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Can debt prevent you from obtaining needed security clearance?

As a military service member, you know that you have a set of standards to uphold. When you joined the military, the regimented and structured lifestyle may have been something that appealed to you in the first place. As your career in the armed forces has progressed, you now need to apply for a higher security clearance.

Though you undoubtedly know that your behavior and record can affect your ability to obtain necessary clearance, did you know that your debt and financial history could influence it as well? If not, you may have recently found yourself in a difficult predicament as missed credit card payments or other issues have affected your application.

Why does debt matter?

When it comes to your financial history, your debt is not the only things that the adjudicative agency will consider, but it does play a role. In general, your financial history is important to your security clearance because it can reflect your behavior and your level of honesty. For example, if you have not filed your tax returns or have tried to skirt other financial obligations, those actions may appear negatively to the agency and make you appear dishonest.

Though financial consideration is only one of the 13 guidelines that the adjudicative agency looks into when determining whether to approve security clearance, it could hold you back from obtaining that clearance.

Is there a specific amount of debt that disqualifies you?

According to the guidelines, no specific amount of debt immediately disqualifies a person for security clearance. However, excessive indebtedness is one condition that could put your application into question with the agency. Of course, other conditions that could lead to financial concerns also exist.

Can you omit that information?

When you submit an application for security clearance, you need to provide truthful information and all necessary information. If you try to omit financial information that could put you in a bad light, the agency will likely discover that omission and reject your application for not providing necessary information.

Will future financial moves affect you?

Even if you obtain security clearance after your initial application, the way in which you conduct your financial affairs in the future can affect your clearance. The agency will continually assess your financial matters, and if you accumulate a considerable amount of debt, do not address necessary financial obligations or make other questionable money moves, your security clearance could be at risk.

In the event that you face a denial of your security clearance application or have that clearance revoked later, you may wonder if you have any options. Fortunately, you can discuss your concerns with a California attorney experienced in such matters to determine how you can address this ordeal.

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