The UMSU Legal Service also has a free financial counselling service for students who are struggling with debts, or who want more control over their financial situation.
A financial counsellor can provide advice on issues including:
- Managing rent and accommodation expenses
- Utility bills – gas, electricity, water
- Phone and internet debts
- Credit and store cards
- Credit reports
- Personal & car loans
- Motor vehicle accident debts
To access the financial counselling service, please complete our online contact form here.
On Track Travel Pass program
In 2019, the UMSU Legal Service’s financial counsellor in conjunction with the UMSU Education (Public) department are running the On Track Pass program. This program can assist eligible students who are suffering from financial difficulties with public transport expenses. The program can provide students with 7-day travel passes, which are free of charge and replace myki tickets. The travel passes are valid for travel on trams, trains and buses for the duration of the pass.
The program is focused on international students and graduate students, who are not eligible for concession fares on public transport.
To obtain a travel pass, you must be a current student suffering from financial difficulties and:
- your financial difficulties present a risk of disengagement from education; and/or
- you need to use public transport to attend an appointment in relation to health, tenancy, legal or other advocacy, creditors, financial counselling, Centrelink or food bank/emergency relief.
Requests for a travel pass will be assessed by our financial counsellor.
If you are in the situation described above, please contact us here. Under the option for “type of matter”, please select “financial counselling”.
Financial counselling services
Some industries have ombudsmen that can assist you with dispute resolution. Ombudsmen are independent, impartial and provide a free service. They investigate complaints which have not been solved by the organisation complained against. Ombudsmen investigate complaints when something has been handled badly or unfairly, making someone suffer as a result. Before making a complaint to an ombudsman, you usually need to have tried to sort your issue out with the organisation directly.
For complaints about banks and financial institutions: Australian Financial Complaints Authority (incorporating the former Financial Ombudsman Service)
For complaints about telephone and internet providers: Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman
For complaints about gas, electricity and water providers: Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria
Debt and financial information