Could you tell me what to do? Centrelink have just written to me saying that I owe them money. I don’t have much money, which is why I’m on Youth Allowance in the first place. I don’t know what to do.

Under Paid

Dear Under Paid,

The best thing you can do with an overpayment notice is to talk to an SRC Caseworker about your situation. The debt notice may be erroneous, or may have resulted from incorrectly reported income or changes in circumstances, including going overseas, dropping subjects, or moving house. It is a good idea to find out exactly why they think you have been overpaid, and calculate exactly how much, if any, you have been overpaid. If you do owe Centrelink money, you can try to get on a payment plan, so that you can pay back the debt, while still being able to afford to live. Remember that the University has a Financial Assistance Service that may be able to give you an interest free loan. To book an appointment with a caseworker call 9660 5222. Their service is free and confidential.