Will A Bankruptcy Keep You Out of the Military?

Will A Bankruptcy Keep You Out of the Military?

Richard Fonfrias, J.D.
Chicago’s Financial Rescue & Bankruptcy Lawyer
Fonfrias Law Group, LLC


The reasons surrounding your bankruptcy can affect whether you can join the military, as well as your security clearance.

Your Financial Responsibility

In recruiting new military personnel, one of the criteria that the military considers is whether you are financially responsible. But that isn’t the only criteria. Plus, the criteria vary because each branch of the military sets its own admission requirements.

The military will likely review your finances before they allow you to sign up. They look at your dependability, your responsibility, and whether you can get by on their low salary. Here are common pieces of your financial history that the military reviews:

  • Excessive credit card debt
  • Foreclosures
  • Repossessions
  • Past-due accounts, and
  • Fraudulent civil and criminal conduct, such as embezzlement and tax evasion.

Bankruptcy, Specifically

Bankruptcy is sometimes considered to be a negative act; however, it can be seen as positive because it shows you are erasing your debt so you can gain control over your finances. The branches of the military look more at your circumstances than at your individual events. The military will probably see these actions in a negative light:

  • Filing for bankruptcy more than once
  • Filing for bankruptcy to erase debt for luxury purchases
  • Failing to obey the bankruptcy court’s orders, and
  • Carrying out bankruptcy fraud

Bankruptcy is often seen as a positive step, giving you the fresh start our founding fathers built into the Constitution. Your bankruptcy will likely be viewed in positively if you filed for reasons beyond your control, such as a job loss or medical condition. Recruiters also look at how responsible you’ve been in your finances since your bankruptcy filing.

Bankruptcy and Your Security Clearance

Your security clearance will not automatically be affected by a bankruptcy. Instead, it is based on many things, including the branch you want to join and the position you want to hold.

In addition, your clearance can be affected by a combination of factors: Why you filed for bankruptcy. Your performance on the job. Your relationships with people at work. And so on.

Besides bankruptcy, your security clearance will depend on

  • Your level of financial responsibility
  • Your criminal history
  • Your history with drugs and alcohol
  • Your ties to foreign individuals and countries, and
  • Any personality disorders.

Bottom line, security clearances are evaluated on a case by case basis. So before you file for bankruptcy, check with your superiors to see whether a bankruptcy will cause a change in your security clearance.

“I invite you to give me a call if you have any questions about the information contained in this article, or if you have a financial problem that you would like to discuss. I would be pleased to speak with you or answer your email enquiry. I am an Illinois bankruptcy lawyer who specializes in helping people solve their money problems. Your first consultation with me is always free and you under no obligation. I can assist you with credit card debt, foreclosure avoidance, tax liens, loan modifications, and show you how bankruptcy can give you a fresh start.” – Rich