Are your finances keeping you awake at night?

night sky with a wedge of the moon shining bright. Clouds in the night sky with stars in the background.

Anglicare’s financial counselling service is supporting people of all ages and from all walks of life to take charge of their finances. It’s never too early (or too late) to contact a financial counsellor, and it can provide a critical turning point that will help you get back on track.

The economic fall-out from the coronavirus pandemic has been significant and its effect has been felt across the community.

Small businesses, particularly those in the hospitality and tourism sectors are carrying more debt than usual as they face a traditionally lean winter period.

Tasmania’s hot property market is forcing many would-be first home owners to stay in the fiercely competitive private rental market, while those who already have a mortgage may also be in financial stress.

Self-funded retirees are another group who is feeling the pinch, largely due to interest rates being at an all-time low.

The government coronavirus supplements that were introduced last year gave some families spending money that they had never had before. For the first time they were able make purchases that a lot of us take for granted. Now that those payments have finished, some people are turning for the first time to ‘buy now pay later’ credit schemes such as Afterpay, which can spell debt disaster.

If any of these circumstances strike a chord, your first port of call should be the National Debt Helpline, which is a free call on 1800 007 007. If you’re calling from Tasmania, your call will be assigned to a trained professional from Anglicare Tasmania.

Anglicare’s financial counselling team work across the State. Their advice is free, friendly and entirely without judgement. Although they are unable to provide financial advice, they can show you how to  consolidate your debts and work out a manageable budget, and this support can be priceless.

“Everyone’s circumstances are different and our counsellors take the time to get to know you and your story,” says Anglicare’s Statewide Manager Resilience and Financial Wellbeing Mark Mason. “Sometimes a deterioration in health or a breakdown in family relationships can have a huge impact – this was the case one of our clients, Colin.”

Colin was 71 years old when he reached out to Anglicare late last year, owing debts of close to $200,000 to four unsecured creditors and family and friends.

Colin had suffered a stroke and signed over day-to-day control of the family business to other family members. When his health recovered his family didn’t want to return control of the business back to him and a bitter and lengthy dispute involving the Family Court followed. Colin’s health deteriorated again and he experienced two more strokes.

Anglicare’s financial counsellor worked with him to understand his debt situation and explore some options. Together, they were able to develop a revised offer to all parties that enabled Colin to retain some flexibility and cater for future medical expenses. When the offer was accepted, it was a huge relief.

Colin emailed his financial counsellor:

“The stress of this whole business is nearly over and again my many thanks for your help … you have been exceptional. “

“Prevention is better than a cure, as the old saying goes, so the earlier you seek help the better,” says Mark Mason.

“No matter what your circumstances, we will work with you for as long as it takes to put some strategies in place, and at no point do we charge you fees for this service.”


More information:

The National Debt Helpline

Anglicare’s financial counselling service

Financial Counselling Australia


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