Managing daily expenses can be tough, and credit card debt, mortgages and bills can all add to financial stress.
We offer free, independent and confidential financial counselling and budget support, home energy assessments and information sessions on managing your utilities, as well as well as emergency relief, and access to no- and low-interest loans.
If you’re on a low income, managing your daily expenses can be tough. Our Emergency Relief service provides emergency support if you are struggling.Read more
We can provide:
- food vouchers
- bus tickets
- petrol vouchers
- assistance with some bills and expenses
- help with basic budgeting
- clothing and chemist vouchers
- referrals to other services that may help.
This service operates in eastern and north eastern Adelaide and is funded by the Department of Social Services.
Emergency Assistance appointments are available at the following locations between 9:30am and 12pm:
Eastern Services Beulah Park – Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
Christies Beach – Friday
Smithfield – Tuesday and Thursday
Adelaide – Tuesday and Thursday
Appointments can be made up to one day in advance on 8202 5846
Financial counselling & support
Managing your financial affairs can be confusing, especially if credit card debt, mortgages and bills are adding pressure.
Our services are free, independent and confidential. Our financial counsellors are non-judgmental, qualified and experienced professionals who can provide information, support and advocacy to people in financial difficulty.Read more
They can help you with:
- arrears on, for example, mortgage, school fees or council rates
- pending disconnections
- credit card debt
- debt recovery and court action
- consumer rights
- negotiating with creditors
- managing money
- bankruptcy information and alternatives.
Our financial counsellors don’t provide therapeutic counselling, legal advice, material or financial assistance, or advice about business issues. However, we have a range of other services that may be able to support you with some of these matters.
Financial counselling is by appointment only – please contact us to arrange a suitable time.
No Interest Loans Scheme (NILS®)
If you are living on a low income, it can be hard to purchase important household items.
The No Interest Loans Scheme can help, with interest- and fee-free loans for individuals, families or couples. This community-based initiative helps people to access fair, safe and affordable credit to buy essential goods and services.Read more
Loans can be up to $1,500 and are repayable over 12 months. You can use them to purchase items such as:
- a fridge, washing machine or television
- health equipment
- computers and more.
NILS® will not cover regular living expenses like bond or rent; utilities or phone bills; food or clothing; existing debt or debt consolidation; items in pawn brokers or similar; or items already purchased.
Services are available from Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm. We operate from various locations in Adelaide, as well as Victor Harbor and Goolwa.
Please note that eligibility criteria will apply – contact us for more information.
Loans are provided by National Australia Bank. The service is funded by the Federal Department for Social Services and the South Australian Department for Communities and Social Inclusion, in partnership with Good Shepherd Microfinance.
NILS appointments are available at the following locations:
Christies Beach – Monday and Thursday
Smithfield – Tuesday and Thursday
Adelaide – Tuesday and Thursday
StepUP low-interest loans
If you need a loan but are unable to get one from the bank, a StepUP loan may suit you. These are safe, fee-free, low-interest loans between $800 and $3,000, that you can repay over three years.Read more
StepUP is a community initiative between Good Shepherd Youth and Family Services and NAB. It aims to provide you with a safe credit alternative that allows you to build a credit history.
StepUP loans can be held in joint names and can be used for personal, domestic or household purposes including:
- household furniture
- refrigerators or washing machines
- medical expenses
- motor vehicle repairs or second-hand motor vehicles
- house repairs.
A Uniting Communities Microfinance Worker will help you to complete the loan form, which is then assessed by NAB. Terms and repayments are set at what you can afford. StepUP loans cannot be used for cash, holidays, bills or debt consolidation.
This service is available to people in South Australia. The program is funded through the NAB and the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.
The ConnectEd program aims to help people understand their energy and water bills, save money on household usage, find a better deal and get assistance if they are struggling to pay their utility bills.Read more
We train community workers, provide information sessions for community groups, and offer individual case management to help keep people connected to energy, water and communications. The team can help you identify available concessions, read your meters and energy bills, get a better deal, make a complaint and negotiate bill payments.
We can also provide limited home energy assessments across the state – referrals are limited to accredited Financial Counsellors and community educators who have run a ConnectEd education session and have identified participants who need assistance.
Our community worker training and community education are available within following regions:
- outer northern and southern Adelaide
- eastern Adelaide
- Adelaide Hills
- Barossa, Light & Lower North
- Fleurieu & Kangaroo Island
- Murray & Mallee
- Limestone Coast.
For more information or to organise for us to visit you, please email us. You can also call our Energy Services team on 08 8202 5128.
If you live in a region that we do not service, please check your local provider by visiting ConnectEd.
Low Income Support Program
We can provide advice to local agencies who support members of the community who are disadvantaged or on low incomes.Read more
The program assists agencies with understanding and managing clients’ personal circumstances associated with poverty. It helps agencies to support people who are disadvantaged or on low incomes to gain greater control of their situation, through community education, information and advocacy.
We can help your agency to work with community members to understand the impact and consequences of poverty, as well as to identify strategies and resources which can help manage or alleviate the effect of poverty.
Our staff can work with your agency to build knowledge, implement new programs, develop skills, plan, access resources, advocate and educate the community.
We also offer community programs and psychological education programs to community groups, related to:
- loss and grief
- stress management
- communication, assertiveness and self-esteem
- mindfulness and positivity
- consumer issues
- living independently
- communicating with government agencies.
The State Government has established this program across South Australia. Uniting Communities supports the southern metropolitan region, extending from the airport to Bridgewater and Victor Harbor. Appointments are available on request.