Credit cards are so common that you can now save them on your phone and pay instantly at many stores, without even using the card itself. They’re a way of life in the United States.

With this comes mounting debt. One study found that the average person had $5,100 of debt that he or she carried on the card. Why is this so high? Below are three reasons.

Major Life Events

Big life events require capital, and people don’t — or can’t — put them off just because they don’t have money on hand. Examples include buying a new home and furnishing it, having a child and getting married. People want these things to be perfect, and they’ll take on debt to get there.

The Consumer Culture

Often, people feel they must have the newest items on the market. They don’t want to drive a car that’s over three years old. They want every new version of the most popular phone. They need the newest television technology that’s being developed. They get trapped by this mentality and keep paying.

Unexpected Expenses

Sometimes, life takes unexpected turns. You crash your bike and wind up in the hospital. You find out you have a disease that needs immediate treatment. A loved one passes away and there’s no money for the funeral costs. It often feels easier to just charge everything to the card and figure it out later.

However, all three of these things can lead to serious debt levels, and you need to know about all of the legal options you have if they get to be too much. This may include filing for bankruptcy.

Source: The Nest, “Reasons for Credit Card Debt,” Neil Kokemuller, accessed Aug. 12, 2017