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Frequently Asked Questions
What should I do if I’m in debt and can’t find a way out?
Every situation is different and needs to be treated differently. That’s why we offer a no obligation chat with our friendly team to identify the best course of action for you. We will analyse and assess your financial situation and work with you to develop a budget that will set you on the right path moving forward.
Will you be able to stop creditors chasing me for payments?
Yes – we will notify your creditors that we are helping you and request that they contact us directly.
Can you help me save my house and other assets?
Everything is dependent upon the individuals situation. However, we have been able to save many homes and other assets from repossession. If you’re concerned that this may happen to you, it is important to contact us right away to help you as soon as we can.
Do you negotiate with my creditors?
Yes. We will aim to decrease your payments, reduce your interest rate or arrange a payment plan. We may also offer debt settlement – which is an offer to your creditors to pay the debt out at a lower amount than what is due. Once we have a firm understanding of your situation we can advise the best course of action moving forward.
What is debt consolidation?
A Debt Consolidation means you have only one payment – by combining a number of debts into one single personal loan, making it far more simple, transparent and manageable for you.
What is a Debt Agreement?
A Debt Agreement is a method of arriving at an affordable interest free arrangement with your unsecured creditors.
What are the benefits of a Debt Agreement?
In simple terms, you are allowed to make affordable payments over a period of time, while retaining your assets.
What's the best way to make sure my Debt Agreement is accepted?
The best way to ensure that a Debt Agreement will be accepted is by putting your best offer forward. Our experts will take the time to understand your situation and advise of the best course of action which is within your means of repayment.
How long does the Debt Agreement process take?
Each case varies, but it may take up to 90 days in some cases.
How are payments made under a Debt Agreement?
Your bank account will be debited every week, fortnight or month in conjunction with your income.
Will a Debt Agreement affect my credit rating?
Your debt agreement will generally appear on your credit file for up to 5 years, but it may be there for longer in some circumstances.
Will a Debt Agreement affect my credit rating?
Both the Debt Agreement proposals and Debt Agreements are listed on the National Personal Insolvency Index (NPII).
What is a credit report?
A credit report contains information about who you are and a history of your financial behaviour.
What is on my credit report?
Your credit report includes information such as your name, address, employment history, date of birth, a list of creditors who have viewed the report, any late payments, defaults or judgments.
Where can I find my credit report?
Your credit report is held by a credit reporting agency such as Equifax.
How was my credit report created?
Your credit report was likely created the first time you made an application for a service or credit.
How does my credit report affect me?
Your credit report is checked when you apply for credit. If you have a negative listing (black mark) on your credit report, you are likely to be declined.
What is a default?
A default is otherwise known as an overdue account and is a type of negative listing (black mark).
Who has access to my credit report?
When you apply for credit, there are usually terms in the application authorising the lender to obtain your credit report. These lenders check your credit report for any black marks.
What is a credit rating?
A credit rating is the score given to you when you apply for a loan. This rating is an estimate of your ability to repay the loan.
Why is it important that I repair my credit rating?
It is important to restore your credit rating as this is usually the reason stopping you from getting a loan approved, and may allow you access to more competitive interest rates and loan terms.
How can I improve my credit rating?
The negative listings (black marks) will need to be removed from your credit report to improve your credit rating, and this is where we specialise in.
How did I get a black mark?
Negative listings or black marks are usually listed on your credit report due to a debt not being paid on time.
If I pay the black mark, will it be removed?
Unfortunately, paying the listing will not remove it from your credit report and does not mean that you will be able to get approved.
How much 'bad credit' does it take to be declined?
Even one small late payment listing can result in a black mark and you being declined.
What are the benefits of credit restoration?
The benefits of credit restoration include; getting approved, reducing interest rates, reducing upfront and ongoing fees, reducing repayments and saving thousands of dollars.
Can I restore my credit rating by myself?
It is possible, however quite difficult. To restore your credit report you first need to understand the credit reporting system. A product called Cactus Credit Assist has been specially designed to help you restore your credit rating.
What does insolvent mean?
You are technically insolvent if you can’t make a payment as and when your bills fall due.
What is a Personal Insolvency Agreement?
A Personal Insolvency Agreement is an alternative to bankruptcy, where you enter into an affordable arrangement with your provable unsecured creditors. It is similar to a Debt Agreement and usually utilised by those with substantial debt (business people).
What are the benefits of a Personal Insolvency Agreement?
A Personal Insolvency Agreement allows you to propose affordable payments over a period, even if they equal less than the full amount that you owe.
Why would I become Bankrupt?
You would usually become bankrupt if you had no other option to resolve your debt or your creditors force you into bankruptcy.
How long does Bankruptcy last?
Bankruptcy usually lasts three years. However, this period may be extended up to 13 years through an objection by the trustee.
Can my creditors still contact me for payment after I become Bankrupt?
No. The Bankruptcy Act prevents creditors from receiving money from you if those debts have been listed in your bankruptcy.
Can I continue to use my credit cards?
No, existing credit cards will be cancelled.
Will I lose my car or other assets if I'm bankrupt?
Once bankrupt, you can no longer sell or deal with most of your assets or items of value. Your trustee can sell your property for the benefit of the creditors.
How will Bankruptcy affect my income?
If your income exceeds the threshold amount, you may have to make compulsory contributions to your trustee.
Will Bankruptcy affect my credit rating?
Bankruptcy will be recorded on your credit file for 5 years, or longer is some circumstances.
What option is best for me?
The best solution depends on your situation. Our aim is to understand your situation completely before offering appropriate solutions to help you fix your financial problems. Contact us today to get the ball rolling.
Take the first step toward financial freedom.
We'll assess your circumstance and formulate a solution that gets you back on track. Contacting Credit Counsellors Australia is just the first of many steps in the right direction toward a better financial future.