For most Americans, the beginning of the month is always stressful. That’s because this is not only the time when mortgage payments or rent is due, but also the time in which bills from schools, medical providers and, of course, credit card companies start to appear in mailboxes.

Indeed, a recent study by the financial news website NerdWallet found that many Americans find their credit card debt to not only be stressful, but also altogether shameful.

As part of the study, researchers conducted an online survey of more than 2,000 adults across the U.S., inquiring about things like embarrassment, stigma and fear of judgment as it related to credit card debt, mortgages, student loans and medical bills.

They made the following findings:

  • 70 percent of people believe credit card debt carries more of a stigma than any other type of debt
  • 49 percent of people would see their interest in dating someone diminish if they knew the person had credit card debt
  • 43 percent of people would feel subject to judgment by family and friends if these parties knew how much debt they actually had
  • 35 percent of people would be most embarrassed to tell other people about their credit card debt  

These findings are rather unfortunate and perhaps suggest that people need to be a bit more understanding of one another — and themselves — when it comes to credit card debt.

The reality is that the sudden onset of a major illness, the loss of a job, a divorce or other major life events can all result in people having to turn to rely on their credit cards for financial support. Indeed, the more empathy people are willing to show someone with credit card debt, the more likely they are to feel comfortable exploring their options.

For some, these options might include filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which can help eliminate credit card debt and provide a fresh financial start.

If you would like to learn more about your rights and options as they relate to Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, please consider speaking with an experienced legal professional.