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Where to get help

Credit and debt hotline

If you have unpaid bills and a debt collector (sometimes called a “mercantile agent”) contacts you, call the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 for free advice or call EWON. For more information contact the Financial Rights Legal Centre.

Community welfare agencies

Community welfare agencies can help customers in financial difficulty by:

  • negotiating with your energy or water supplier about what you can afford to pay
  • referring you to a financial counsellor or other support services

Some agencies provide emergency financial assistance in the form of:

No Interest Loan Schemes (NILS)

The No Interest Loan Schemes (NILS) program helps people on low-income by providing interest free loans for items such as new, energy efficient appliances. NILS is available through some community organisations. Contact community organisations in your local area to see if they offer NILS or contact NILS NSW on freecall 1800 509 994.

Tenancy advice services

If you are a tenant and need help sorting out a problem with your landlord about issues such as water accounts, electrical or plumbing repairs, or meter access, contact Tenants NSW for free advice and assistance.

Legal advice

A community legal centre may be able to help you with free advice. Community legal centres are independent, non-profit community organisations providing free legal advice, information and referrals for individuals and communities across New South Wales. Some centres provide legal advice over the phone, or hold interview and advice sessions after business hours. For further information contact the Community Legal Centres NSW.