For one young couple in Texas, it was a cause for celebration — a pregnancy — that tipped them into debt.
Joshua Shroyer, 33, says his family managed to get by until they received the surprising news in 2016 that they were expecting their third son. After a difficult pregnancy, both mom and baby made it through, but the infant arrived premature at only 26 weeks.
Health issues accompanying the pregnancy forced Shroyer's wife, Ivonne, out of work for about about six months — most of that time without pay. A public school teacher, she earns the family's primary income; Shroyer makes just $15.75 an hour as a grocery store employee. Without her contribution, things began to fall apart.
"We have to be a two-income household: we've got the kids, the student loans, the mortgage," Shroyer says. As medical bills mounted, the family used up their emergency savings and started living off credit cards.