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.

Income apportionment debt pause

We’ve paused repayments on debts that might be related to income apportionment. We’ll let you know if this affects you by SMS and letter. Find out more about income apportionment.

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.

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 with us or having deductions taken from your regular Centrelink payment.

Watch our video for instructions on repaying money you owe.

Most people pay the money they owe over time.

The right repayment 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.

If you repay your Centrelink debt using your credit card, you could end up paying more. This is because credit cards can charge a high interest rate and cash advance fees.

You’ll need to contact your financial institution for more information about these fees.

If you enter into a repayment arrangement with us to repay your debt over time, we won’t charge you any interest. This is if you make your first repayment by the due date and keep to your arrangement.

If you’re experiencing financial hardship, call our debt recovery line.

Your repayments

How you repay money will either depend on:

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

If your Centrelink online account is linked to myGov, you can manage your repayments online. To do this, sign into myGov and select Money you owe.

Sign in to myGov

You can also use the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app.

Pausing your debt repayments

If you’ve been impacted by a disaster or hardship event, you may be able to pause or change your debt repayments. Read more about the flexible choices available for when you need to pause your debt repayments.

Page last updated: 19 March 2024.
QC 60299