Lincoln is the State Capital and the second largest city in the state of Nebraska. The cornhusker city is home to over 277,000 residents according to a 2015 census study. The average household income in this city is $49,840, which is just under the national average. About 2.1 percent of the city’s population is unemployed, with 15.9 percent living below the poverty level.

 What Is Debt Relief?

Debt is a problem that many of those under the poverty level and many above it face. Getting relief is possible as long as you understand where to look. Debt relief comes in a variety of forms. Below we’ve compiled these forms so that you can better understand each, and decide which option may be best for your financial situation.

 Debt Consolidation

This is probably the most commonly known form of debt relief. This is where you take out one big consolidation loan that covers the total amount of debt you owe. You take the funding from the loan and pay off all other debts that you have. This leaves you with just one single loan.

The advantage to this type of consolidation is that you only have to worry about one loan. That means one payment a month, instead of multiple different payment dates. In addition, you can settle on a fixed interest rate for the consolidation loan. This rate will tend to be lower than many of the debts that you currently have. This will save you money in the long run.

 Debt Counseling

If you’re not sure just where to start with your debt, then seeking the help of a debt counselor may be your best option. A debt counselor will look over the debt that you have, help create an ideal budget for you, and recommend which debt relief services are for you. This is a great first step to take.

 Debt Negotiation

Negotiation firms will talk to creditors on your behalf about decreasing monthly payments and interest rates. These companies are trained in how to deal with creditors and the variety of options that are available for those who owe money. These negotiation firms can help to make your payments more manageable and help you to pay less over the life of your loan in interest fees than what was originally set up.

 Debt Settlement

Debt settlement firms are typically the last stop before filing for bankruptcy. When you contact a debt settlement firm you will go over your debt load with a knowledgeable representative. Once they understand all of your debt, you’ll be instructed to stop paying your monthly payments to your creditors.

Instead, you will pay into an escrow account that is set up by the debt settlement firm. As the escrow account grows the settlement company will start to contact your creditors. They will discuss closing the accounts for a partial amount of what is still owed. For example, an $8,000 credit card debt may be settled for a lower payoff amount of $6,000.

This is great to help get rid of the debt that you owe. It’s important to realize that during this time your creditors will be reporting missed payments on your credit history. Depending on how much debt you have and your existing credit history, this may or may not be the best option for you.

 Who Qualifies For Debt Relief?

Anyone that has debt can usually benefit from debt relief. However, the programs designed above are more geared towards individuals who have more debt than they can comfortably handle each month.

Prime candidates are those who are unable to repay their obligations each month. Usually, these individuals are multiple months behind on their debt repayment plans. If you have more debt than you can handle than debt relief is right for you.

 What Debt Specialists Are Located In Lincoln?

There are a few different debt specialist in the city of Lincoln, Nebraska that can help you with debt relief. One of the most popular is GreenPath Debt Solutions. This company just merged with the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Nebraska.

They offer tons of customized services to help you better control your finances and get out of debt. Some of their services include financial education, budgeting, student loan counseling, debt management programs, debt and credit counseling, and bankruptcy counseling.

 Laws About Debt In Lincoln, NE

All of Lincoln, NE falls underneath the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. This Act outlines the way that debt collectors can conduct businesses with people that are in debt.

In Nebraska, there is a maximum interest rate that is allowed to be charged by a collection agency, which is set at 6 percent. It’s important to realize there is a statute of limitations on all forms of debt. From the time a borrower goes delinquent on a debt, the statute of limitations kicks in and limits the amount of time a creditor has to take legal action against the borrower before they forfeit their right to do so.

In Lincoln, this time frame is different depending on the type of debt agreement you have. For oral agreements and open accounts, like credit cards, the statute is four years. For promissory notes and written contracts the statute is five years.

If you owe a large amount of debt and are unable to find a way to repay it, you should be seeking the help of a debt relief firm. They can help you get back on track and work towards being debt free and continue on to being financially free.