Don't let your debt spiral - seek free help now
The National Debt Helpline (NDH) is urging people in financial distress to seek independent and free advice as soon as possible.
“Hundreds of thousands of people have already lost their jobs in Australia due to Covid-19 and many of them are suffering,” said Maura Angle, the Director of Community Outreach with the NDH.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the number of jobs decreased by 6% in the three weeks from mid-March and the Reserve Bank has predicted the unemployment rate will climb as high as 10% by June.
“We are urging those who have lost their jobs or had their hours reduced to contact us.” Ms Angle said.
“The time to act is now. Don’t wait for your bills and debts to spiral out of control.
“We care, we can help and we are free,” she said.
The NDH is a not-for-profit service that helps people in Australia tackle their debt problems.
The NDH website has a Covid-19 financial survival guide or there is a helpline, 1800 007 007, staffed by professional financial counsellors who provide an independent and confidential service.
Financial counsellors can advise people about how to get through the next few months. For example, how to access hardship arrangements with lenders, or whether accessing early release of superannuation is a good idea or how government assistance programs work.
Calls to the helpline over the past four weeks have been down compared to the same period last year. Between the 23rd of March and the 19th of April last year 14,800 calls were processed. Only 10,000 were made during the same period this year.
The statistics for website visits show an opposite trend with figures way up compared to last year. Over the past four weeks there were more than 33,000 visits compared to 21,443 for the same period last year.
“While the web figures show more people are keen to access information about their financial rights and choices, the decline in callers is concerning.
“We hope people aren’t delaying asking for help because the longer they leave it, the more complex their financial problems might become,” Ms Angle said.
NDH recently received Federal Government funding to increase capacity of the helpline.
27 April 2020.