Rachel Gets Back on Track after Injury


Rachel*, a 49-year-old woman, found herself in a difficult financial situation following an injury that left her unable to work in early childhood development. She worked on a casual basis and was not entitled to sick leave or annual leave.

The increasing cost of living was having a devastating impact on Rachel, who often had to depend on charities to access food. While Rachel’s mortgage was not large, rising interest rates made her situation unsustainable. She was relying on Centrelink payments and savings to meet her financial commitments including a mortgage.

Rachel did not regularly rely on credit but had resorted to buy now pay later when she was unable to cover her ongoing expenses including food, petrol, utilities and mortgage. Her financial hardship circumstances affected her mental health, wellbeing and independence. She was faced the reality of possibly losing her home.

*Not her real name or photo


South East Community Links provided Rachel with crucial support, creating a plan to respond to her financial situation. Our financial counsellor engaged in advocacy on her behalf, communicating with creditors and the bank to establish repayment plans that Rachel could manage.

Additionally, the financial counsellor guided Rachel on how to use her superannuation income protection insurance, which would help cover her expenses during her inability to work. They also informed her about the availability of utility relief grants and the Power Saving Bonus. This comprehensive approach offered both long-term and short-term solutions to help Rachel stabilise her financial situation.


Secured debt payment arrangements

The financial counsellor supported Rachel to advocate for debt arrangements.

Received utility relief and savings

She applied for and received utility relief grants for essential services and the Power Saving Bonus, alleviating some financial burdens.

Mortgage hardship extended

The bank consented to extend Rachel’s hardship arrangement for her mortgage, with a portion of her superannuation covering the arrears.

Accessed superannuation and started insurance claim

Rachel accessed $10,000 from her super fund due to hardship and initiated an income protection insurance claim.

Retained a home
Rachel resumed her mortgage payments after the hardship period, thus retaining her home and regaining stability.

Financial Counselling is supported by the Victorian Government and the Australian Government.