Debt Management Program + TS clearance

Hello - I am asking for someone who is not part of this group.

She currently has Top Secret clearance. Recently, a investigator reached out her to meet and discuss security clearance but focusing on the financial.

She and her husband have incurred a lot of debts. Some are on collections. The reason for these delinquencies are the following:

  1. During COVID, her husband had severe health anxieties. He went to doctors visits almost every week for about a year. Copays added up from hospital visits, multiple medical procedures, and surgery.

  2. The Federal Accounting System had an error which decreased her net pay home for about 1000/month.

So they decided to enter into a Debt Management Program. They are thinking this will help them to pay ALL their debts within their budget even the ones that are with collection agencies.

She is scheduled to meet with the investigator. She will present all the data including the contract of Debt Management Plan and monthly budget plans.

Will this affect her Top Secret clearance?

I wonder if this interview was triggered by “continuous evaluation” after some kind of alert on the financials… although I did see a recent article which said financial info is just now being added to CE.

Also wondering if this kind of situation is reportable for all agencies-- I don’t think there is a one-size-fits-all policy, or when self-reporting would be required. It would seem that once a debt goes into collections that would be a red flag.

Not to say this can’t be successfully mitigated but I’m sure there will be a lot of questions requiring a lot of documentation.

Have her compile a complete family budget with basic inflow/outflow of cash and expenses and ring it to her interview. It will definitely show initiative, transparency, and effort towards fixing the issue.

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I read a while back that with continuous monitoring people would probably have more immediate problems with security clearances due to financial issues. In the past, if a problem arose after being granted a clearance, one had until their next periodic review to address it and then could provide evidence that the situation had been addressed/resolved and not a problem. However, with continuous monitoring there is no leeway in terms of getting things resolved before the next periodic review since such issues are discovered through the continuous monitoring process rather than only as a part of a periodic review process.

Does this mean that even though they working to pay debts via debt management program is not seen as an effort to resolve the issue?

I do not know. What I read was essentially speculation regarding a likely negative impact of continuous monitoring. I would imagine (hope) that your friend will be able to explain/demonstrate the proactive actions already taken and explain how the problem with debt is an anomaly (so to speak) and not have a problem.

I appreciate your input though. I will inform her. Have a good day.