Be Proactive in Mitigating Financial Concerns during These Trying Times
Three months ago no one could have imagined the situation the world finds itself in now. Many were looking forward to spring break, others were getting ready to file taxes, and life was normal on the local restaurant and bar scene. Now, most of the country is homebound, millions are out of work, and individuals and families are struggling to pay the bills.
Security clearance holders or applicants have an additional worry: avoiding situations that may cause loss of clearance eligibility. We know from previous years, financial considerations is the number one reason for denial of a clearance. In these trying times the DoD Central Adjudication Facility (CAF) understands that events beyond one’s control can wreak havoc on finances and affect the ability to pay bills. The DoD CAF issued a COVID-19 adjudications response statement confirming the CAF would not take adverse actions against clearance holders or applicants for COVID-19 related issues such as finances or delayed responses to SORs as long as the individual acts responsibly. Self-reporting requirements remain in place and individuals experiencing hardships still need to pass the information on through their security contacts.
My advice is to get out in front of potential concerns by documenting everything chronologically on a spreadsheet, gathering up all statements on delinquent accounts, contacting creditors in writing asking for deferment, payment plan or agreement, and saving all related correspondence. Walking away from debts is not responsible and will not mitigate concerns under financial considerations.