Debt is something that almost everyone experiences at one point or another. According to Goldman Sachs, the average amount of credit card debt is $5,700 for families. It is such a prevalent issue that you may feel like having debt problems is normal, or you simply ignore it.

Now, the path into debt struggles is often complex. If you understand some of the most common reasons people go into high levels of debt, you may be able to better protect yourself and know when taking action to address debt issues can be particualrly important. Here are some causes of debt problems.

1. Health care expenses

Medical costs are on the rise and are crippling for too many Americans. You may fall into medical debt even if you have health insurance. Injuries, illnesses and other health conditions can suddenly cause bills to pile up. It is impossible to predict when a sudden medical problem will strike.

2. Losing income

If a primary source of income goes away, your bottom line will suffer. Examples of losing income include the following:

  • Your business suffering a decline in revenue
  • Your boss terminating you
  • Your employer laying you off
  • Losing time from work because of an illness or injury
  • Taking time off work to care for an older family member or child

Whenever any of these things happen to you, you may face an overwhelming number of expenses and bills with no way to cover them.

3. Sudden emergencies

You may end up in debt when something bad and expensive occurs. Here are some costly emergencies you may encounter:

  • A car accident
  • A home appliance malfunction
  • A serious illness

Without a substantial emergency fund, these kinds of occurrences may leave you facing significant financial difficulties.

No matter how you end up with high debt levels, you may think it is impossible to get out. However, in some circumstances, filing for bankruptcy may give you the relief you need to start over.