Debt isn’t just something that happens to those who own their own house or who have a family dependent on them. Young adults living independently for the first time can also find themselves dealing with enormous amounts of debt.

Young adults often struggle to pay their bills and face aggressive credit card marketing offers from companies and banks, which can quickly lead to financial overexertion.

Both those who pursue higher education and those who go to work directly after high school may find themselves struggling to stay on top of their monthly payments or even dealing with aggressive collection efforts by various creditors.

Entry-level workers may need credit just to cover monthly expenses

When you get your first full-time job, you probably expect that it will cover all of your expenses. Unfortunately, many entry-level jobs do not pay wages that are high enough for a worker to cover rent on their own, much less rent as well as utilities, groceries, health insurance, car payments and vehicle liability insurance.

Workers expecting to move into better positions within a few years might take out personal loans or carry balances on their credit cards in the hope that they will eventually make enough money to pay off those debts. Even if you have a degree, you can find yourself in the position where you are working for minimum wage or need to work as an unpaid intern in order to break into the industry where you hope to have a career.

Debt can easily snowball and leave you disadvantaged for years

Everyone from your insurance company to your employer is likely to check your credit to determine how much they charge you for services or how qualified and responsible you are. A high balance on your credit card, multiple accounts in collections or judgments against you can affect your finances and career trajectory for seven years.

In addition to damaging your credit, those high balances and bad marks will also require repayment, along with any interest and fees that they charge you. Instead of suffering quietly with debt that you can’t manage or trying to dig yourself out of a financial hole by working multiple low-paying jobs, you may need to consider whether Chapter 7 bankruptcy could help you.

Those struggling with debt early in life could wind up dealing with that stress indefinitely if they don’t take action to put themselves in a better situation. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is accessible for those at or below the state median income and those with few assets, like most young adults. Considering bankruptcy could be a way to get your life back on the right path.