Money problems overseas
You're responsible for your finances when you're overseas. If you run out of money while you're away, consider all options for financial support – for example, insurance, family, friends, bank or credit card company, travel agent and employer.
This page has information on Australian Government payments, international social security and consular services.
The information is general in nature and does not constitute financial advice. You may wish to seek independent personal financial advice specific to your needs from a licensed financial adviser.
Australian Government payments
COVID-19: Overseas financial assistance
If you’ve been unable to return to Australia due to COVID-19 restrictions and are experiencing financial distress, you may be eligible for interest-free loans to cover living costs while you wait for a flight to return to Australia and/or to help cover the costs of a flight to Australia. Find out more on the COVID-19: Overseas financial assistance page.
If you're receiving an Australian Government payment and are overseas and unable to return to Australia due to COVID-19, you may be eligible to request a portability extension so you continue to receive your payment. Our Consular Emergency Centre (CEC) can't help you with Centrelink payments.
Other options for financial assistance
There are other options for financial assistance during this time, including:
- Income support for individuals
- Payments to support households
Information on these can be found on the Department of Treasury website.
Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) payments
Our Consular Emergency Centre can't help you with your DVA payments. Find out about receiving DVA payments while overseas.
International social security
Australia has agreements with some countries about social security payments. These agreements may help you to claim payments in Australia or the other country.
Check international social security agreements on the Department of Human Services website.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) helps Australians in difficulties overseas. The Consular Services Charter explains what we can and can't do.
We can't loan you money, except in exceptional circumstances.
If you do receive a loan, you may have to surrender your passport after you return to Australia. You might not be able to get a new passport until you repay the debt.
If you need help, contact the nearest Australian embassy or consulate during local business hours.
In a consular emergency, you can call the 24-hour CEC on +61 2 6261 3305.
- Read more about financial assistance for vulnerable Australians overseas who are experiencing financial hardship
- Find out what to do if you're robbed or mugged overseas.
- Read what to do when you need medical assistance overseas.
- If you can't pay your bills, you could be arrested or jailed.
- See the Consular Services Charter for what we can and can't do to help.
- Read about international social security agreements (Department of Human Services).
- Find out about receiving Centrelink Payments while outside Australia (Department of Human Services).
- Find out about receiving DVA payments while overseas (Department of Veterans' Affairs).
What to do if you're overseas and lose or damage your property.
Getting medical assistance overseas can be challenging and expensive, especially in an emergency. Read our advice on what to do when when you need help.