Financial Counselling Service and Consumer Law Centre of ACT (CARE Inc)

As a non-profit community legal centre, CARE Inc, provides low and moderate-income consumers with free legal advice and assistance. CARE Inc, ensures that low income consumers are fairly treated and can overcome debt with the support offered.  CARE Inc. specializes in areas of consumer credit (mortgages, credit cards and personal loans), debt recovery, banking, simple contracts, general fair trading and consumer protection.

People usually contact CARE when they are in debt and not sure what to do or how to negotiate with creditors, when they need information about financial matters, when they want to look through their budget and see where the money is going or want to talk through the stresses of living on a low or restricted income.

All Care services are offered free of charge.

After-hours Drop-in Service

  • Provides information on financial issues such as budgeting and options on dealing with debt
  • Will prepare a budget if required
  • Makes referrals to other services where appropriate
  • Does not write or phone creditor’s on the individual’s behalf
  • Does not give out money

Information Appointments

  • Information appointments with a financial counsellor can be made to provide individuals with more detailed information and assessment of their financial situation or a referral to another service.

Financial Counselling Casework Service

  • This service is for people who have more complex needs requiring financial counselling and ongoing support and advocacy.
  • The service works in a way that recognises underlying issues that affect people’s financial life and well-being.
  • In the casework service, individuals are allocated a financial counsellor.
  • This may involve checking that the individual is legally liable for the debts, checking that the individual is receiving all your entitlements, undertaking an assessment of the individual’s current financial situation, explaining the individual’s options, contacting creditors to negotiate payment arrangements and linking to other supports that the individual requests.

Housing Financial Counselling Service

  • This service assists Housing ACT and community housing tenants who have rental arrears. It includes short term or ongoing assistance for clients.

Gambling Financial Counselling Service

This service assists people who are affected by problem gambling. The financial counsellor can:

  • provide assistance and support to clients or their families in relation to their financial issues
  • provide options to assist in resolving financial matters
  • refer to other specialist services where appropriate

CARE Inc website