Financial issues are the number one reason for security clearance denial and revocation – year after year. One of the most dangerous forms of debt for security clearance holders and applicants is credit card debt.

High credit card debt is a clear sign you may not be living within your means, and may be more susceptible to blackmail.

Cause is a factor in a security clearance determination, so if you built up high debt paying off medical bills, or following a lay-off, that’s a mitigating factor. Regardless of the cause, meet with a credit counselor and follow their advice.

Credit card debt won’t sink your chances of obtaining or keeping your security clearance. But you must take proactive steps to address the problem.

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Lindy Kyzer is the editor of ClearanceJobs.com. She loves the NISPPAC, social media, and the U.S. military. Have a conference, tip, or story idea to share? Email lindy.kyzer@clearancejobs.com. Interested in writing for ClearanceJobs.com? Learn more here.