Financial Counselling help during COVID-19
During these stressful times, it can be daunting and hard to navigate financial assistance systems. Below are some resources from our Financial Counsellor, Sarah Davidson
- The National Debt Helpline website has an excellent resource around COVID19 Financial Survival, you can find it here – https://ndh.org.au/debt-problems/covid19/
- If you have not already done so, you need to register an Intent to Claim Jobseeker payment. This is done through your MyGov account. If you have a MyGov account, you are able to complete the intent to register without needing to know a Centrelink reference number as a member of Centrelink staff will call you back to help with that.
- Keeping your rental secure is paramount. We are hearing good stories around landlords accepting reduced rents but also that some are being difficult. Its important to try and maintain your rental payments if you can.
- New rules cover a moratorium on evictions, rent relief for eligible tenants, suspension of rental increases, land tax reductions and deferrals for landlords. More info can be found here.
- Utilities – if you are having trouble making payments, contact the utility to either make an arrangement including putting a hold on payments.
- Credit – all credit providers are currently offering moratoriums (payment holidays) for usually the next 6 months. Interest, fees and charges will continue to accrue, however will likely be added onto the loan at the end and the term extended or repayments increased (this can be negotiated later). Due to extended backlogs, it is safe to assume that as long as you have lodged an application it will be accepted and back dated. We have also seen evidence that credit reports/ratings will not be effected during this particular period.
- You are likely to be eligible to access your superannuation. Given your age we would strongly suggest this be the absolute last resort – particularly because you will be eligible for Jobseeker + coronavirus supplement or Jobkeeper. You will not be taxed on any super withdrawn in this period. Register of intent is completed via your MyGov account.
- Jobkeeper payment is through eligible employers – as I am not sure of the nature of your employment I can’t comment as to whether this will apply for you. I would suggest that you contact your employer to see if this will be the case. This payment would be in lieu of Jobkeeper.
- Call 1800 007 007 if you would like to speak with a financial counsellor and talk anything through. They also have the ability to refer you to a financial counselling service if you require additional support. Please don’t hesitate to make the call, we anticipate that most of the people who need financial counselling assistance at the moment are not getting it because they are not aware that they exist!
- If you’re an RMIT student, there’s also assistance available for financial support. Information can be found here.
- The MoneySmart website has some excellent resources – https://moneysmart.gov.au/covid-19