How to repay money you owe to Centrelink

You can repay money for a Centrelink debt in full or set up a payment arrangement. We may recover money in other ways as well.

Temporary pause on Centrelink debts is ending

We’re restarting debt activities for people who were in a Local Government Area impacted by COVID-19 lockdowns.

If you owe us money, we want to help you repay it in a way that best suits your situation. That’s why there are options available to you.

Your Centrelink debts won’t affect your credit rating. However, we may take action if you haven’t started repaying the money by the due date.

There’s support available if you’ve been affected by either the:

Restarting debt recovery for people who were in lockdown

The temporary pause on debt activities in COVID-19 locked down Local Government Areas lifted on 9 January 2022. But if you owe money, you won’t need to repay it until July 2022.

If you placed your debt repayments on hold

If you get a payment from us and chose to put your repayments on hold, we’ll restart making deductions from your regular payment. This will happen from 1 July 2022. You don’t need to do anything to set this up.

This also includes debts related to Child Care Subsidy and Family Tax Benefit.

If you no longer get a payment from us and chose to put your repayments on hold, you’ll need to start making repayments again or pay the money in full by the due date. Some repayments will be due from July 2022.

We’ll start sending reminder messages in June 2022 with instructions on what do to next.

If you have a new debt

If you have a new debt, we‘ll write to you from January to let you know when you need to start making repayments. This won’t be until July 2022 at the earliest. You will need to set up a payment arrangement or repay the money in full before the due date.

It’s important to know, most people set up a payment arrangement and pay over time.

If you can’t start repaying money by the due date, please call your regular Centrelink payment line or the Centrelink recovery line on 1800 076 072.

We want to support you to repay money you owe in a way that best suits your situation.

You can manage your overpayment using the Money you owe service in either:

Read more about debts during lockdown.

Your options

There are 2 main ways to repay money you owe. They are:

  • in full by the due date
  • over time, by setting up a payment arrangement or having deductions taken from your regular payment.

Most people pay the money they owe over time.

The right option for you depends on your situation. When deciding how to repay the money, you’ll need to think of things like:

We have examples to help you work out a repayment option that suits you.

Your repayments

How you repay money will either depend on:

At times we may recover money in other ways and for other agencies.

Page last updated: 11 January 2022