ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - Holding a security clearance or possessing a restricted area badge is considered to be a privilege and is dependent on each individual meeting a number of requirements that extend to personal conduct both on and off the job.One of these critical requirements is appropriately handling your personal financial responsibilities. Having excess amounts of debt can be a disqualifier that may cause you to lose your clearance and/or access to restricted areas. If these requirements are integral to the performance of your duties, the loss of these privileges could result in your separation from federal service.The final determination regarding your clearance is made by the Department of Defense Consolidated Adjudications Facility, DoD CAF, in combination with a commander's recommendation. The worst thing you can do as a federal employee is to stop making payments to creditors or, what is known as, walking away from debt. In most cases the DoD CAF will consider this a disqualifying factor that cannot be mitigated. If you find yourself unable to meet your debt obligations, your best course of action is to seek out the services of a credible financial management service that may be able to negotiate a reduced payment plan with your creditors. It is vital, if you pursue this course of action, to select a credible provider since there are companies that claim to provide this service but are scams.With the potential for unpaid furloughs and a reduction of income of up to 20 percent for the rest of the fiscal year looming, financial advisors are urging federal employees to look at their personal expenditures and eliminate any expenses that are not vital. If you crunch your numbers and discover you will be unable to meet your basic bills in the event of being furloughed, beginning to eliminate or reduce expenses such as eating out, cable or other entertainment costs, home improvements or vacations is a wise course of action.Reducing extraneous non-essential expenditures such as expanded cable service, eating out and eliminating expensive vacations during the furlough period may be all you need to do to remain solvent. Such actions will indicate your personal willingness to address debt in a responsible manner and will be most likely viewed positively by the DoD CAF in their adjudication of a person's security clearance vs. debt issue.For more information, contact Joseph Kaffl at 410-278-9726 or joseph.s.kaffl.civ@mail.mil.