View Full Version : Top Secret Security Clearance & Bad Credit

09-08-11, 05:40 PM

I had a question regarding getting my Top Secret Clearance and my credit history. I recently signed a DD Contract(02XX/26XX), however the field requires a Top Secret Clearance.

I've never been in trouble with the law, super clean(not even a parking/speeding ticket!), however I don't have very good Credit. The buraeu still rates it as "fair", but I've missed maybe five payments each on two difference credit cards, as well as up to 90 days backpay on a student loan.

It was due entirely to losing a job, I had to move back to my home town after a bad semester at college, which led to not being able to find employment. It was not at all due to just being lazy or foolish with money, simply a sulmination of loss of employment and other family finance trouble(had to give a lot of money to my parents!).

Should I worry about that credit or should I be okay? The total debt to my name is less than five thousand dollars.

Thank you,
Poolee Zach Turnlund

Sgt Leprechaun
09-08-11, 11:17 PM
As long as you are not an out and out deadbeat, you'll be fine.

09-09-11, 01:29 AM
Appreciate the response, Sargeant, puts my mind at ease.

Much appreciated!

09-09-11, 05:17 AM
There are 13 Adjudicative Guidelines for determining eligibility for a security clearance.

Guideline F:
Financial Considerations

18. The Concern. Failure or inability to live within one's means, satisfy debts, and meet financial obligations may indicate poor self-control, lack of judgment, or unwillingness to abide by rules and regulations, all of which can raise questions about an individual's reliability, trustworthiness and ability to protect classified information. An individual who is financially overextended is at risk of having to engage in illegal acts to generate funds. Compulsive gambling is a concern as it may lead to financial crimes including espionage. Affluence that cannot be explained by known sources of income is also a security concern. It may indicate proceeds from financially profitable criminal acts.

19. Conditions that could raise a security concern and may be disqualifying include:

(a) inability or unwillingness to satisfy debts;

(b) indebtedness caused by frivolous or irresponsible spending and the absence of any evidence of willingness or intent to pay the debt or establish a realistic plan to pay the debt.

(c) a history of not meeting financial obligations;

(d) deceptive or illegal financial practices such as embezzlement, employee theft, check fraud, income tax evasion, expense account fraud, filing deceptive loan statements, and other intentional financial breaches of trust;

(e) consistent spending beyond one's means, which may be indicated by excessive indebtedness, significant negative cash flow, high debt-to-income ratio, and/or other financial analysis;

(f) financial problems that are linked to drug abuse, alcoholism, gambling problems, or other issues of security concern.

(g) failure to file annual Federal, state, or local income tax returns as required or the fraudulent filing of the same;

(h) unexplained affluence, as shown by a lifestyle or standard of living, increase in net worth, or money transfers that cannot be explained by subject's known legal sources of income;

(i) compulsive or addictive gambling as indicated by an unsuccessful attempt to stop gambling, "chasing losses" (i.e. increasing the bets or returning another day in an effort to get even), concealment of gambling losses, borrowing money to fund gambling or pay gambling debts, family conflict or other problems caused by gambling.

20. Conditions that could mitigate security concerns include:

(a) the behavior happened so long ago, was so infrequent, or occurred under such circumstances that it is unlikely to recur and does not cast doubt on the individual's current reliability, trustworthiness, or good judgment;

(b) the conditions that resulted in the financial problem were largely beyond the person's control (e.g. loss of employment, a business downturn, unexpected medical emergency, or a death, divorce or separation), and the individual acted responsibly under the circumstances;

(c) the person has received or is receiving counseling for the problem and/or there are clear indications that the problem is being resolved or is under control;

(d) the individual initiated a good-faith effort to repay overdue creditors or otherwise resolve debts;

(e) 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 substantiate the basis of the dispute or provides evidence of actions to resolve the issue;

(f) the affluence resulted from a legal source of income.

09-09-11, 10:58 AM
Just about all of the above is open to black mail witch means the theft of top secret papers.

09-10-11, 05:13 AM
Only five grand?!?! thats nothing. I wish I was only five grand in debt.

09-11-11, 02:42 AM
Thanks all for the input. My concern is generally getting the clearance so I can actually make money to pay off my debts. I'm concerned that they'll see several previously delinquent accounts and deny me the clearance which could, correct me if I'm wrong, cause me to lose my DD contract. Plus, I'm not sure if I'd get to repick my MOS, and though becoming a Marine is most important for me, I'd hate to end up in some MOS that wasn't in my list.

Just about all of the above is open to black mail witch means the theft of top secret papers.

I'm not a secret gambler or anything, no huge debts to speak of that are black-mail-worthy, even if I was that despicable kind of person.

Only five grand?!?! thats nothing. I wish I was only five grand in debt.

Haha yeah, I've dodged the bullet so far. I can easily pay off all of my debts within a few months of boot camp graduation, I just hope that the people giving me my clearance can see that, when I have the financial means, I'll deal with my debt once and for all!

On a related note, I got a free credit report, which confirmed just about everything, but I still rated "Fair" credit, so not bad I guess. Didn't give me a number, had to pay for that, but I', still in the yellow!

09-11-11, 03:04 AM
With that little, you won't have a problem at all. You'll also talk to an investigator during boot camp or shortly after where you'll be able to explain where the discrepancies are from and why you haven't made payments. But I've known people with over 60,000 in debt from student loans who had no problems at all due to it.