Debt Management Plans

With so many payment and credit options available these days and an assortment of Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) choices, it can be easy to get caught up in debt. Not only does it affect your day-to-day expenses, cash flow and credit score, it can also be a very stressful and anxious time for you and your family.

At Way Forward, we can help manage and reduce your debt, including credit card debt, by consolidating your payments and taking over negotiations. The best part is, we’re a completely free service and there are no hidden fees or costs. Our dedicated team of professionals are funded by some of Australia’s leading financial institutions, allowing us to help you find your way forward, faster.

What is a debt management plan?

A debt management plan will help control all your debts by giving you one easy way to manage repayment. Your debts remain between you and your lenders, however we will consolidate all of your repayments, including the timing of those payments, into one easy-to-manage repayment.

To do this, we work with you to find out what your expenses are, how many debts you have, and what you can afford to pay back. Once we understand what you’re earning and spending, we can then create a plan that is realistic and works for you. We’ll confirm all the details with you, and once approved, we’ll start negotiating with all of your lenders, getting you the support needed to get back on your feet. When you’re ready to work with us, we’ll go through all of your options and make a plan that is realistic and attainable. We’ll remove the stress and focus on solutions that will work for you long-term, not just another quick fix.

Imagine not having to answer another call from a debt collector again.

One of the key features of our program is that we take care of all the calls, emails and letters from debt collectors for you. Taking this weight off your shoulders, we manage all your creditors on your behalf, so you have no more phone calls chasing payment, no more overdue notices, no angry emails or demanding voicemails.

Our team will take care of all the correspondence and negotiate for you, ensuring the outcome is achievable. This service alone will take away the stress and confusion often caused by trying to manage multiple debts, especially when there just isn’t enough money to go around and keep everyone happy.

How does a debt management plan work?

When we arrange a debt management plan for you, we’ll take control of your debts and negotiate regular payments to the companies you owe. We will work out a sustainable plan for you, ensuring you are not going without any essential items. Our debt management plans will consider how much you earn and what you can afford to pay back. We will work out reasonable payment plans with your creditors over a timeframe you can manage. In most cases, this may be over 2-5 years, allowing for plenty of time to repay your debt without burdening your daily life.

What types of debt management plans are there?

Depending on your situation, there may be different debt management plans available to you. If you have a significant debt that can’t be resolved with regular repayments, we will give you the contact details for a financial counsellor. Financial counsellors can provide advice on what services may be available to you, including bankruptcy and agreements. It’s important to know all the available options so you can make informed choices for your situation. Our team are always happy to answer your questions over the phone or online. If we find that we’re unable to assist you, we will put you in touch with a service that can.

What are the benefits of a debt management plan?

Debt management plans will help you move all of your repayments into one easy-to-manage repayment. This will save you time and frustration in dealing with multiple creditors, negotiating separate agreements, and fielding constant phone calls. Our team will take over the negotiations for you with flexible services that can be changed or cancelled at any time.

Our mission is to help you reduce your debt and give you the confidence and support to manage your finances on your own. As a registered charity, our services are free for you to use. We are supported by some of Australia’s leading banking and financial institutions, allowing us to continue to help the Australian community, while remaining fully independent.

Are there any risks in a debt management plan?

It’s important to keep in mind that with all debt management plans, your debt will be paid off over time. Sometimes this can take years, depending on your agreed repayments and, unlike bankruptcy, you’re able to retain a great deal of flexibility in managing your own financial affairs.

If your circumstances change, we can easily make adjustments to your arrangements. There may be additional risks depending on your situation, including your credit score, which we will discuss in detail before starting your debt management plan. Our team is here to support you through the process, so we will always be transparent about any risks that may apply to your situation.

Do debt management plans affect my credit score?

Using a debt management plan through any company will affect your credit score. It’s likely, though, that your score is already declining if you’re not currently managing your repayments. Once we get your debt under control, your score will gradually improve.

Find out more about credit scores in our helpful blog, or visit CreditSmart today to find your current score. If you’re concerned about the effects on your credit score, please get in touch with our friendly team and we can give you any additional information you need.

Will a debt management plan affect my house or car?

Unlike bankruptcy or an Agreement, Way Forward won’t manage your assets when we start a debt management plan. There’ll be no trustee involved and every decision we make will be made with your consent and on your terms. We won’t ask you to sell your house or your car, but we can offer suggestions on how to pay off large debts quickly if you’re interested in that information.

Our goal is to consolidate your debts so that you only have one repayment to worry about. If you have concerns over your mortgage repayments or other recurring payments, our team are on hand to help you through any queries.

Can a debt management plan help with mortgage repayments?

In general, mortgages and other ‘secured’ debts are not covered by debt management plans. However, we may be able to help you consolidate your other repayments and with some additional support from your lenders. We can request they stop interest and fees to your unsecured debts so that you will be in a better position to pay your mortgage. It’s worthwhile giving us a call on 1300 045 502. If we’re not the service you need, we’ll put you in touch with a financial counsellor who will be able to assist you. You may also be interested in our other support services information, including gambling help, mental health services, financial abuse services, and more.

Is a debt management plan the same as a loan?

Your debt management plan won’t be a loan, so there aren’t any additional fees or interest charges. At Way Forward, we’ll contact your creditors and negotiate all your payments on your behalf, paying them off over a period of  2-5 years. You’ll pay us one regular amount (fortnightly or monthly), usually the day after you get paid, and we will then disperse that money between your creditors. This allows you to pay off the debt in manageable amounts without dealing with multiple creditor requests or late payment fees. If you would like to know more about consolidating your repayments into one single payment, reach out to us today and we can discuss your debt consolidation options.

How do I get a debt management plan?

Starting a debt management plan with Way Forward is easy. The first step is to either fill in our online form or give us a call on 1300 045 502 between 9:00am – 7:00pm AEST. We’ll take the time to understand your situation and go through your income and expenses. Our team will help you put together a plan to combine all your repayments into one so you only have one recurring payment. We will negotiate with all your creditors and let them know that we are taking control of the debt. Any future correspondence will be sent to us (relieving that stress for you and giving you more time to breathe, without worrying every time the phone rings!).

Can debt management companies help to manage smaller debts?

We can help you consolidate and manage any debt, no matter how small. If you are feeling the emotional toll of having too many outstanding payments and can’t seem to get on top of them, it’s time to call us.

Many of our clients have multiple small debts they have struggled to keep up with. You may not consider yourself in extreme financial hardship just yet, but it can be a slippery slope if you don’t manage your debts properly. Imagine just having one regular repayment instead of handling different biller codes and deadlines. Simplify your finances and get back in control.

How can Way Forward help?

At Way Forward, we’re here for the long-term. It’s important for us to help you manage your debt and regain confidence in understanding and maintaining your finances. We want to empower you with knowledge, setting up good practices in budgeting and saving. This way, once your debts have been cleared, you can continue to improve your financial position without worrying about debt collectors calling you again.

Is a debt management plan with Way Forward a free service?

Yes, you can rest assured that using a debt management plan with Way Forward is a completely free service with no lock-in contracts. Every dollar you pay will be going straight into paying off your debt. We are a registered charity in Australia, and we are funded by many large corporate institutions, allowing us to provide our services free of charge.

Our services are available to all Australians who need help managing their debts. We don’t have quick-fix solutions; instead, we offer long-term payment plans to give you time. You can read more about our financial sponsors here.

Can I arrange a debt management plan if I receive Centrelink payments?

If you’re receiving Centrelink payments, you may still be eligible for a debt management plan. The key question is, “do you have money left over after meeting your everyday living expenses?”. Most people on Centrelink only have enough money to cover their basic living expenses before even considering repaying any debts off. If this is you, then it’s unlikely that we’ll be able to assist, but we can put you in touch with a financial counsellor who can help you. Everyone’s circumstances will be a little different, so if you’re unsure, give us a call and we can help you navigate the available options in more detail. We can provide you with feedback on your individual needs, and if we can’t help you, we’ll be able to put you in touch with a financial counsellor who can.  Remember, the sooner you speak to someone, the sooner you’re on the road to financial freedom.

Organise your debt management plan today

Are you ready to be debt-free? Let’s get a conversation started. Our team are experts in financial management. We can guide you through the process, giving you options you can manage and sustain. A big part of what we do is set up the right foundations for ongoing financial management. This way, once your debt has been paid off, you’ll still have the confidence to take control of your finances. Take a look at some of our success stories online, where we’ve helped everyday Australians get their finances back on track.

How Way Forward can help

Step 1: Reach out to our team

Step 2: We evaluate your situation and work with you to establish a workable solution

Step 3: We take over negotiations with your creditors and act on your behalf

Step 4: We put together a manageable plan and combine your repayments to one reoccurring payment across your creditors

Get your confidence back and overcome your debt today