Security Clearance Process

Steps to Take for Financial Issues Resulting from the Government Shutdown

The government shutdown will surely affect many clearance holders and their ability to pay credit card bills, mortgages, or car loans. As we have noted this year and in years past, financial issues remain the top issue for clearance denials and revocations. Life events happen and the circumstances are taken into consideration by adjudicators when determining eligibility for access to classified information. It is understood the government shutdown is beyond anyone’s control. However, it is imperative that those having trouble with their finances take proactive steps and act responsibly in trying to resolve the delinquent debts.

Frivolous or irresponsible spending during these lean times would not be looked upon favorably. Neither would going on vacation or buying a new car. Walking away from a debt without making any attempt to resolve or settle it is not being responsible either. Taking a positive attitude towards debts is a huge mitigator. Here are a few tips to help get out in front:

–  Contact your creditors, explain the situation, and ask for a deferment or extension on time to make payments and get it in writing.

– Report any delinquencies to your security officer with a realistic plan on what you are doing to resolve them.

– Do NOT use credit cards to pay for bills – the interest rates are very high; get a short-term low interest personal loan instead.

Here is the extract from the adjudicative guidelines that will help guide your way through financial issues as a result of the shutdown:

Indebtedness Beyond Subject’s Control: Debt is often due to circumstances that are beyond a person’s control. The financial issue may be mitigated if there is no clear personal fault and subject has responded to the indebtedness in a reasonable and responsible manner. The whole-person evaluation is relevant under these circumstances. A responsible person with good judgment and strong character is more likely to weather financial adversity without becoming a security risk than an individual with a record of immature, irresponsible, or rule-breaking behavior.


  1. This post maintains relevance considering Congress has yet to come to an agreement and pass a budget with a Friday deadline looming.