Like many Americans, Redd Horrocks got into debt in her twenties.
The British native, living in Atlanta, started living above her means when she moved into a new loft. "It was gorgeous, I threw great parties," she tells CNBC Make It. "[But] I didn't pick it and I honestly couldn't afford it.
"I picked keeping the peace [with my roommate] over keeping myself debt-free. Everything other than rent went on my credit cards."
Then she got in a car accident. "I had medical bills. My scooter was a write-off, but I still owed on that, and, to [top] it all off, the insurance company found me liable," she says.
Before she knew it, Horrocks was $24,000 in the red with little means to pay it off. Then she racked up another $15,000 in debt when she moved to a new city with her boyfriend.
"I was offered an amazing job in another state. I asked my partner, at the time, to come with me," she says, "which would mean he would leave his job and I would be the sole provider.
"Suffice to say, things didn't go exactly as planned, and, by the end of one year, I was out of the relationship and left with $15,000 worth of debt that my new salary would barely chip away at."