How does a service member’s credit score affect his or her security clearance?

Military Families December 18, 2012 Print Friendly and PDF

Guidelines for determining eligibility for obtaining a security clearance are defined by the U.S. Department of State. According to these guidelines, service members who carry credit debts and show signs of not meeting their financial obligations demonstrate a possible inability to protect classified information. According to the Department of State website, service members who do not work to correct financial problems “raise questions about an individual’s reliability” and are “at risk of having to engage in illegal acts to generate funds.”

Having financial problems alone does not warrant reconsideration of a service member’s security clearance under these conditions:

  • if the military member is working to correct the problem,
  • if the financial problems were beyond their control, or
  • if the behavior happened a significant time in the past and was not a recurring problem.

For additional information, reference the financial considerations of the Adjudicative Guidelines for Determining Eligibility for Access to Classified Information at