Why you should attend your appointment
- You’ll have a better understanding of your financial situation
- You’ll be aware of the options available to you
- You’ll have a better understanding of the consequences of each option
- You’ll be able to make a more informed decision about your future
- You’ll receive support and guidance in a safe, non-judgemental environment
What to bring to your session
The more information you can share with your financial counsellor, the better their understanding of your situation. It's important to bring any documents that you think may be significant. These include:
- Proof of income — a recent Centrelink statement or a payslip is ideal
- Rental or mortgage contract
- Loan documents
- Credit card documents
- Rates and water bills
- Electricity bills
- Phone and internet bills
- Copies of any legal documents, such as judgements
- Bring your budget, if you have made one
Remember to bring all your financial statements, even the ones you feel are under control. The more information you provide, the more your financial counsellor can help.
What to do on the day of your appointment:
- Be early. Plan for traffic and know your route. Arriving early will mean you won’t be flustered for your meeting. You’ll also have time to fill out any forms that may be required. If forms are something you struggle with, don’t worry, the financial counsellor will be able to help you.
- Be honest with the financial counsellor. The better they understand your situation, the more they can help you.
- Be patient. It may take more than one appointment to get your finances under control.
- Have realistic expectations. The only promise the financial counsellor can make is to do their best within the scope of their role to help you.
- Persevere. There is no set amount of times you may see your financial counsellor. Each session will bring you closer to financial freedom.
Having a budget will help your financial counsellor understand where your money goes. Before your session, try to draw up a budget, if you can. Even if it’s not perfect, it will help your counsellor understand your situation.
Visit www.moneysmart.gov.au for advice on how to draw up a budget.
What to do when creditors call
Dealing with creditors is stressful. Mention that you have an appointment booked with a financial counsellor. You can provide the financial counsellor’s name, the organisation they work for and the time and date of the appointment. Let the creditor know that once you have had the financial counselling session and have a clear understanding of your situation, you will be able to decide how to address the debt.
Congratulations on making the toughest decision of all: the decision to change.
What happens if you don’t go to your appointment?