Managing your money

We provide a range of services to help you manage your money and the payments you get from us.

What’s best renting or buying

If you are thinking about renting household goods, you can use the Rent vs buy calculator on ASIC's MoneySmart website to find out what renting will really cost you.

When you rent items, for example, a television, fridge or washing machine, you enter into a consumer lease. You’re expected to make regular payments over an agreed timeframe. At the end of the lease, you may have paid more than it would have originally cost you to buy. ASIC's MoneySmart’s Rent vs buy calculator can tell you exactly how much more expensive renting is. It pays to use it before you sign any consumer lease.

A consumer lease might also be called a Rent to own or Rent to buy agreement. They can seem like an easy way to get goods that you can take home straight away. You should still check all the costs. You may also have to pay fees and charges on top of regular rental payments.

If you receive a payment from us, you may be able to apply for an advance payment to get your product sooner. You may qualify for a loan from the No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) or StepUP. For more information call 13 NILS (13 6457).

Financial Information Service

Our free and confidential Financial Information Service provides education and information on financial and lifestyle issues for all Australians. Financial Information Service officers hold seminars in a range of locations across Australia.

Watch the video for basic information on what you need to know when choosing a financial adviser.

Services to help you manage your bills

Centrepay

Centrepay is a voluntary bill paying service which is free for Centrelink customers. Instead of having large bills every month or quarter, your bills are paid in manageable amounts from your payment, making it easier for you to budget.

There are several ways to start Centrepay deductions. You can:

Deduction Statements in your online account

Deduction statements are available by logging into myGov and selecting your Centrelink online account, and contain detailed information about your upcoming payments, deductions and the amount remaining to help you plan for bills and expenses. They also show other new and changed deductions you have planned to start at a later date. Read more at Deduction Statements.

You can view and print your Deduction Statement using the Request a Document service on your Centrelink online account or request your statement using phone self-service. Watch the step by step guide on how to request a Deduction Statement using your Centrelink online account.

You can also keep track of your money online by updating your Centrepay deductions, accessing your Centrelink and Medicare payment summaries, and requesting an Income Statement.

Register for an online account or log on from the top right corner on this page.

Income Management

Income Management is a way to help you manage your money to meet essential household needs and expenses. It is only available in certain locations. Your payments will not reduce but the way you receive them will change. We will work with you so that part of your Centrelink and Department of Veterans’ Affairs payments will be used to pay for things you and your family need such as rent, bills, food and education. Through Income Management you can learn to better manage your finances in the long term.

Rent deduction

The Rent Deduction Scheme is a free service that allows you to pay your state or territory housing authority rent through regular deductions from your Centrelink payments. The Rent Deduction Scheme is convenient and secure.

MoneySmart website

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission's MoneySmart website provides financial guidance to help you make the most of your money. There is useful information on:

  • debt management
  • credit repair
  • reverse mortgages
  • unclaimed money
  • tools and resources to help you balance your budget
  • scams
  • dealing with loan rejections
  • how to avoid sales pressure, and
  • who to go to if you have a complaint

Services to manage health care expenses

Medicare payments are now made electronically. You need to register your bank account details to access these payment options:

  • at the doctors - many doctors can lodge your claim for you
  • at a service centre - your benefit will be paid into your account by Electronic Funds Transfer or by credit EFTPOS by swiping your ATM card
  • through your Medicare online account, you can lodge some Medicare claims online. It is fast, secure and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through myGov
  • through the Express Plus Medicare mobile app available for download from the App Store or Google Play

The Medicare Safety Net provides financial assistance for high cost, out of hospital medical services that attract a Medicare benefit. Once you reach a Medicare Safety Net threshold, you may be eligible for additional Medicare benefits.

If you are not eligible for Medicare, you can claim an exemption from paying the Medicare levy in your income tax return.

A Medicare benefit tax statement may help you to claim the net medical expenses tax offset in your annual tax return.

Other government and community support services

A range of other organisations provide support services and useful information you may find helpful.

You can find a financial counsellor near you from the Financial Counselling Australia website. You can talk to a free and independent financial counsellor on 1800 007 007.

DebtSelfHelp is a website that contains tools, templates and fact sheets to help you get back on track with money.

The Saver Plus program is a matched savings program that assists lower income families with their education costs. Read more about Saver Plus on the Brotherhood of St. Laurence website.

This information was printed from humanservices.gov.au It may not include all of the relevant information on this topic. Please consider any relevant site notices at humanservices.gov.au/siteinformation when using this material.