Beyond Blue in December 2023 found that for 83% of the 1,000 respondents, the rising cost of living is negatively impacting their mental health – with 1 in 5 people saying that the impact is extreme.
Finder conducted our own survey of over 1,000 Australians and discovered that over a quarter of people have needed urgent financial help at some point.
Financial struggles can be the cause or result of a host of issues. If you need specific support, you can start with the resources below.
|Debt and financial stress
|Visit National Debt Helpline to live chat (weekdays 9am–8pm AEST) or call 1800 007 007 (weekdays, 9:30am–4:30pm AEST)
|Visit Lifeline to live chat or call 13 11 14 (24 hours)
|Depression or anxiety
|Visit Beyond Blue to live chat or call 1300 22 46 36 (24 hours)
|Domestic violence and abuse
|Visit 1800respect to live chat or call 1800 737 732 (24 hours)
|Visit the CLCS to find your nearest Community Legal Centre
|Drug and alcohol addiction
|Visit Counselling Online or call 1800 250 015 (24 hours)
|Visit Gambling Help Online to live chat or call 1800 858 858 (24 hours)
|Children and young people
|Visit Kids Helpline to live chat or call 1800 55 1800 (24 hours)
|Visit the Butterfly Foundation to live chat or call 1800 33 4673 (8am–midnight AEST)
|For non-urgent medical advice, visit Healthdirect or call 1800 022 222 (24 hours)
Good Shepherd offers No Interest Loans (NILs) of up to $3,000 for people in need. It can be used for essential goods and services, as well as some housing costs.
To qualify for NILs, you must earn less than $70,000 per year before tax as a single person or less than $100,000 as a couple or family.
Good Shepherd is a not-for-profit organisation committed to providing affordable finance for Australians in need. You can call its dedicated team on 13 64 57.
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