Financial counselling has positive impact for those struggling with debt, study finds

October 17, 2012
Financial stress study

A new report commissioned by the Salvation Army and completed by a Swinburne University of Technology researcher has found that Australians under financial stress benefit from being able to access financial counselling.
The I Wish I'd Known Sooner! The impact of financial counselling on debt resolution and client wellbeing report, released in Anti-Poverty Week, was completed by Dr Nicola Brackertz, from The Swinburne Institute for Social Research.

Dr Brackertz surveyed 225 under financial stress who were accessing financial counselling services.

" and wellbeing are highly interconnected with financial capability, and I examined the value of financial counselling to clients and the importance of financial counselling," Dr Brackertz said.

"The research provides that access to financial counselling has a significant impact in supporting disadvantaged Australians with resolution of debt issues and concurrently improving their health and well-being outcomes."

The survey found:

  • 68 per cent of respondents felt their financial situation had improved after receiving financial counselling
  • 75 per cent reported improved skills in prioritising debt
  • 74 per cent felt better able to budget
The survey also found 68 per cent of those under financial stress said they were less stressed about the future after starting financial counselling, while 63 per cent reported their mental and emotional wellbeing had improved as a result of financial counselling.

Dr Brackertz said the research found that had a positive effect on those under .

"The positive effects of financial counselling are more pronounced when help is sought sooner," Dr Brackertz said.

"The research highlights that financial counselling has a positive impact for clients accessing this service, however, it cannot resolve the underpinning reality of debt and financial problems experienced by many individuals and families on constrained incomes as a result of social and economic disadvantage."

The research was part of The Salvation Army's Doorways Project, which provides a holistic, integrated and capacity building approach to delivery of emergency relief services.

Explore further: Doctors must look after their health too

Related Stories

Doctors must look after their health too

November 12, 2008

Short term counselling followed by a modest cut in work hours may help reduce emotional exhaustion (burnout) and sick leave in doctors, according to a study published on today.

Financial hardship contributes to diagnosis anxiety

February 8, 2010

A new analysis has found that women with medium or low levels of income are particularly susceptible to anxiety and depression after being diagnosed with the precancerous breast condition, ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). ...

How Australia survived the global financial crisis unscathed

July 10, 2012

A detailed picture of how Australia coped during the global financial crisis has been provided by the latest report from the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey, produced by the Melbourne Institute ...

Recommended for you

Biologists trace how human innovation impacts tool evolution

November 24, 2015

Many animals exhibit learned behaviors, but humans are unique in their capacity to build on existing knowledge to make new innovations. Understanding the patterns of how new generations of tools emerged in prehistoric societies, ...

How experienced buyers can mitigate economic bubbles

November 19, 2015

(—Over the last decade, many people got a tough primer on the effects of economic bubbles, as the bursting of the 2007-2008 housing bubble sent shockwaves through most of the major world economies. But property ...

First Londoners were multi-ethnic mix: museum

November 23, 2015

A DNA analysis of four ancient Roman skeletons found in London shows the first inhabitants of the city were a multi-ethnic mix similar to contemporary Londoners, the Museum of London said on Monday.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.