Dustin2207

7+ Year Member
Feb 9, 2011
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Hello Everyone,
I am a prior service member that has been out for a few years now. Currently I am a medical student in Virginia and thinking about joining the ARNG. I have been the primary supporter of my finances and had some financial hard ships due loosing my job that resulted in some stuff going into collections, and a private student loan (not federal) going into default.

I have called and trying to work something out with this company among others but its still on my credit.

My question is I am looking to join the National Guard Army however, I know they make you fill out a section about past finances.

Will this be an automatic DQ ? Im not joining solely for the money as I have already served in the infantry, however, this would certainly allow me to obtain finances to correct these occurrences.

Just incase it comes up, no I do not have family I can simply barrow money from. They are not in a situation that they could do this. (Father deceased)

Thank you
 

Lee

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Why not do HPSP and get paid + loans covered? Chances are reasonable that you can get a clearance - but I would recommend speaking with a HPSP recruiter for someone that is closer to that activity.
 
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Dustin2207

7+ Year Member
Feb 9, 2011
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Why not do HPSP and get paid + loans covered? Chances are reasonable that you can get a clearance - but I would recommend speaking with a HPSP recruiter for someone that is closer to that activity.
Hello Lee,

First, Thank you for your speedy reply. I tossed around the idea of HPSP but one of my score on my MCAT held me back. 11 10 7 so they said a no go on the 4 year scholarship and offered me a 3 year . I was planning on taking MDSSP and then loan repayment on the back end. I currently have a scholarship through a hospital that will pay back around 50K of my student loans so I was going to supplement with MDSSP .

I have a few friends who are Captains and Majors in both Active and reserves and it just seems that the reserves will allow me more flexibility for certian family reasons while also affording me the opportunity to continue to serve and get my finances in line.

Again, Thank you. I was just concerned about being DQed off the start because of this.
 

Lee

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Before going AC, I was on the RC side for many years. So I agree with you, if flexibility is something you need, RC or NG is the better choice.

I've seen security clearances go either direction for individuals that seemed to have similar issues. I think it absolutely makes sense to talk with your nearest RC or NG health care recruiter (don't talk with a regular recruiter because it's an entirely different beast). You will not be wasting their time.
 

notdeadyet

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Disclosure: I joined the ARNG in med school and have enjoyed the experience, so I'm biased.

A couple thoughts, though:

- I think the reason HPSP will care about current defaults on loans is that it will potentially prevent you from getting a security clearance. That security clearance isn't an HPSP thing, it's an officer thing. So you may have the same problem trying to get commissioned by the Guard.

- MDSSP is really one of the least appealing recruiting programs out there. You'll get two grand a month throughout med school for four years, but you owe the Army 15-19 YEARS. You are drilling four years in med school while you get the stipend, you drill 3-7 years in residency WITHOUT the stipend, then you owe 8 MORE YEARS drilling post-residency when you start paying back the MDSSP time you owe.

It's a great deal for the Army, as they get a drilling doctor for 10-14 years for the cost of $98k but it's not a great deal for the applicant. Make sure you know what you're doing.....
 
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Dustin2207

7+ Year Member
Feb 9, 2011
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Pre-Medical
Disclosure: I joined the ARNG in med school and have enjoyed the experience, so I'm biased.

A couple thoughts, though:

- I think the reason HPSP will care about current defaults on loans is that it will potentially prevent you from getting a security clearance. That security clearance isn't an HPSP thing, it's an officer thing. So you may have the same problem trying to get commissioned by the Guard.

- MDSSP is really one of the least appealing recruiting programs out there. You'll get two grand a month throughout med school for four years, but you owe the Army 15-19 YEARS. You are drilling four years in med school while you get the stipend, you drill 3-7 years in residency WITHOUT the stipend, then you owe 8 MORE YEARS drilling post-residency when you start paying back the MDSSP time you owe.

It's a great deal for the Army, as they get a drilling doctor for 10-14 years for the cost of $98k but it's not a great deal for the applicant. Make sure you know what you're doing.....


Notdeadyet,

Thank you for your post.I appreciate it. So you have enjoyed your time currently as an ARNG physician? have you experienced any issues with being in both civilian practice and your duties in the Guard?

As for the security clearance, on the application there are portions for explanation. Do you think this is something where I can agree to pay back all the funds within the year ? Being as a medical student we are "commissioned" but non-deployable, is the security clearance something thats done right away or after graduation. Lastly, you say that MDSSP is one of the least appealing program for obvious reasons as you outline, Are there better things then STRAP or Loan repayment?

Also, the defaulted loan is a private educational loan not a federal loan, does that make a difference ?


Thank you for your time,

Best.
 

notdeadyet

Still in California
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Thank you for your post.I appreciate it. So you have enjoyed your time currently as an ARNG physician? have you experienced any issues with being in both civilian practice and your duties in the Guard?
I'm in residency, so I can't say for private practice.

As for the security clearance, on the application there are portions for explanation. Do you think this is something where I can agree to pay back all the funds within the year ? Being as a medical student we are "commissioned" but non-deployable, is the security clearance something thats done right away or after graduation.
The security clearance information is done as you apply. It is part of the commissioning process.

I don't know how to impress they would be about your agreement today back all of the funds. That's the law. The sticking point is that you are in default. It may be a problem. They might be willing to overlook it. I don't know. You won't know until you apply.
Lastly, you say that MDSSP is one of the least appealing program for obvious reasons as you outline, Are there better things then STRAP or Loan repayment?
Nope. Another problem with MDSSP is that for the 8 years you are drilling to pay it back after residency, you are ineligible for any of the other programs like loan repayment. Loan repayment is one of the perks of being the Reserve Corps. So it's a real bummer.
Also, the defaulted loan is a private educational loan not a federal loan, does that make a difference ?
Not really. It's not an issue of your ability or likelihood to default again, it's your being a security risk.

Anyway, good luck...
 

bryce

10+ Year Member
May 22, 2007
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I'm an O-3/E and just went through my TS Clearance final interview. Due to some very bad 'luck' (poor decisions) I was in the same boat you find yourself in at the moment when I first commissioned. I got my clearance(s). The biggest thing is to be completely honest with the agency. You should have no problem if you do so. Feel free to PM me if you have anymore questions.
 

pgg

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I wouldn't expect a basic secret clearance to be a problem given a history of a simple student loan default.

What the security clearance grantors are interested in are (primarily) things that could be used against you as leverage or blackmail, or where a financial incentive (bribe) might be tempting. Debt, and especially bad habits leading to debt like gambling, may be a security risk. But an already-defaulted student loan because you were laid off? What does the KGB have to offer?

If there's a history of a series of bad personal decisions, difficulty managing finances, or other color to your background, that might give them pause because it points to a risk of future vulnerability.

Being dishonest or omitting anything on the security clearance application is the reddest flag of all, the kiss of death when (not if) they catch it. Just disclose the past financial problems with a simple explanation, and I'd be shocked if they denied a secret clearance. Job loss and a defaulted student loan is supremely uninteresting.


Disclaimer: I don't review security clearance applications. My only experience in this arena is conversations with a friend who did.