If you’re struggling financially right now, you’re not alone. One in three Australians are living pay cheque to pay cheque, and many more are searching for financial advice.
But how do you decide it’s time to get professional help?
It can be hard to know when it’s exactly the right time to call in the experts. You may feel embarrassed, or you may simply not want to deal with your debt at all, but getting help is nothing to be ashamed of.
It’s a sign of strength that you’re willing to address the issue, and the good news is there’s plenty of services available to help you get back on track.
So how do you know it’s time to seek expert advice? Keep reading for tell-tale signs you should talk to a debt counsellor.
You’re considering bankruptcy
If you’re considering bankruptcy, you’ll definitely want to research all of your options before making any decisions. Bankruptcy can affect you for years to come, and there may be another solution that’s better for your situation.
You’re struggling to meet your monthly payments
If you can no longer make your credit card, mortgage, or personal loan re-payments, it’s time to put a plan in place so you don’t fall any farther behind. A debt counselor may be able to help with debt consolidation, mortgage refinancing and personal loan refinancing solutions to get you back on track.
You’ve received a judgement/court action and you don’t know what to do
If a creditor has taken legal action and obtained a court order/judgement debt against you, it may be a good idea to get a debt counsellor on your side to stop the more serious actions a creditor can take with a court action such as a garnishee order or the seizure of your possessions.
You can’t seem to break the payday lending cycle
Sometimes you get trapped in the payday lending cycle and it’s hard to get out on your own. A debt counsellor can help you break the cycle with a plan that works for your personal situation.
Your house or car is in danger of being repossessed
If you’re looking to save your house or your car, it may be time to leave it to an expert to ensure your most prized possessions aren’t repossessed.
What kind of solutions will a credit counsellor provide?
While it depends on your specific situation, common options are:
Debt consolidation will allow you to consolidate your debts into one single low interest loan. So rather than having multiple monthly repayments, you’ll have one manageable monthly payment.
With debt negotiation, your credit counsellor will negotiate with your creditors directly to reduce your total debt, agreeing on a new payment plan that is manageable for you.
Debt agreements allow you to make regular repayments based on what you can afford – not what is owed. It uses Part IX of the Bankruptcy Act, and will freeze the outstanding balance of your debts and stop any further interest, fees or charges.
Informal payment arrangements
An informal payment arrangement is very similar to a debt agreement but isn’t considered an act of bankruptcy. It will freeze the interest on your debts and stop creditors from calling, and lets you pay back your debts with an affordable plan.
What should I be prepared to provide?
You’ll need to have your financial documents in order prior to meeting with your financial counsellor. You’ll need to bring:
- Your income details
- A list of all your debts
- Copies of any loan agreements you have
- Documents related to outstanding bills
- Any court documents you’ve received
- Urgent letters regarding bills/debts
Help is out there
There are a whole host of reasons to seek debt counselling, but whatever the reason, there are plenty of solutions to help you get back on track. If you’re feeling like your finances are out of control and you’re struggling to keep up, it may be a good time to seek professional help.
If you think it’s time to get financial help, get in touch with our friendly team at 1300 368 322. We’re here to help and we’d be happy to help you find a solution that’s right for you.