How Your Debt Could Impact Your Military Security Clearance

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Military service member discussing debt with financial advisor

It’s something you may not think about, but a military servicemember’s finances can actually impact their security clearance. This is really important because if a servicemember loses their clearance, they can end up in separation from the military.

Common causes of personal financial struggles that can impact security clearance include:

  • Not living within one’s means;
  • Not meeting one’s obligations; and
  • Not satisfying debts.

Trustworthiness, Reliability, and Ability to Protect Classified Information

When a servicemember has financial struggles due to these causes, it commonly brings into question their trustworthiness, ability to protect classified information, and their reliability. The reason this is a big deal is because when someone is financially struggling, they are likelier to participate in illegal acts in order to make money. 

When deciding on a servicemember’s security clearance, the military will look at three different parts of their life:

  1. Their status;
  2. Their behavior; and
  3. Their integrity.  

So, what does this look like? They will look at their close ties of affection to a citizen of another country, such as a spouse who was born outside of the U.S. They will look at how they behave overall in their life, including their financial situation. And finally, they will review and analyze whether the servicemember has been fully transparent and has disclosed everything pertinent at every part of the investigation. 

Mitigating Factors

While the above factors are heavily weighed, there are other factors that may help to mitigate the concern over the servicemember’s financial situation and potential security clearance issues. Such mitigating factors include the following:

  • The behavior was long ago, was infrequent, and/or is unlikely to recur and does not cast doubt on reliability, trustworthiness, or good judgment; 
  • The conditions that caused the financial problem were beyond the person’s control and the individual acted responsibly under the circumstances; 
  • The person has received or is receiving counseling for the problem and/or there are clear indications that the problem is being resolved; 
  • The individual initiated a good-faith effort to repay overdue creditors or otherwise resolve debts; and 
  • The individual has a reasonable basis to dispute the legitimacy of the past-due debt which is the cause of the problem and provides documented proof to support the basis of the dispute. 

It is important to seek legal help immediately if you believe you have a consumer law problem. Contact a legal assistance attorney to identify the specific source of the challenge and immediately begin developing a plan of action to address and, if possible, resolve the debt issue. 

The Court-Martial Law Division of Aviso Law LLC Helps Military Members in Colorado Who Have Been Charged with a Crime

If you believe that you have an issue with your debt and that it may impact your military security clearance, it’s imperative that you seek legal assistance as soon as possible in order to address the issue. Luckily, the Court-Martial Law Division of Aviso Law LLC can help. We proudly serve our military members, who sacrifice so much for our country. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

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