Get help and support
If you’re worried about money, the good news is you’re not alone. Our financial counsellors understand the financial issues you are facing and can help improve your situation.
What is financial counselling?
Gambler’s Help Financial counselling is a free and confidential service offered to people who are experiencing any of the following money problems due to gambling:
- trouble keeping up with bills and other commitments
- contact from debt collectors
- tax debt
- utility disconnection
- default notices
How can a financial counsellor help me?
Financial counsellors are skilled professionals who can:
- help you to assess, consolidate and manage debt
- work with you to set financial goals and create a budget
- negotiate with creditors on your behalf about repayment arrangements
- check if you’re eligible for government support
- help you apply for hardship variations on existing loans
- explain the risks of bankruptcy or accessing your super early and guide you through the alternatives available
To have a plan, along with the professional support to see it through, can be a great relief.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by money worries, please book a session with one of our financial counsellors as soon as possible. If you get help early, you will have many more options.
95% of people felt more in control of their finances after working with Gambler's Help.*
*Based on 2019–20 Gambler's Help Objective Outcomes data where 95% of clients who set ta 'Financial' objective felt they had 'met' or 'partially met' their objective at case closure.
How do I know if I need financial counselling?
Here are some common reasons you might seek financial counselling.
- If you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed about bills and debt
- If you’d like financial advice from a professional
- If you have financial goals and would like support to make them happen.
- When you receive a bill (e.g. a power bill) and you’re unable to pay it
- If you have credit accounts (e.g. credit card, personal loan, mortgage) that you are falling behind on
- If you find yourself borrowing money from family and friends to get through until your next pay day
- If you find yourself not opening mail or answering phone calls because you believe it will be a creditor asking for money and you can’t pay it
- If you are struggling to pay personal/family commitments (e.g. weekly food shopping, school fees, gym memberships)
- If you find yourself googling ‘payday loans’ because your bank has declined to approve a loan
- If you are affected by someone else’s gambling and notice, there’s never enough household income to cover the bills
Do I qualify for financial counselling?
Any Victorian resident experiencing financial difficulty due to gambling is eligible for financial counselling. This includes anyone negatively affected by someone else’s gambling.
What happens in the first session?
The service is free, independent and non-judgmental. Financial counsellors want to support you and they understand that it’s a major step to seek help about your finances.
The aim at the first appointment is to gather information, understand what your goals are and start a plan. Your financial counsellor will:
- ask questions regarding your finances and goals
- complete some program consents, privacy and confidentiality agreements.
- explain what a financial counsellor can and can’t do (they may refer you to other services such as Gambler’s Help therapeutic counsellors, family support or legal aid)
- let you know how many appointments you may need (generally it’s between 2–5 appointments) – and/or whether they can communicate with you via email and phone.
If a situation is urgent (for example, if you have received a disconnection notice for your electricity) your financial counsellor can contact the supplier during the appointment and advocate for you immediately.
What do I need to bring?
To make things easier, it helps to bring in any of the following documents about your financial situation:
- bank statements
- letters, or other paperwork.
This is helpful because the financial counsellor might ask detailed questions about your financial commitments.
These questions will help them support you. Often there are times when they contact the bank or credit provider on your behalf (with your permission) to discuss your options.
Can I only see a financial counsellor once?
You can access a financial counsellor through Gambler’s Help as many times as you need to.
If you find that things are getting better for you financially, you might stop seeing your financial counsellor. But if something then triggers a change in your situation, you can come back and see them again to check-in.
Financial counsellors don’t judge people for lapses, relapses or changes in their circumstances. They’re here to support you.
It's also okay if you see a financial counsellor once, then decide it's not the right time for you or that you can manage things on your own. Just know that you can come back at any time.