Can I Join the Military with a Bankruptcy on My Record?
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Can I Join the Military with a Recent Bankruptcy?

Whether a bankruptcy filing will affect eligibility for military service is a question that may trouble potential service members. The specific answer to the question of whether a person can join the military with a recent bankruptcy depends on specific circumstances.

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Bankruptcy and Military Service

A recent bankruptcy filing’s effect on military service may be impacted by these factors.

  • Reasons for filing: Those who need to file for bankruptcy protection for reasons beyond their control (such as injury, illness, job loss or identity theft) may be more sympathetic to potential employers (including the military) than those who appeared to have greater control over their finances prior to filing.
  • Position sought: While there are protections in place that prevent employers from denying jobs to applicants simply for having a bankruptcy filing in their past, some positions (especially those involving money or finance) may be an exception to this rule. Depending on what a person wants to do in the military, a past bankruptcy might come into play.

Each Case Is Different: Talk with a Lawyer

The most important thing to keep in mind is that there is no explicit restriction on joining the military for those with recent bankruptcy filings. Anyone considering bankruptcy should take steps to learn as much as possible about the bankruptcy process.

Further, potential bankruptcy filers considering a future career in the military may benefit from:

  • Speaking with a lawyer: A bankruptcy lawyer can help potential filers determine whether filing for bankruptcy is likely to help them address their debt problems.
  • Considering bankruptcy alternatives: A lawyer may also be able to recommend an alternative too (like debt settlement or credit counseling) in some situations.
  • Speaking with a military recruiter: Explaining your circumstances to someone familiar with military protocol and hiring decisions may help a person get an idea of where he or she is likely to stand in the eyes of potential employers.

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