Determined to be free from $100,000 in student loan debt, Alexis made a ten-year commitment at a public sector job to receive loan forgiveness and moved into a homeless shelter to pay off the remaining balance by the time she turns 30.
Despite going to college, working hard and living frugally, Alyssa can't escape the cycle of debt she's gotten into. She lives with her mom, works four jobs and applies for hundreds more, hoping to catch the break she needs.
Ashley is happy with her life and career, but cannot see a future where she can afford to own a home because of her $260,000 student loan debt.
Despite finding a good job after graduation, Brandi has had to resort to payday loans, credit cards and withdrawals from her 401k to pay for her student loans and car payment.
Before the housing market crashed, Dawn's life was good and her family lived above their means. Now, she has to work a variety of jobs and use payday loans to supplement the income from her full-time job.
A divorce from her spouse, who made significantly more money than her and paid for all their expenses, has left Deborah living in an apartment with her also-divorced sister, clipping coupons and returning to school to find new employment opportunities.
Because of a poor real estate decision and a motorcycle accident, Eddie lost over $100,000 of his retirement savings. It's money he couldn't afford to lose, now that he's the guardian of his 8-year-old grandson.
When Ernest received a phone call that he'd won $6 million dollars, he thought he'd found a way to send his grandchildren to college. He paid $40,000 to the scam artist before realizing something was wrong.
A trader on the floor on the New York Stock Exchange, John lived a comfortable life. His wife convinced him to buy and flip a home valued at $1 million. The problem? It was 2008 and a short sale and bankruptcy ensued.
Moving out on his own at 18, trusting the wrong people, and an addiction to painkillers has left Justin's finances and credit ruined. He's now resorted to an "unbanked" lifestyle, paying fees just to cash paychecks at a local party store.
Ever since her husband died a few years ago. Julie has struggled to make ends meet. She can't work full-time because of health issues, so she is working part-time cleaning houses and recently began renting her home on AirBnb.
After 20 years in business, Julie was forced to close the doors of her high-end restaurant because of years of unpaid taxes she says she neglected in order to pay her employees instead.
Lena moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting and dance career. She's had to work part-time jobs to pay for the high the cost of living in LA and auditioning in Hollywood and money is becoming pretty tight.
High credit card debt forced Nancy to file for bankruptcy for the second time in her life. She decided to get educated about her finances and — for the first time in her life — is now close to living within her means.
When he lost his job as a massage therapist a few years ago, Nathan started driving for Uber and Lyft. He enjoys the freedom his new career allows him but has had to adjust to the responsibilities of being self-employed.
Nieta was married for six years to an "economically abusive" woman who used to manipulate her into spending more money than they could afford. Now, Nieta's health issues make it difficult to work and take care of herself.
Scholeigh and Marc's two young sons were both born with a rare blood disorder that prevents them from consuming regular food. Because Scholeigh had to quit her job to care for the boys, and Marc is permanently disabled following multiple heart attacks, it's difficult to afford the cost of keeping their family healthy.
Despite earning three master's degrees, Tiffany isn't able to find the kind of job she deserves, so she is stuck working four jobs — and up to 100 hours a week — just to make ends meet.
Wayne joined the Army right out of high school. Upon his return, he set out to buy a car so he could get a good job. But without established credit, and unaware of the ramifications, he financed a used car at 37% interest.