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We're the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a U.S. government agency that makes sure banks, lenders, and other financial companies treat you fairly.

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I'm in the military, can a debt collector have my security clearance revoked if I fall behind on paying my debt?


No, a debt collector cannot revoke your security clearance. However, failing to pay debts on time can result in negative information on your credit reports and may cause your security clearance to be pulled when it’s up for review.

Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), a debt collector is generally not permitted to share information about your debt without your permission with a third party, such as a security manager or your chain of command.    

You should know that failing to pay your debts on time can result in negative information being reported to the credit reporting companies. This can lower your credit score, and may cause your security clearance to be pulled when it is up for review. Servicemembers are expected to pay their legitimate financial obligations in a proper and timely manner.    

This factsheet also gives more information about your rights when a debt collector calls.    

If you’re having a problem with a debt collector, contact your local JAG office for more information. To find your JAG Legal Assistance Office, use the locator . You also may be able to get assistance with managing your finances and developing a plan to help you deal with your debt from a local military Personal Financial Manager

If you believe a debt collector has inappropriately shared debt information or if you have an issue with a consumer financial product or service, you can also submit a complaint with the CFPB online or by calling 855-411-CFPB (2372). We’ll forward your complaint to the company and work to get a response from them. 

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The content on this page provides general consumer information. It is not legal advice or regulatory guidance. The CFPB updates this information periodically. This information may include links or references to third-party resources or content. We do not endorse the third-party or guarantee the accuracy of this third-party information. There may be other resources that also serve your needs.