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From the desk of the COTA Victoria Financial Counsellor

From time to time people find they are struggling to buy food, pay the rent or mortgage, and may be juggling numerous debts. Don’t  worry about ‘how will I manage or ‘what can I do?’ A Financial Counsellor can help you by:

  • assessing your situation and discussing options available to you
  • advocating and assisting with banks, utilities and other providers
  • assisting with lodging complaints to external dispute resolution services
  • providing information about consumer rights
  • assisting with concessions and referrals for material aid.

Anna Bligh AC, CEO of the Australian Banking Association, wrote:

‘Financial counsellors are an essential social service … We recognise the importance of the work financial counsellors do in helping people through incredibly challenging times often due to a change in their circumstances, such as loss of employment or relationship breakdown, or health related issues.’

– Australian Banking Association submission 40, Senate Inquiry.

Financial counsellors provide a free, independent and confidential service. COTA Vic offers the services of a financial counsellor two days per week.
Call COTA Vic on 03 9655 2100 to book an appointment.

Handy tips from the Financial Counsellor – Insurance

Good Shepherd Microfinance and the Victorian Government have developed a new toolkit – ‘Insure it, it’s worth it’. A simple, easy to use guide for people to prepare their finances for emergencies. Click here to download a PDF of the guide or contact COTA Victoria on 03 9655 210 for a hardcopy.

Good Shepherd Good Insurance also provides specialised insurance products for low income people.

Essentials by AA1 developed with Suncorp, allows customers to comprehensively insure their car, their home contents or both. Customers can also choose to pay premiums annually, or in monthly or fortnightly instalments, and use Centrepay to manage payments.

Insurance 4 That, developed with Insurance Australia Group (IAG), is a single-item insurance solution. It provides an alternative to traditional contents insurance by enabling people to insure individual items and nominate the insured value of these items. It also gives customers the option to take out additional cover for portable items against theft anywhere in Australia, and comes with flexible payment options.

For more information about these insurance products visit Good Shepherd Microfinance’s ‘Good Insurance’ page.

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