One thing that we can say at Milpara is getting onto things early can make a huge difference. With visits from Stuart the financial counsellor we have heard of some fantastic success stories, shared by participants of course, as the free service is discrete. A common comment we hear is “I wish I had done something earlier it has caused so much stress!”. Financial matters do affect day-to-day life and negatively affect mental and physical health, so doing something early really is important.
There is a clear message going out currently from many companies and services, from rent/mortgage to energy providers, householders and business get in touch the moment it looks like it will become difficult to pay a bill.
Many companies have been broadening access to payment plans, payment extensions and hardship programs to people financially affected by the Coronvirus pandemic.
Many companies are receiving a significant increase in calls to their call centers; many have employed more staff to cope but are still struggling to keep up with demand. So be patient it may take longer than usual to get through, but it is well worth making contact.
Moneysmart.gov.au have a great statement ‘when it comes to getting on top of debt, the most important thing is to get started.’ You might feel overwhelmed, but you have options and there are steps you can take yourself.
If you feel you need a bit more guidance or need help quickly, simply call National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007. Alternatively book in to talk with Stuart the free financial counsellor covering this area, you can do this by calling Anglicare on 1800 286 260.
Some wise words from Energy Australia Chief Customer Officer Mark Collette:
“With the Australian economy suffering from the impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic, some households and businesses will inevitably run into financial difficulties.”
“Please – don’t let the issue build up. The earlier people get in touch the better we can help with payment plans and bill extensions. We can put people in touch with trained financial advisors to talk about their individual situation. And we can connect people with government support programs that they may not have known about.”
Milpara encourages anyone who is having trouble, or can see trouble coming, to not sit back and wait. Make contact with your provider/service and have an honest conversation. The emergency food bank at Milpara is well stocked and may assist to take some pressure off, that’s what it is there for.
If you are having trouble, you are not alone and help is out there. Do not leave it; get in touch with your provider/service early.