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COTA Victoria financial counselling service

At times, people can find themselves struggling to buy food, pay the rent or mortgage and can be juggling numerous debts. If you’re in this situation, a financial counsellor can help you understand your options and create a plan to overcome your financial obstacles.

Financial counsellors provide a free, independent and confidential service. They provide information, support and advocacy to assist people in financial difficulty.

A financial Counsellor can:

  • assist with access to the Victorian government Energy Compare website and obtain the $50 incentive and a print out of better energy deals for your household
  • explain what you can do if you are having difficulty paying bills, fines or debts
  • assist with applications for Utility Relief Grants
  • advocate on your behalf with creditors including banks, debt collection agencies, utility providers (gas, electricity, and water), Telco’s and local government
  • advise you about possible government assistance
  • assist with insurance disputes and consumer issues
  • explain early access to Superannuation entitlements and assist you to access entitlements
  • suggest referrals to other services for further assistance.

If you would like to arrange a discussion with the COTA Financial Counsellor, please call 9655 2100. Appointments are available every Wednesday and take about one hour.

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4 Responses to COTA Victoria financial counselling service

  1. Ulla Svensson says:

    Hi,
    I wonder if I could obtain advice about getting a ‘cheap’ financial adviser. I have a self-managed superannuation fund and I think my current adviser is charging much too much.It’s only about $200,000 and he takes almost all the earnings. I don;t know how to go about changing financial advisers. It was a disaster to change to the current business.
    Ulla

  2. Kasia Tkaczyk says:

    Hi Ulla,

    Thank you for your message.

    As a starting point, always ensure a planner is licensed to provide advice or is the authorised representative of a financial services licence holder. All licence holders have to register with ASIC (Australian Securities & Investments Commission).

    Below is a link to a government website – you will find a lot of useful information there re choosing a financial adviser.

    https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/investing/financial-advice/choosing-a-financial-adviser

    Regards
    COTA Vic Team

  3. Bern says:

    It’s very important to know that financial counsellors work with people in financial difficulty and debt and are not financial advisers; they provide free and independent information to assist clients to select suitable options to obtain debt relief and stabilise difficult financial situations. Financial counsellors are advocates for consumers who are victims of systemic issues and use law to advocate and negotiate responses. Financial counsellors do not assist with self managed super funds or investment advice.

  4. Nicky Barry says:

    Yes that is correct. We have provided clear information here about what our financial counselling service can assist people with. Financial advisors provide a very different service.

    Regards,
    COTA Vic Team