If you have a security clearance, financial struggles could cause you to lose more than cash. Financial problems are the number one reason for a security clearance revocation and denial. Contrary to popular perception, it’s not necessarily the amount of debt that is the problem, but it’s why you incurred it and what you’ve done to address the problem. If you’re facing financial hardships – brought about by today’s economy or for other reasons – check out these top articles for more information:
There are all sorts of reasons why people have financial problems: unemployment, business downturn, unexpected medical expenses, divorce, separation, death of a family member, or simply becoming overextended on credit. Financial problems sometimes spiral out of control, resulting in collection actions, garnishments, repossessions, foreclosures, and bankruptcy. They can become a big issue for someone with a security clearance and in many cases the financial problems must be reported to their security office. “Financial Considerations” for security clearances are fully explained at Guideline F of the “Adjudicative Guidelines for Determining Eligibility for Access to Classified Information.” If you have delinquent debts, you should review your financial situation and begin taking corrective action as soon as possible.
Excessive indebtedness increases the temptation to commit unethical or illegal acts in order to obtain funds to pay off the debts. Most Americans who betrayed their country did it for financial gain—about half were motivated by a real or perceived urgent need for money and about half by personal greed.
If you have or have had financial issues, mitigating them will be critical to completing your SF-86 and being interviewed as a part of an investigation. Read more about the key conditions that will mitigate delinquent debt concerns.
The Department of Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals (DOHA) has now become the nation’s bill-collector-in-chief. Since the collapse of the housing market in 2008, debt resulting from job losses and home foreclosures have had a devastating effect on people holding national security clearances.
Federal agencies require individuals with security clearances to promptly report a wide range of security and suitability issues to their security officers. Some reporting requirements include financial issues – failure to report a problem could put your security clearance at risk.