How we can help when finances are tight
Financial hardship assistance
Financial difficulties? We can help. Find out which service is right for you and how to get in touch.
Financial hardship, money problems or an unexpected crisis can happen to anyone. The Salvation Army has a range of services available across the country to help you. Whether you need emergency food relief, help paying a household bill, advice to reduce your debts or tips for managing your budget, we are here for you.
Which Salvation Army service can help you with your financial situation?
It can be challenging to find the right service for your money troubles when you are facing stress or a crisis. Do you need help from our free financial counselling program or emergency assistance for life’s essentials?
Take our short quiz to see which service we recommend you contact first. Should you find yourself needing additional support, our Salvation Army staff will be able to point you in the right direction, but it’s helpful to address your immediate needs first.
If you experience these emergencies:
If you are:
Learn more about The Salvation Army’s financial support services
What is Doorways?
Doorways is the name for The Salvation Army’s emergency relief and casework program. Your local Salvos financial assistance team may not call themselves ‘Doorways’, but you can rest assured it operates under the below model of care.
Through Doorways, The Salvation Army helps individuals and families facing short-term crises and needing emergency financial help or material aid. This may include bags of food, vouchers for groceries or help paying household bills.
We can also offer financial hardship support to people just needing a helping hand to get by, for instance through the Christmas or back-to-school period.
When people come to The Salvation Army, we want to offer more than just essentials. The Doorways philosophy involves holistic case management and referral to internal and external support agencies, as required. We believe no situation is too hard to overcome. Our Doorways team will walk alongside you and empower you to take action to achieve your goals.
What to expect when you contact Doorways
When you contact Doorways, whether it is face to face or over the phone, our team member will start by seeking to understand the situation that has led you to contacting us.
They will ask you questions in order to gain a holistic perspective of your circumstances and we will also provide you with a listening ear. We will aim to provide the assistance that you may need and, if we can’t, we will provide a referral to an appropriate service. Each state may have its different approaches, but we are all passionate about providing holistic, compassionate and helpful support to you.
What is Moneycare?
The Salvation Army’s Moneycare service offers financial counselling, financial coaching, access to the No Interest Loans Scheme (NILS) and other financial skill-building resources.
Our team of qualified financial counsellors are available to help people who are having difficulties making ends meet, struggling to manage debt, need professional advice about budgeting, or simply overwhelmed with their financial situation.
Financial crises such as job losses, illnesses, natural disasters or spiralling debts can happen to anyone. If this is you, you are not alone. Moneycare supports people from all walks of life across Australia who have found themselves in unexpected crisis. The Salvation Army’s financial counselling team wants people to experience hope and lasting freedom from their money problems.
Moneycare financial counselling does not provide emergency cash loans, vouchers or emergency relief but can refer you to our Doorways service (see above), if required.
Our financial counsellors work with people every day facing immediate and overwhelming money troubles. Our financial counsellors can also work with people before crisis hits to help you review your financial plan and manage your money more confidently.
What to expect when you contact Moneycare
When you reach out to Moneycare via phone, email or our website chat, our friendly team will guide you through the process and ensure you are speaking to the right person. An appointment will be made, and an email will confirm what you need to bring to your appointment.
If you’re having a financial counselling appointment, the financial counsellor will ask you about your financial situation and offer practical solutions. Together, you’ll develop your goals and decide what action to take.
Our financial counsellor will work alongside you to achieve your goals. They may contact creditors (the people you owe money to) on your behalf or help you to effectively do so.
Once you achieve your goals and feel in control of your finances, our financial counsellor will continue to keep in touch, if needed, to make sure you’re still going OK. We will continue to support you to achieve financial resilience, to help you leave your money problems behind for good.
Take early action for your financial difficulties
If you’re not ready to contact the Salvos for your money troubles or are just looking to improve your financial confidence, we encourage you to explore our resources. It’s never too early or too late to get support.
Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ
The Salvation Army has services to support people experiencing financial hardship. It’s never too early or too late to contact us. We offer non-judgemental, caring and practical support to help you through whatever financial difficulties you are facing.
Contact our Doorways service for emergency assistance with life’s essentials as well as compassionate care and holistic case management.
Contact our Moneycare financial counselling service to have someone journey alongside you through your financial difficulties and help you put plans into place for stronger financial health.
Not sure which service you need? Try our 1-minute quiz.
Financial hardship refers to someone finding it difficult to meet their needs. This may refer to being unable to meet basic physical needs (food, safety, shelter) or may refer to someone struggling with the cost of living or increasing debt.
If you are experiencing financial hardship, we encourage you to reach out for support.
If you are experiencing a financial crisis, we encourage you to contact us. We will provide you with a listening ear and compassionate advice. This may involve practical support through vouchers, help contacting debtors or referral to other services.
Whether it was an illness, injury, job loss, family breakdown, natural disaster or something else that caused your financial crisis – we are here for you.
The Salvation Army has a range of resources to help you strengthen your financial health and confidence. This includes a mini online course called Be the Boss, a financial guidance e-newsletter and an on-demand webinar series.
We encourage you to take time to understand your mindset around money, your financial position and level of debt, and put into place some simple money management strategies.
It may be tempting to use a buy now pay later (BNPL) loan or payday advance scheme to help make ends meet when you’re experiencing financial difficulties. Maybe you need to buy nappies and formula, replace your washing machine or fix your car, and you haven’t got the money in the bank to pay for it.
Many BNPL loans come with no interest repayments or set up fees, but the problem arises when you can’t pay anything back. That’s when the high interest rates and/or late fees start adding up. Before you know it, you could be facing a high level of debt with no end in sight.
Thankfully, The Salvation Army’s Moneycare financial service can help you get a handle on your debt, which may have built up from various BNPL loans or other sources. In May 2022, the average payday lender debt for people seeking financial counselling from Moneycare was more than $3300 (The Salvation Army Policy Research and Social Justice, EMC stream data summary report, July 2022). But we support people with all levels of debt.
Our professional counsellors can help you advocate with lenders, and develop strategies to manage your money and your stress.