When a person wishes to have access to classified information in the form of a security clearance, he or she must pass a thorough background investigation. This investigation will delve into every aspect of the applicant’s life, such as their allegiance to the United States, criminal conduct, and personal conduct, including their financial behavior (good and bad).
A key aspect to this review of the person’s life (past and present), is the Adjudicative Process, which closely examines a long period of the applicant’s life. The purpose of the Adjudicative Process is to determine if the individual is an “acceptable security risk.”
Adjudicative Process: Financial Considerations
For the purposes of this post, we are going to discuss financial considerations under Guideline F of the Adjudicative Process because financial roadblocks arise frequently. People’s financial histories vary widely, and it is not uncommon for applicants to be denied security clearance because of a bankruptcy, a low FICO score, or poor credit, which we explain below.
Under Guideline F, there are several conditions that could disqualify a person, including:
- Inability to pay one’s debts off;
- Unwillingness to pay off one’s debts;
- Debt acquired by frivolous spending and a lack of evidence or intent to satisfy the debt;
- A history of not satisfying one’s debts or financial obligations;
- Intentional financial breaches of trust, such as check fraud, embezzlement, income tax evasion, or employee theft;
- Financial issues associated with gambling, alcoholism, or substance abuse;
- Consistently spending beyond one’s means, for example, excessive debt, high debt-to-income ratio, or a significant negative cash flow;
- Fraudulent filing of state or federal income tax returns;
- Failure to file state or federal tax returns;
- Unexplained affluence, such as unexplained money transfers, increase in net worth, or an inexplicably high standard of living; and
- A compulsive gambling addiction.
If you applied for a security clearance and your application was denied due to any of the above financial considerations, we urge you to contact our security clearance attorneys. In some cases, an issue can be overlooked, especially if it happened a long time ago, or it occurred under a special circumstance that is not likely to happen again. For example, you filed bankruptcy because of a workplace injury that caused you to be out of work for a year, and thus unable to pay your debts.