If you are able to obtain a security clearance, you will be eligible for a number of jobs that are out of reach for some people. This is especially true if you're in the military. But credit issues may cause you to fail the background check that is necessary for a security clearance to be issued.
According to Evan Lesser, managing director of ClearanceJobs.com, "As you apply for a job, whether it is with a government agency or a government contracting company, part of that is going to include a background check, and that will include a credit check."
Why Be Concerned About Security Clearance Jobs?
Obviously, if you have chosen a career in the military, there will be plenty of opportunities that require a security clearance. Also, you will need clearance to be qualified as a candidate for many jobs offered by the federal government.
But, there are security clearance jobs available in the private sector as well. In fact, it has been reported that Amazon alone has more than 100 job openings for people who can get a top security clearance. So, if you're in the market for a good career, it would be very good to make yourself eligible for a security clearance. First step: Check your credit.
Why Your Credit Could Prevent You from Obtaining Clearance
Part of the security clearance requirements listed on the U.S. Department of State website includes "trustworthiness, honesty and reliability," and your credit history is considered. The standard way of thinking is: If you have been unable to manage your own finances, can you be trusted with sensitive documents?
Also, it is widely believed that financial trouble could make you vulnerable to corruption. Lesser states:
"When there have been cases of espionage where a U.S. clearance holder has given away classified information, most of the time there is a financial aspect to it. It's pretty much understood that someone who is in dire financial straits is going to be more likely to give up classified information, especially by selling it."
And bad credit won't just prevent you from being able to get certain jobs. If you're already working in a career that requires a security clearance, you could lose your job if you fall into credit trouble.
It's Never Too Late to Repair Your Credit
If you're interested in pursuing a security clearance job, but know that you have some credit issues, don't give up on your goal. Start the credit repair process right now. Even if you need to apply for the position before your credit is entirely mended, any efforts that you’ve made towards getting your finances in order may count towards security clearance approval.
- Get Up-to-State with Your Bills
Once you are current with everything, set up a payment system. For example, set aside time during one day out of the month to sit down and pay everything.
- Set Up a Budget and Cut Back on Unnecessary Spending
This involves simple math. First, calculate how much you bring in every month. Next, add up the total cost of your bills. Subtract what you owe monthly from your net income. What you have left over should be divided between spending money and savings. Remember to spend less and save more.
- Pay Down High Interest Credit Cards
Using over 30% of any line of credit negatively affects your credit score. Pay these cards down, but keep the accounts open. Having older, established accounts is good for your credit score.
The sooner you can start to repair your credit, the better. Whatever you do, don't live in denial of your bad credit. Without being addressed, credit problems will only get worse over time. And there are just too many opportunities that you'll miss if your credit is damaged.
The Car You Need, the Credit You Want
If you want regular access to reliable transportation, but are worried about your credit, Auto Credit Express can help. We can connect you with a dealer that works with special finance lenders. And when you're approved for your loan, you'll gain the opportunity to improve your credit rating with timely payments.