Let's start off with a quick Q&A...
You ask...Why would my financial status prevent me from obtaining a security clearance?
The answer is...The US government is concerned when people are financially overextended because it puts them at risk of engaging in illegal activities to generate money. In addition to the government, many employers are taking steps to insure they hire candidates that are making good decisions in their personal lives that will enable them to become good employees.
Let's think back for a minute...
- Have you ever borrowed money from someone and said, "I'll pay you back," but didn't?
- Have you ever gone to the mall and spotted a pair of shoes you just had to have?
- Have you ever returned a book to the library late simply because you knew you could turn it in tomorrow?
If you answered "yes" to any of the above, you may be at risk of losing a job before you ever have a chance to apply.
The ability to become "financially savvy" doesn't begin when you're out of high school. Kids can learn to be financially savvy at an early age. In elementary school you begin by saving money you receive from getting good grades on your report card or losing a tooth; in middle school you earn an allowance or take on jobs in your neighborhood such as mowing lawns; in high school you can begin to look for a "real" job at a local grocery store or mall when you come of age. Well...how you manage your money in the early stages of life can help you to better manage your money as you become an adult.
When it comes to finding a career -- being financially savvy now will pay off in the future. Your creditworthiness(of a person or company) considered suitable to receive credit, esp. because of being reliable in paying money back in the past. can play a critical role in your ability to obtain that "dream job" which could in fact require a security clearance. You must remember...when applying for a security clearance, or applying for a job in various other industries, there is an investigation into your background which includes not only school records, employment records and criminal records but also financial records. You can be disqualified from obtaining your clearance for financial reasons such as:
- A history of not meeting financial obligations
- Inability or unwillingness to satisfy debts
- Unexplained affluence (wealth)
Now, let's take a look at a scenario...
You think it can't happen to you. Watch out! Teens are often inundated with credit card offers when they get to college or get their first full-time job. Credit cards can be helpful in emergencies but be careful -- they can also get you into trouble. Many students are in debt while in their teens or early twenties. Often times, students don't think of the ramifications once they've obtained a card and for some students -- multiple cards. Obtaining a credit card or cards carries a huge responsibility that could affect your future career. Are you financially savvy enough?