Money matters: could you use advice from a DUSA Financial Counsellor?
Are money worries or personal debts interfering with your peace of mind or ability to concentrate on your studies? If so, we encourage you to get in touch with DUSA’s Financial Counselling Service to help you get back on track.
Run by your Student Association since 2018, this free and confidential service puts you in touch with experienced financial counsellors who can help you navigate a sudden financial crisis or chronic financial difficulties. The sole aim of DUSA’s Financial Counsellors is to help you resolve any financial hardships so you can experience optimal wellbeing and successfully complete your studies.
So, what does a financial counsellor do?
Financial counsellors are trained to help people who are experiencing financial difficulty. They are skilled professionals who will guide you through your options and help you plan your way out of debt. A financial counsellor can:
- conduct a full assessment of your financial situation, including regular income and expenditure, plus assets and liabilities, to help you fully understand your position
- help you create a budget and put plans into place
- provide advice on how to negotiate with your creditors, government agencies or other providers
- negotiate directly with your creditors in certain circumstances
- provide advice about what options, rights and responsibilities you may have
- refer you to other services you may need, such as legal services, crisis food and accommodation services, and health services.
How could a financial counsellor help me?
A DUSA Financial Counsellor can provide you information and advice about:
- credit and debt-related matters
- the rights of debtors
- how to lodge complaints with various ombudsman schemes if you feel you are not being treated fairly and whether you should have been given a loan in the first place
- working out a realistic payment plan for debts
- how you can access other specialist support services, including gambling, family support, personal counselling, legal aid and emergency relief.
To learn more, check out this video in which student Rachel tells her story about how DUSA’s Financial Counselling Service helped her establish a realistic budget, get her finances back on track, and even referred her to relevant Study Support services at Deakin to help get her catch up on her coursework.
We can help you manage your finances in many ways
In addition to the one-on-one help our financial counsellors provide, DUSA can help you get your money matters sorted by referring you to other helpful programs.
- Tax Help Centres. From 1 July through to 31 October, DUSA will be running Tax Help Centres at the Burwood, Waterfront and Waurn Ponds campuses. Staffed by volunteer students trained by the ATO, this free service can help you complete and lodge your tax return.
- Work and Development Permit (WDP) program. This program, run by Fines Victoria through the Department of Justice, can allow students experiencing financial hardship to ‘work off’ their infringement debt by participating in certain activities. Each activity has a ‘work off’ rate, and as you participate in an activity, your infringement debt reduces.
- Various webinars. Regular webinars are run throughout the year, covering topics such as managing your personal finances, budgeting, credit cards, and where to get assistance at Deakin when you’re experiencing financial hardship. Presented by financial counsellors, these webinars are aimed at university students who are moving out of home for the first time, starting their first job, or trying to make ends meet on a limited income. Keep an eye on the DUSA events calendar and register to learn simple steps and strategies to manage your finances so they don’t control you! You’ll also receive a recording afterwards if you’d like to refer back to information.
Contact us today
Don’t let stress over your finances impact your health or studies – we are here to help you, no matter what your situation may be!
DUSA’S Financial Counselling is a non-judgmental, independent, confidential and free service provided to inform, support and advocate for all students facing financial difficulty. Any advice you receive is also obligation-free – once you’ve spoken to a DUSA Financial Counsellor, it’s then up to you to make decisions about how you wish to manage your situation with the advice you’ve been given.
Receiving support from a financial counsellor can relieve your money worries, so we hope to speak to you soon. To make a free, confidential appointment with a DUSA Financial Counsellor, visit your DUSA office on campus, the DUSA website, send us an enquiry online, or contact us via telephone on (03) 9246 8615.