If you disagree or can’t repay a Centrelink debt

You may take extra steps before repaying a Centrelink debt in some situations. This includes having your debt reviewed or entering into a debt agreement.

If you disagree with the decision

We understand that you may not agree that you have a debt or need to repay money.

In this situation, you can call the number in your letter. If you can’t find this number you can call:

We can:

  • explain why you were overpaid
  • consider any new information you give us
  • start a review of the decision if you ask us to.

If you can’t repay money

If you aren't able to start repaying money before the due date, please talk to us. It’s important you call us before the due date.

If you no longer get a payment from us, you can call the number in your letter.

If you’re an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Australian, you can call the Centrelink Indigenous Debt Recovery Line.

If you don’t contact us before the due date we may need to take further action.

If you get a payment from us, we’ll start deducting an amount from your regular payment after your due date. Please talk to us if you are worried about having money from your payments deducted.

If you’re considering a debt agreement or bankruptcy

A debt agreement is a way of managing your debt and avoiding bankruptcy.

A debt agreement is a legally binding agreement between you and your creditors, including us. If a debt agreement doesn’t resolve the debt, you may still enter into bankruptcy.

Entering into a debt agreement or bankruptcy doesn't remove your debts. But we won't recover some debts for the duration of your bankruptcy or agreement.

Read more about how to begin the process of a debt agreement on the Australian Financial Security Authority website.

Once you have a debt agreement, your administrator will contact us. We'll review your debt agreement and any outstanding Centrelink debts. We’ll then write to you, to let you know the outcome.

Page last updated: 2 September 2021