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Can I join the Army with an expunged record and bad credit?

I am 32 and wanting to join the military. I have an expunged record and my credit is not too good. Should I even bother trying?

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Credit should not be an issue. The only time credit will be a problem is if you are trying to get a security clearance. If the debt is minor or understandable in nature you may still get a clearance in some cases. With regard to your record, the military tends to be accommodating for most issues. If your record was expunged you should not have a problem. The key is to speak with the recruiter.

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Mark is a Retired Command Sergeant Major with 26 years of military leadership experience. He held 3 military occupational specialties (Field Artillery, Nuclear Weapons Tech, and Ammunition Ordnance). Mark is one of the leading military authors in the fields of leadership, counseling, and training.

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  • Someone...not important...


    Just to add to this, if you need a waiver, GOOD LUCK FINDING A RECRUITER TO HELP YOU ENLIST. It took me five years and seven recruiters, but I finally made it. And yes, that was with me doing all the work possible myself to request my waiver.

    It seems if you are any effort at all beyond the 17-18 year old high school student, they don’t have time for you. I mean really…good luck…hope you make it. Be prepared to pretty much do everything yourself (do your own research, write your own waiver request, etc.)

    If you choose an MOS that requires a clearance, it could take quite a long time for the investigation to be completed and if you have moderately bad credit, be prepared to be personally interviewed by the investigator.

    It also helps if you have done something since whatever the negative incident was to prove you are now a productive member of society and whatever circumstances that were present before are not present now. For example, attending college and performing well in your classes will go a long way in helping you receive a moral waiver, if necessary.

    If you were arrested and/or had some civil involvement, the Army WILL find out about it, expunged or not…so when they ask you if you have had either of those happen, the answer is “YES”. Also, some moral crimes may be considered a Class A (or other) Misdemeanor by your state whereas the US Army considers the exact same offense a felony…be careful with this and make sure your recruiter understands what happened so that you don’t get hit with a “fraudulent enlistment” charge later.

    And again…good luck…you are going to need it and a fierce dose of perseverance.

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