The body representing financial counsellors says yesterday’s interest rate rise will push the finances of many West Australians to breaking point.
The Reserve Bank has raised interest rates to 4.25 per cent.
The Financial Counsellors Association represents 91 counsellors based across the state and runs a free counselling hot line for people in need of assistance.
It usually fields 30 to 40 calls for counselling assistance each day.
The Association’s Charles Brown says demand for counsellors is high and there are lengthy waiting lists for help.
“It’s becoming busier and busier, the cases coming through are also becoming more complex because of people relying on easy money and credit in the past are getting to a situation where people just can’t pay bills.”
Mr Brown says in the last year the organisation has gone from having one staff member to ten, because of a huge spike in demand from middle income earners needing help managing their finances.
He expects inquiries for income management assistance to continue to climb.
“We’re already finding that most financial counsellors have a waiting list of two to three weeks.
“That’s as a result of increases in utility charges and any interest rate rises just exacerbate that situation.”