Your debt with us

If you owe us money we can work with you to create a repayment plan. Under this you’ll pay a regular amount you can afford.

If you think the amount you owe isn’t right, let us know. We’ll look into this, explain how we made the assessment, and correct any mistakes.

If you're having trouble paying back your debt, you need to talk to us about your situation. If you refuse to repay your debt, we may have a debt-collection company recover it.

How to pay your debt

You can pay by lump sum, if you have the means to, or by weekly instalment.

By lump sum

You can make a lump-sum payment by:

By weekly instalment

Weekly instalments can set up by:

  • us deducting weekly amounts, from an entitlement you’re getting from us; or
  • you setting up payments to our account, by internet banking or over the counter at your bank. Let us know when they'll start and how much they’ll be for.

The size of weekly instalments will depend on the size of the debt, as follows:

Debt (amount)

Payment (weekly)

$2,000 (or less)


$2,000 - $3,000


$3,500 - $5,000


$5,000 - $6,000


$6,000 - $8,000


$8,000 (or more)


If your entitlement increases, this may affect your weekly repayments. We may:

  • increase the rate of repayment, up to the maximum weekly rate of $50
  • use any arrears payment to you, from an increased entitlement, to help pay your debt.

You can also increase your rate of payment voluntarily. You can talk to your case manager about setting things up to pay your debt off faster.

If you’re not coping

If you’re having trouble keeping up with your repayments, call us as soon as you can. We may be able to help by:

  • reducing your repayments, or their frequency
  • suspending repayments for a short period
  • referring you to someone else who can help such as your local Work and Income office or Budget Advisory Service.

How to avoid debt in the future

How debt happens

Debt can happen from if we pay you too much in error, or if you accidentally gave us wrong information (resulting in higher payments).

It can also happen if you  didn’t tell us about a change in your situation, such as if:

  • you weren’t working when you first received income compensation, but have now started work
  • you have a new partner
  • you’re getting a Children’s Bursary, but are no longer studying
  • your veteran partner has died, but you haven’t yet told us.

How to stay out of debt

Once you’ve paid off your debts, it’s important you try to stay out of debt. To help avoid getting into debt in the future you can:

  • tell us straight away about any changes to your situation (such as your work, study or relationship situation)
  • create a budget plan to help you manage your money. Ask your case manager to refer you to someone who can help with this.