Poor Credit Score May Not Affect Your Federal Security Clearance
Are you concerned that your credit score will keep you from obtaining or maintaining a federal security clearance? You’re not alone. Poor finances, not credit scores, are the number one reason security clearances are denied.
There’s a common misconception that adjudicators look at credit scores, but this simply isn’t true. The fact is, adjudicators don’t even see your credit scores which can be a great thing in many cases. Credit scores take a lot of factors into consideration including many factors that may not be relevant in determining your trustworthiness, reliability, or judgment. Credit scores take into consideration your payment history, amount owed, length of credit history, new credit, and types of credit used. Would you say these credit score factors draw into question your reliability, judgment, and trustworthiness?
Credit scores can be damaged due to events that occurred four, five, six, and even seven years ago. Federal security clearance adjudicators typically don’t care if you didn’t have insurance six years ago and fell into debt due to unforeseen medical bills . What they typically care about is that you are current on all debt, or at least making a good faith effort to make payments. In addition, they look at several factors to determine if you are living beyond your means. This can often be accomplished by reviewing your credit history, not your credit score. In other words, adjudicators obtain a copy of your Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union reports. However, these reports don’t contain your credit score. Credit reports list outstanding bills or credit card debt that you currently have or have accumulated over a period of time. The credit list reveals your ability or willingness to make payments. These credit reports typically list bills from creditors as; pays as agreed, delinquent, past due, charge off, sold to creditor, or in collection with no mention of credit score. In addition, the credit report reveals the level or length of delinquency on credit such as 30 days past due, 60, days past due, 90 days past due,
etc. The Federal government and the adjudicating standards place a heavy emphasis on an individual’s willingness to pay their bills and maintain good credit standing. Unwillingness to pay debt and accumulation of debt which is revealed by the credit report, may lead an individual to be susceptible to blackmail or coercion.
The adjudicative standards are meant to take into consideration and individual through the whole person concept, so don’t confuse some past due or delinquent medical bills with your overall appearance through and adjudicator’s eyes. For instance, it is possible for an employee with a federal security clearance to have past due bills. especially if the delinquencies stem from severe circumstances such as a loved one suffering from cancer, or death of a family member, especially if that family member provided the vast majority of the household income. We see these cases quite often, and the security concerns are often mitigated, provided the individual makes a good faith effort to pay bills and is willing to change spending habits in an effort to live within their means caused by the unforeseen circumstance. In this case it appears the individual had no choice, but to fall behind in their finances.
Where employees and applicants find trouble with their federal security clearance eligibility is when their finances suffer due to unwillingness to pay their debt or they live beyond their financial means. This is often demonstrated through the overuse of credit cards, or an inability to pay credit cards because the amount of debt overwhelming, in many cases impossible to pay off without filing bankruptcy .
If you have questions regarding you credit situation or debt that has been compiled due to any circumstance, contact Indoc National Security for a FREE CONSULTATION. Indoc National Security can evaluate your situation and work with you to ensure you can maintain or obtain a national security clearance. With a willingness to overcome financial burdens, it is possible to obtain a federal security clearance, regardless of credit score. Our trained security clearance consultants can be contacted at 1-855-24-INDOC or visit our FREE CONSULTATION page.