No one wants to be in debt or sets out to declare bankruptcy. But it still happens.

One reason is addiction. This can mean an addiction to something like drinking or gambling, but it often just means people like to buy things. They enjoy shopping. They like the excitement of new items. Even when they know they shouldn’t, they buy something new.

Another reason is that appearances are very important. Someone may know that it’s not the best time for a new car, but they also know they have the oldest car in the neighborhood. They want everyone to see that they’re successful, so they take on debt they can’t afford.

Another potential issue is fear. They like life the way it is. They know that cutting back on debt would bring about change, and that can be frightening. It’s often easiest to just keep doing the same thing.

All of these mentalities can be problematic. Social pressure could cause debt to increase, and you could be scared to stop. You may not want to stop, even though you know you should. You just skate along for as long as you can until one morning you wake up and it’s all too much. Your debt is past the point where there’s an easy solution.

If this happens to you, don’t panic. Don’t think you’re out of options. Debt creeps up on a lot of people. Just take the time to really look into all of the options you have, perhaps including bankruptcy, and be sure that you understand all of your legal rights.

Source: Dave Ramsey, “6 Reasons People Stay in Debt,” accessed June 07, 2017