Credit card debts aren't as acceptable as they once were. People no longer laugh and shrug off thousands of pounds worth of debt as a fact of life, and are more likely to judge you for your spendthrift ways.
However, the impact of these debts can be far worse than wagging tongues. If things get too bad they could be the reason you lose your job too.
Traditionally credit cards have fallen to the bottom of the list of money worries in lieu of bigger concerns, like your mortgage. If you fail to pay up you don't lose your home, the interest just mounts a little further and you get another month to get back on the straight and narrow.
Impact of debtsHowever, if the months start to mount up, the implications can be very serious indeed. Your credit card company could choose to take you through the courts in an effort to get the money back. If you are in England or Wales and the court finds against you, you will pick up a Country Court Judgement (CCJ), and this could have a far-reaching impact. (For people based in Scotland, there is a different system in place which you can read more about here.)
Some companies will force staff to sign a contract which stipulates that if they are declared bankrupt or have a CCJ against them, they will lose their job. It may not be something that was at the front of your mind when you signed the contract, but as austerity measures start to kick in, it could come back to bite you if times get particularly tough.
Your defenceEmployment lawyers argue that there is no reason for these clauses, and that they can be fought in court. However, if you are not in a position to pay your credit card bills there's every chance that you cannot afford a legal case either.
The advice of the experts is therefore to ensure you keep on top of your bills, and contact your credit company before small problems mushroom into a crisis. If the worst comes to the worst, you can get help from your Citizens Advice Bureau. However, by far the best approach is to nip any problems in the bud well before they become enough of an issue to threaten your job security.
As ever, the advice of the experts is very wise. It's just not always easy to stick to.