For Jorge, a 28-year-old dad in Texas who asked to be identified only by his first name, the phone isn't a lifeline to friends and family — it's a reminder of his seemingly insurmountable problem with debt. When the phone rings, it's a call he doesn't want to take.
And the calls come daily. They're usually from debt collection agencies attempting to recoup the over $8,000 Jorge owes after taking out seven different risky, high-cost loans. In total, Jorge has accumulated almost $50,000 in personal debt in just a few years.
Though he's dodging calls, he's not avoiding responsibility. To pay what he owes and still provide for his wife and two little girls, Jorge works two jobs and has cut his food budget down to mostly rice and beans.
"If it was just me, I wouldn't care much about it," he says. "But now I have a family to take care of, so it's different."