Vincent’s Road from Debt to Recovery


Vincent*, a 56-year-old, faced life-changing challenges after an accident which required him to leave his job as a Alcohol and Other Drugs counsellor. He was injured in a fire, sustaining 3rd degree burn injuries to 48% of his body, leaving him with a fused mouth and an inability to walk or move. With no other income besides a Centrelink Disability Pension, Vincent struggled to maintain his household, often relying on food charities. His financial difficulties, along with physical and mental health issues, affected his independence and wellbeing.
*Not his real name or photo


Seeking help, Vincent approached South East Community Links with debts totaling $6,600 across various creditors inlcluding utility bills and buy now pay later. His financial counsellor worked to explain Vincent’s situation with his creditors, seeking debt waivers and connecting him to support services. The financial counsellor also encouraged Vincent to persist with psychological care to support his mental health which was greatly impacted by his accident and limited employment prospects due to his injuries.


Debt resolved

Vincent’s pressing debts totaling $2,300 were either fully or partially waived with the intervention of the financial counsellor, providing him with substantial financial relief.

Sustained budget management

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

Enhanced support network

Through the financial counsellor’s intervention, Vincent was connected to food charities, which provided him with necessary resources reducing his food insecurity.

Continued medical and psychological care

Vincent was encouraged and supported in continuing his psychological treatment, helping him to manage his mental health and trauma from the burn injuries.

Maintained credit access
By choosing to repay specific debts, Vincent ensured his ability to access credit in future emergencies, supporting his long-term financial stability.
Emotional and financial stress relief

With most of his debts resolved and ongoing support in place, Vincent experienced reduced financial and emotional stress, aiding in his overall recovery and wellbeing.

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