Access to financial counselling makes a huge difference in the lives of people all across Australia. In Victoria alone, Consumer Action’s team of financial counsellors take over 20,000 phone calls a year. Claire Thomas from Melbourne’s eastern suburbs kindly invited us into her home so we could meet face to face with one of the many voices we hear from every day. Meeting with Sarah Brown-Shaw, part of our MoneyHelp team, Claire told us what it was like to have the reassurance of Consumer Action’s counsellors during a financial rough patch a little over two years ago.
“I googled it [financial counselling] and your website came up” she told us. Claire called our MoneyHelp service and got through to Edmund who talked through her situation and offered a helping hand. “He was just so kind and was talking to me like this was completely normal. We just went through the figures together”.
Over two years, Consumer Action’s financial counsellors were a friendly voice on the other end of the line to support Claire in taking control of her situation. “I have so much more confidence with our finances.” she said.
“I’ve just had a complete mind shift.” As she took us outside to play with her daughter on the trampoline, Claire told us that she and her partner are now looking at buying a house of their own.
With things looking up, we asked Claire what advice she’d give to others going through a rough patch. “Reach out and make that first phone call, which is really hard. I had to make that phone call and it was the best thing I ever did.”
MoneyHelp’s financial counselling services are available for free on 1800 007 007.