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.

The temporary pause on debt activities for COVID-19 and some natural disasters has ended.

Read more about how this applies to you.

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 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.

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

Pausing your repayments

If you’re in a location impacted by an event such as natural disaster or health emergency, we may give you the option to pause your debt repayments.

If you’re facing financial hardship for other reasons, call us on your regular Centrelink payment line or the Centrelink recovery line. We’re here to help and can support you to repay money you owe in a way that suits your situation.

Page last updated: 4 May 2022