Help with bill payments

High cost loans

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 )

High cost loans

Concessions Information
Phone: 1800 658 521

Register your Healthcare or Concession Card with your utility provider to receive a concession on your bills. Regularly check your bills to make sure your concession is still being applied as most cards have an expiry date.

Phone: 131 021

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. Go to to download a Centrepay form. You can set up your Centrepay deduction, easily edit or delete information via your online Centrelink profile.

Utility Relief Grants Scheme

Individuals in crisis may receive one-time help with their utility bills (electricity, water, gas and LPG). You must demonstrate unexpected hardship and fulfil criteria as set down by Department of Social Services.

Application forms are available from the Hardship Department of your utility provider.

Non-mains Utility Relief Grant Scheme can be contacted via the Concession Information line on 1800 658 521.

Use Centrepay or a Budget card available from Telstra to assist in making regular instalment payments.

Ring Telstra on 1800 804 591 for more information regarding Telstra's Access for Everyone or check
this page on their website.

Electricity and Gas
All provide options for budget management. These may include:

  • Centrepay, Billpay or direct debit
  • Assistance utilising an Easyway card which allows fortnightly regular payments.
    Contact your electricity or gas company for details of staying connected programs.

A current Pensioner Concession Card or Health Care Card is needed for this service.

South East Water Rates
Phone: 131 851

South East Water offers a water relief scheme to assist with outstanding water bills in case of financial hardship. The scheme allows bills to be paid fortnightly or monthly via Centrepay.

Frankston City Council Rates
Phone: 1300 322 322

If you are unable to pay your Frankston City Council rates on the due date contact Council directly to negotiate if an ‘Arrangement to Pay Order’ is appropriate.

Each case is assessed separately by the Council Rates Department.

Mortgage Relief — Department of Human Services
Phone: 1800 134 872

Check your eligibility for this no Interest loan on the website. Your circumstances must fit their criteria.

This scheme helps people having trouble paying their home loan after an unavoidable change in their lives; e.g. income has been reduced because of short-term unemployment or sickness.

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.

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