Mitigating financial issues and when you can reapply for a security clearance



Financial problems continue to reflect the number one reason American citizens are denied access to classified information. We had a ClearanceJobsBlog subscriber who was concerned that his case was a lost cause.

While complicated, SecretSquid’s chances of obtaining a security clearance are not completely hopeless. SecretSquid writes:

“I want to be transparent. I have no problem with criminal activity and my fingerprints were good. I struggled financially. When my credit was taken it was around 600 or so (higher on a report). I filed for bankruptcy 2 years ago. My student loans were in default about 7+ years ago, but only for a few months did I immediately get them out of default. I also owe federal tax arrears of about $ 3,500. I let them take my income tax refund and completely paid off my state tax debt. So my story shows financial problems that I worked to solve, but my fear is that it is too much of a problem.

Am I a lost cause? “

Financial mitigation techniques

SecretSquid has already deployed imperative mitigation tactics for people concerned about Directive F, Financial Problems. Get your student loan out of default through rehabilitation or loan consolidation? Good work. Pay off the state’s tax debt? To verify. Here are some other financial mitigation techniques that could be viewed positively by adjudicators:

  • Pay all bills – on time
  • Monitor your credit report
  • Register for financial workshops / credit courses
  • Don’t live beyond your means
  • Talk to a security officer / security clearance lawyer about your case

While the substantive investigators gather information, the adjudicators will make a decision based on the person as a whole. If you strive to get rid of your debt and do everything you can to avoid it in the future, your chances of getting clearance may not be completely reduced. The overdue student loan debt is the biggest problem so if the applicant can afford to pay it off in full rather than using repayments to pay off the debt.


If you find that your chances are reduced and you receive documents indicating that you have been refused (Statement of Reasons), however, don’t worry – you can request a security clearance from the same agency again after waiting for a full year. Each agency is different and may have other specific rules, but this timeline is the general guideline.

What’s the worst thing you can do? Try to cover up your financial problems early on instead of admitting fault.

Much of the customs clearance process is like the Pirate Code: “more what you would call guidelines than actual rules”. This case-by-case system aims to take into account the whole person, increase the security of the process, and allow applicants with the lowest risks / highest needs to complete the process. However, it also creates a lot of questions for applicants. For this reason, ClearanceJobs maintains – a forum where permission seekers can ask the authorized community for advice on their specific security concerns. Ask CJ explores questions posted on the ClearanceJobs blog forum, emails received and comments from this site.


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