General Question

_Whitetigress's avatar

If one owes to a collection agency, can they join the military still?

Asked by _Whitetigress (4349 points ) July 17th, 2012

Question pertaining to an American citizen. Thanks!

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6 Answers

lillycoyote's avatar

I don’t know for certain, but I am pretty sure, almost absolutely, certainly sure, that the answer is yes. Owing on a debt is not a crime, it is simply owing on a debt. That, in and of itself, shouldn’t prevent anyone from serving in the military. I suspect that the military/the recruiter might actually help someone enlisting, who has debts, take care of that, but I don’t know for sure.

WestRiverrat's avatar

The military can deal with debt, just don’t lie about it.

There may be some jobs that are closed to you because you will not qualify for some security levels until you clear up the debt, but once you do it shouldn’t be a problem.

cazzie's avatar

I was thinking about eventual security clearance as well. I know people who do not qualify for a higher clearance because their finances are a mess.

The job killer, I think, would be a felony conviction. Lying to the US government filling in forms, I believe is a felony, so be sure to be truthful.

WestRiverrat's avatar

There are financial advisors available on most bases to help soldiers learn how to manage their budgets. They can also help to determine whether a debt is legitimate, and set up a repayment plan.

If you tell your recruiter one of the reasons you want to join is to pay your debts, it will be more of a plus than a minus for you.

Jenniehowell's avatar

When I joined the only thing that held me back was a legal issue that required court. Luckily my mom worked for the right person of authority in the govt & she was able to clear my case on the same day I was supposed to fly off to bootcamp & all was fine. Collection debt shouldn’t effect things unless it’s a debt to a government agency or a legal issue like child support etc.

woodcutter's avatar

Since we are in two wars officially (no mission accomplished banners) I’m sure the standards have gone down a bit. They may be getting people who cant tie their shoes now.

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