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Food and Meals
High-cost, short term loans often referred to as ‘payday loans’ can cause poverty. A typical loan for $200-500 is repayable in two or four weeks with an effective interest rate of around 400% per year.
Loans are mainly given to low and fixed income borrowers to fund recurrent everyday living expenses such as food, utilities and car repairs. Repayment, usually through direct debit, takes first claim on your pay which can leave a low income borrower without enough money for everyday living.
Alternatives include: NILS (Brotherhood of St Laurence), Low-interest loans such as Step-Up Loans (operated by NAB & Good Shepherd) or Centrelink Advance, Utilities Hardship Programs, Centre Pay & Emergency Relief. (See CSF webpage No or Low Interest Loans)
Help with Bill Payments
Billpay @ Australia Post
Centrelink provides Centrepay to people receiving payments from Centrelink. It is a free direct bill paying service where regular amounts are deducted from your Centrelink payment. Please contact 13 1021.
Electricity and Gas
Assistance with these bills can be obtained through the Easyway payment scheme. Contact your Electricity or Gas Company and ask about the scheme. Payments can be made fortnightly, payable at the Post Office or by Direct Debit from your bank account. A current Pensioner Concession Card or Health Care Card is needed for this service.
DHS - Department of Human Services
An interest free loan of up to $15,000 for up to two years may be obtained from the government. This loan is to assist with monthly payments and/or outstanding arrears. At the end of the two year period the loan must be repaid by monthly instalments. Ring the Department of Human Services on 1800 134 872.
Optus has an instalment payment scheme; contact them on 1800 505 201.
Frankston City Council Rates
If you are unable to pay your Frankston City Council rates on the due date contact Council directly on 9784 1888 to negotiate monthly payment. Each case is assessed separately by Council.
A Budget card is available from Telstra to assist in making regular instalment payments. Always contact your provider if you have difficulties paying your bills. Ring Telstra for more information regarding Telstra's Access for Everyone on 1800 804 591 or check this page on their website.
Utility Relief Grants Scheme
Individuals in crisis may receive one-time help with their utility bills (electricity, water, gas and LPG). Application forms are available from your Gas or Electricity Company. Ring the Frankston City Council Financial Counsellor on 9784 1888 to assist you in completing an application. Non-mains Utility Relief Grant Scheme can be contacted on 1800 658 521.
South East Water Rates
South East Water offers a water relief scheme to assist with an outstanding water bill in case of financial hardship. The scheme allows bills to be paid fortnightly or monthly. For further advice ring South East Water on 131 851.
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This page last updated: 19-May-2015