Background InvestigationsObtaining Security Clearance

Ask Your Clearance Questions – Part 20

Our popular ongoing series allows you to ask your most complex questions regaring security clearances and our regular contributors of present and former clearance investigators and adjudicators will try to answer them. The rules are listed below. Failure to abide by them will mean your question will be deleted.

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Comment Archive

  1. Avatar

    At what point in the background investigation process is an applicant’s credit report requested?

    In Apr 08 I applied for a special agent position with the Navy. I interviewed in October 08 and have not heard from the agency at all.

    Last week, I received an email alert from Triple Advantage advising me an inquiry of my credit had been made. I noticed the agency had made the inquiry.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. Avatar


    I am applying for a secret clearance for the army this week. I am 22. I have one credit card account that is charged off in the amount of 13,000. This account is about 4 years old. It was actually only 5000 but due to interest and fees it has increased tremendously. The whole reason I had to get this card was basically to survive and live after moving out of my fathers house. I wasnt buying shoes and clothing with it. I am a poor college student. I am young and dont know what else I would have done in that situation except become homeless. At this point it is past the statute of limitations and is so overinflated that even the credit counseling people tell me not to pay.

    I have an auto loan and an amex card that I am making payments on and have never missed one. My credit score is about 700.

    The only other debts I have is student loan debts, since im still in school they are deferred.

    What can I say on the EQIP to explain this, and how much will it affect me?


  3. Avatar

    I initially received an SF85P from a Fed Civil Agency 1/06 contract lasted 6 months until 6/06. Hired to another contract w/another Fed Civil Agency 12/06-5/07 that required SF85P, they accepted faxed copy from OPM from previous contract. Hired for another Fed Civil Agency contract 1/09, currently on contract. Awaiting permanent badge, temporary badge received 1/09, renewed 3/09 good until 9/09. Was unemployed for 6 months prior to this most recent contract and financial issues require Chapter 13. Will this effect my clearance my SF85P clearance? Should I contact my Security Officer? I have filled out no new clearance paper work since 1/06.

  4. Avatar

    What’s an aggravated DWI? Would a high BAC DWI with nothing else be aggravated? Does it matter that it is a first DWI?

  5. Avatar

    can a person get a secret clearence if he was arrested for dwi and it was reduced to attempted class c misdemeanor?

  6. Avatar

    Apache: Credit reports are almost always obtained within a day or two after the investigation starts.

  7. Avatar

    Rascal: What type of clearance does the new job entail? An SF85P is a form, not a clearance. The cause of a bankruptcy and a person’s financial conduct after the bankruptcy are adjudicatively significant matters for any type of clearance.

  8. Avatar

    I have a couple of questions, I currently have the following information under Adjudication Summary on my Army Reserves JCAVS

    PSI adjudication of SSBI OPM opened 2007 08 13 closed 2007 11 05 determined eligibility of SCI – DCID 6/4 on 2008 03 13 Army CCF

    the other listing is for my Secret clearance, I have searched and tried to find a clear answer as to what that above statement means, the reason that the SSBI was started was for a Top Secret Clearance when I intiated my packet for US ARMY CID I did not complete the process and actually ETSd from the Regular Army in January 2008 I have since joined the USAR and am looking at doing my CID packet again and I am wondering what if any help that above clearance will have towards getting my TS, also my background is pretty clear except for a few late 30 day payments here in the last few months on my vehicle due to the economy but I am current now and the rest of my payments on all my other bills are current, I also have a issue with a couple third party collectors popping up on my credit reports now and then and once I dispute them or send them a FCRA letter they disappear how will the late payments and those fraudulent collectors effect my TS once I iniate it?

    Thanks in advice for any and all answers

  9. Avatar

    Rascal: Indebtedness arising because of ordinary and necessary bills that you were unable to pay due to job loss is covered in Guideline F, which says the indebtedness can be “mitigated” if “the conditions that resulted in the financial problem were largely beyond the person’s control (e.g. loss of employment, a business downturn, unexpected medical emergency, or a death, divorce or separation), and the individual acted responsibly under the circumstances.” A Chapter 13 bankruptcy doesn’t normally relieve on of a debt, but rather extends and adjusts payment terms, so filing a 13, arguably shows that you have “acted reponsibly under the circumstances” by using provisions in the law intended to help people whose debt has gotten out of control regain some stability and develop a plan to pay off the debt. Short answer is that the 13 doesn’t help, but it may be excused at the adjudicator level. If not, you will have to make your case in an appeal.

  10. Avatar

    I have a Secret Clearance from being prior service Army and am currently working as a Air Force Contractor – deployed. Being offered a job by DOD that may require a TS clearance. I have the following concerns:

    1. My biggest concern is that after I resigned my commission in the Army in 2003, a couple of times I tried marijuana that was offered to me. Didn’t really see the harm at the time but think it terribly stupid now. That kind of thing is not my cup of tea, don’t like it and never plan on doing it again. Furthermore, I never used anything ever while in the Army.

    2. Secondarily, through oversight paying a medical and a dental bill — I had a lot of them in 2006 — I got a collection notice. They were small bills and I paid them once I realized I was way past due.

    I am concerned that if I go for a Top Secret Clearance I will get in hot water and I will lose my Secret and my livelihood altogether. What should I do?

  11. Avatar

    I had depression counseling (including a brief psychiatric hospitalization) as a teenager. I haven’t been on medication in ~10 years and have been out of counseling for 5+ years and have been symptom-free.

    I’ve never been arrested, have a stable job history, good credit report and currently have a job in the “public trust” in emergency management/response for a municipality. I have excellent references available also.

    I had submitted an SF86 and then received a letter back several months later from the federal agency I applied to requesting more information about my mental health history.

    I visited a psychologist specializing in police issues/weapons clearance, who gave me several paper psych tests and also had several one on one interview sessions. He has written up something saying that while I may have had issues in the past, he believes I’m capable of being in a job with access to secret material and carry a weapon, etc, and that from his interview/testing there are no current signs of a problem or that there would be in the future.

    Do you believe I will be good to go? Is there anything else I should do?

  12. Avatar

    My wife became a citizen of the US a year ago. She has a tentative job offer based on recieving an interim clearance. However she never turned in her Hong Kong passport. She won’t be denied outright will she? We stated on the SF85 that she still has the HK passport but has not used it since becoming a US citizen. I think they will eventually contact us to turn her passport in to the embassy and get a reciept for it. Does that sound right?

  13. Avatar

    How old does one have to be to be submitted for a TS/SCI level of security clearance?

  14. Avatar

    What, exactly, is one’s doctor required to disclose for a background investigation? How about one’s insurance company? Does the investigator simply call up the doctor based on the insurance plan I have with my employer? How does that work?

    Is my doctor or insurance company required to report anything after a ssbi has taken place and granted? Do patient privacy laws have any bearing? If one tells their doctor that they’re feeling depressed, but do not wish to seek additional help from a mental health professional, how would this affect an ssbi or clearance if held?

    Thanks in advance!

  15. Avatar

    Hey all,

    I will (hopefully) be starting an internship on June 1st at Lockheed Martin in northern Virginia. However, I am currently awaiting the results of my security clearance application (Top Secret level).

    A little background: 21 years old, senior in Computer Engineering, very moderate drinker, never done any illegal drugs, never been arrested or gotten so much as a speeding ticket, born and raised here in the U.S.

    I am worried about a few things, however:

    1.) On my SF-86, I had originally put that I had never traveled to a foreign country. However, I have been to Canada around 15 times throughout my life — all for 4 hours or less. During my interview with the background investigator assigned to my case, I made this very clear, and told him the nature of my travels — all for recreation.

    ** A couple days after my initial security interview, I was called back by the investigator for a secondary interview, he said something along the lines of “a few things popped up during the investigation that I just need to clarify with you”. **

    2.) He had asked me during the 1st interview if I had ever gotten in trouble with the law, ever gotten a speeding ticket, and have the cope ever been over to my house for “domestic issues”. I had answered no to all those questions, but it turns out the cops HAD been over to my house once about a year ago, when my mother called the police on her boyfriend (whom I am not very fond of). I was not involved in any way, besides being inside the house sleeping when it happened.


    3.) He also questioned me more about my foreign contacts during the secondary interview. My grandmother emigrated here from Japan in the late 1950s, and became a U.S. citizen in the late 60s. Also, it turns out one of the references I gave him (my Computer Science professor) isn’t even a U.S. citizen! I, however, was unaware of this, as he’s been teaching at my university for almost 15 years now. I made the investigator aware of the fact that I had no clue, and also that I have limited personal contact with the two people I mentioned (I see my grandmother once every 2 years on avg., and she travels to Japan maybe once every five, but I never go with her or anything like that.)

    One other thing…

    4.) I saw on the DOHA website that a lot of people get denied clearances for “financial” reasons. I only have about $2800 in Federal student loans (still deferred); and a balance of approx. $1500 on my 3 credit cards combined. I always make payments on time, however. This wouldn’t be considered delinquent debt, would it???

    So, I guess what I’m asking is, am I being paranoid about nothing? Or are any of the things I listed enough to possibly warrant a denial? They all seem very minor, but I guess I am ultimately concerned that the investigator will interpret my mistakes as having a lack of candor, even though I just misinterpreted a couple of the questions.

    One thing that gives me a LITTLE hope is that he contacted me on Friday 4/10 to set up an initial interview, and I had that the following Monday; then my secondary interview was on 4/17… so it seems that the investigation went pretty quickly. This is a good thing, right?

    I appreciate any input!

  16. Avatar

    I received a BCD from the United States Marine Corps shortly before my 4-year enlistment term was up. Does anyone know if there are any kind of security/ oversea jobs that accept BCD applicants?

  17. Avatar

    I may be up for a security clearance soon and was wondering it the following things maybe an issue:

    1 – I have take medication for stress and depression. I started taking the medication in 2003 and stopped in 2008. I think the real issue might be that for a number of years my doctor prescribed Seroquel for me. It was used off-label in very small doses (15 mg) as a sleep aid. I no longer take medication. I believe myself to be in sound mental condition and am pretty sure that my doctor would agree. Are their mitigating factors, such as successful career, good grades from Ivy League school, etc that would help?

    2 – There is a girl that I dated from 2006-2007 that I think would say negative things about me. She has been vocal about trashing my reputation in the past and am worried that she would take the opportunity to act vengefully on me. I get along well with all of my other ex-girlfriends.

    I do not believe myself to be a security risk: I have never cheated on a girl friend, stole anything, been in trouble with the law, done illegal drugs,

  18. Avatar

    The only issue I think I will encounter in obtaining a TS/SCI clearance is past drug use.
    About 12 months ago, I used cocaine one night.
    About 18 months ago, I also used cocaine one night.
    Previous to that I was a regular marijuana user.

    My credit is very good, no bankruptcies issues, only one police incident when I was about 24 (drunk and disorderly, destruction of property, type offense)

    I have been fired by employers before, as well.

    Will the drug use, or the other issues preclude me from obtaining a clearance.

    Thank you.

  19. Avatar

    eric: Yes, a person can get a secret clearance even if they are convicted of DWI, provided they are not alcohol dependent or an episodic alcohol abuser. A single misdemeanor is not a potentially disqualifying condition. Aside from the criminal aspect of DWI, it is a symptom of a possible alcohol problem. If no other alcohol-related problems exist and the applicants use of alcohol is not excessive, then there should be no reason for denying a security clearance.

  20. Avatar

    You have a Top Secret clearance with SCI eligibility. SCI stands for Sensitive Compartmented Information. A person can not have SCI eligibility without a Top Secret clearance, so it is recorded in JPAS/JCAVS simply as SCI.

  21. Avatar

    Simple One: Doesn’t sound like you will have any problem, and there is nothing else you need to do.

  22. Avatar

    Clever Username,
    First off we as investigators do not make the decision if an individual should get a clearance or not. That job is up to an adjudicator and or security officer. Background investigators just obtain the information and report it, so do not worry what the investigator thinks.
    Not listing minor things on your SF-86 happens a lot. That is what the interview is for. It sounds to me he/she did not do a thorough job the first time he/she interviewed you and was told to go back and follow up with some additional questions. Yet I am not sure why some of those issues needed to be discussed but again I do not have a thorough knowledge of your case.

  23. Avatar

    Okay thank you Investigator, that makes me feel (somewhat) better!!!

    I let my B.I. know that the reason for the domestic call was that my mother’s boyfriend was being drunk and belligerent… but I also reassured him that I wouldn’t let myself be compromised by his behavior; and that I don’t really care for the guy much in the first place =)

  24. Avatar

    Here is an interesting question-may matter that arises out of a suitability/security investigation be used in a disciplinary action unrelated to the investigation? In other words- may one pass the investigation but still get a letter of reprimand?

  25. Avatar

    I’m a college student that is preparing to graduate with a degree in engineering, and I am applying to many jobs in the DC area that require a clearance. I have lived a “fairly” uneventful life growing up in the midwest, but I have dated a Peruvian girl for the past year and a half. After realizing that this relationship might be detrimental to my career goals, I ended the relationship. After I broke up with this girl (who really was amazing) I had to inform her that we should not have anymore contact. Was this the right thing to do, or will the fact that I dated a foreign national be a reason I don’t obtain a clearance? Do I have to put her under my foreign contact section of the SF-86 since the break-up occurred recently. (2 weeks)

  26. Avatar

    At a recent neighborhood event, a neighbor of mine, with a security clearance, answered a question from a third neighbor as to whether he was obligated to report his recent therapy sessions for depression and past use of anti-depressant medication. Apparently, this other neighbor had been in therapy for some time and had used these medications for awhile, but never reported them during updates to his security file.

    I also have a clearance, although I work for a different employer. Nevertheless, now that I have become aware of this information, which I understand to be a violation, am I obligated to report it somehow? Thanks

  27. Avatar

    I just started the background check phase of the Border Patrol. There are a few things I am worried about. In 2002 I was arrested for unlawful carrying of a handgun, but was not charged and I was released the same day and the next day got my gun back. In 2001 I got a public intoxication and paid the fine. In 1999 I got an other than honorable discharge from the military after 8 months of service; however I am back in the military now, deployed to Iraq, earned numerous awards and will ETS under honorable conditions shortly. I spent a few years living in Mexico where my parents had retired to, and I had part ownership of a restaurant there. I met my wife in Mexico and brought her back to the states (legally) with me. Apart from all this I have had 5 or 6 speeding tickets in my life, Im 29. Do I have a decent shot of passing the background check, or should I reenlist?

  28. Avatar


    Thanks for the initial answer. The clearance is Public Trust I have held this clearance since early 2006. I am currently in the process of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and should have a case number within 7-10 days. I am a contractor on a current Fed contract (Public Trust) and considering moving to another Fed contract also public trust. I have not filled out another SF85P since early 2006 and I have worked off and on on Fed contracts requiring Public Trust. When I start a contract the security officer has OPM fax (something) and I am cleared that day. This has occured at two agencies/contracts over the last three years. Do I wait until I am reevaluated and when asked inform re:Chapter 13. Or go in to my security officer now and inform. I need my job right now and clearance because I am just getting back on my feet financially.

  29. Avatar

    My FSO told me that my re-investigation for a Top Secret clearance closed on 10 April. Is closed different from adjudicated? Does this mean that my clearance isnt “official” yet?

  30. Avatar


    Because you have not received a permanent badge, I question whether you have a final Public Trust clearance. There are no overarching government rules concerning reciprocity of Public Trust clearances. Each federal agency has its own policy about accepting or not accepting such clearances issued by other agencies. There is no overarching government policy regarding periodic reinvestigations for Public Trust clearances, except for some IT positions. In fact federal agencies are not even required (only encouraged) to designate contractor positions as High-Risk or Moderate-Risk Public Trust. All of this simply means that there are no government-wide rules that apply to contractors in Public Trust positions. This includes rules about self-reporting adverse information.

    I suggest you contact your security manager and ask it if you have a final Moderate-Risk or High Risk Public Trust clearance, whether your position requires any periodic reinvestigation and if so when, and ask for a copy of any written instructions on self-reporting adverse information.

    If it turns out that you must report your bankruptcy, I suggest you read my 3-part article on Personal Finances and Security Clearances at

  31. Avatar

    Probably never for a contractor employee and very rarely for a government employee. Military presents a unique situation because of the fraudulent enlistment issue, where the matter is referred to the applicant’s commander for resolution before a decision is made regarding the clearance. If the applicant is kicked out of the military, a clearance decision is not made because of “loss of jurisdiction.”

  32. Avatar

    Must the adjudication process wait for settlement of a DWI charge (conviction and probation or acquittal)? It would appear that all facts are in front of them but perhaps they need something else?

  33. Avatar

    I just received my SF-86 for a SECRET Clearance but had a question regarding the 7 year scope of the investigation.
    10 years ago in 1999, I had a wonderful ex-wife and a nasty divorce and she decided not to pay our last bill. The bill was sent to a collection agency for 50 dollars. I immediately payed it once I received the notice. Also, it have been a few years since it does not show up on my credit report.

    I have place this information on my last investigations because it did fall within the scope of the investigation and I was cleared but this new investigation no longer falls in the scope. Do I have to still have to provide this information to the SF-86 and the Investigator even though it happened 10 years ago and not 7 years?

    Please let me know I just think I should not provide any more info. than what is requested on the form…Please help

  34. Avatar

    dz78q and Maureen,
    Take a look at question 21 on the SF-86. This is the question regarding mental health counseling. The instructions explain what should and should not be listed. Then look at the medical release for the SF-86 and that will tell you what questions we initially ask regarding mental health counseling.
    At no time do investigators ever contact a SUBJECT’s insurance company about mental health questions.
    Also so no one complains about violating a SUBJECT’s medical privacy which has occurred in the past on this board you will see that the medical release needs to be signed by the SUBJECT. If additional questions are needed to be asked to the mental health provider a specific release is obtained which is also signed by the SUBJECT under investigation. By signing these two forms the SUBJECT under investigation is authorizing us as investigators to ask questions to their mental health provider so they can obtain a clearance. Any SUBJECT under investigation for a clearance should understand that some of their privacy is going to be invaded. If one doesn’t want their privacy invaded one should not apply for a job which requires a security clearance.

  35. Avatar

    I have conducted security clearance investigations on individuals as young as 17 who were going into the military. I know of some individuals who did internships during h/s that needed some time of clearance so they could perform their internship.

  36. Avatar

    Engineer 616,
    Check out Guidelines E G and H of the
    Adjudicative Guidelines For Determining Eligibility For Access To Classified Information. Guideline E discusses personal conduct which may cover your terminations from your past employers. Guideline G discusses alcohol use. Guideline H discusses drug use.

  37. Avatar

    I think it all depends on the agency granting the clearance. I am working a case right now in which they are holding off making the final clearance decision for this individual until she goes to court in June. She was arrested in late March and the case is not going trial until June. The agency wants to know the disposition of the trial before they decide if they should grant her a clearance or not.

  38. Avatar

    Check out Guideline I of the Adjudicative Guidelines For Determining Eligibility For Access To Classified Information. It discusses Psychological Conditions.
    As for your ex saying bad things about you. If she is interviewed keep in mind we look at the “whole person concept”. If she is the only one saying bad things about you and everyone else has positive things to say then an adjudicator and or security officer will see that.

  39. Avatar

    Look at Guideline B of the Adjudicative Guidelines For Determining Eligibility For Access To Classified Information. It discusses Foreign Influence.

  40. Avatar

    I don’t mean to constantly refer everyone to the Adjudicative Guidelines For Determining Eligibility For Access To Classified Information, but it is what is used in determining a security clearance. Adjudicators and or security officers just don’t make up their minds on their own regarding granting of security clearances. They read the information investigators obtain and follow these guidelines with the info obtained.

  41. Avatar

    Maureen: No, you are not obligated to report such information about a person who does not work in the same organization as you do. Keep in mind that many people use the term “clearance” very loosely to include all manner of access authorizations, some of which may only amount to unescorted entry rights to a federal facility.

  42. Avatar

    Joshua: A foreign personal contact is only important if the person is a citizen of or resides in a country that presents a “heightened risk” of foreign exploitation and if the applicant feels bound to that person by affection, loyalty, obligation or influence. So, no you don’t have to list her on your SF86 unless you still feel bound to her by affection, obligation, or influence. I don’t think that your former Peruvian girlfriend is going to be a security concern. To a better understand of what is important and not important regarding foreign influence, you may want to read my article on this subject at

  43. Avatar

    If you start a small business, how do you maintain your security clearance? Do you have to work as a subcontractor to a larger company to have them “hold” the clearance? Or can you work directly for the government somehow?

  44. Avatar

    Thank you so much investigator, this is exactly what I have been looking for.

  45. Avatar


    I had a NACL(I assume that NACL is the same as NACLAC) opened and closed. Now I need a SSBI using the SF86. Is there some policy that states that a NACLAC investigation must be closed before the SSBI is opened? There is just some confusion where I am and I hoped to get this point clarified.


  46. Avatar

    csal: If you paid off the collection account more than 7 years ago, you do not have to list it on your SF86.

  47. Avatar

    JAR65: Your security clearance terminated when you left the job where you had the clearance. Provided certain time limits have not expired, your clearance can be reinstated. In your case you will have to enter into a contract that involves doing classified work as a consultant, contractor, or subcontractor with a government agency or cleared federal contractor. If you go the contractor or subcontractor route, you will need a Facility Security Clearance for your company, as well as a Personnel Security Clearance for yourself and any employees that need to work with classified material.

  48. Avatar

    Hi All,

    Mr. Henderson’s article on foreign influence on is excellent. I find it extremely helpful. It’s just what’s missing in his book, Secret Clearance Manual, which I bought from and read through entirely electronically before the actual book arrived in my mailbox.

    I’ve come to understand that a multitude of considerations has to be given for each case before a decision can be made. And of course, given the work load and burdens of the investigators, an element of chance is also involved.

    My primary interest is in the fact that I am applying for a secret clearance and want to find out how to best optimize my chance of getting an interim up front.

    While I have no drug, criminal, or financial concerns, I did use a foreign passport prior to becoming a citizen, in about 10 years ago. I’ve no direct non-citizen family members, or contacts.

    I guess my questions is just how unfavorable is it to have used a foreign passport in the past. Does anyone have a similar circumstance?

  49. Avatar

    Mr Henderson, I recently retired from the military with a secret clearance. I’m taking a job with a Government Contractor that will require a TS. About ten years ago my wife and I filed a chapter 13 bankruptcy, which was discharged. Since then we have not been late on one payment, bought a home, own a small business and have bought cars, etc. My concern is our past will effect our future. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  50. Avatar


    I have a few questions regarding credit history.

    1)I had three or four charged off credit card accounts about eight years ago, they are not on my credit report any more. Also had a settled account about nine years ago that is not on my credit report any more. Do I need to report these on my SF-86?

    2) I have judgment for about 4500$, If I pay it off now will it help me get my top secret now? My top secret clearance process should start in about three weeks. Judgment was filed in 2003 due to a traffic accident in 1999.

    3) I have had good credit for the last six years, no delinquent accounts, late payments etc. What are my chances of getting a top secret clearance?

  51. Avatar

    I have been given a conditional offer by a Federal Govt organization. The job has been categorized as sensitive non-critical and I have submitted a SF-86 form for security clearance.

    I am a non-US citizen with with a permanent resident application pending (I-485 stage with a Employment authorization card).

    What is the normal period for investigation of such a case? Thanks in advance.

  52. Avatar

    I recent resigned as a federal employee from the Department of Energy (DOE) and I have a Q clearance w/ HSPD12 (understanding it’s still active for 2 years provided employment).

    I’m interested in doing some contracting work and would like to transfer my Q clearance to a DoD clearance under some type of reciprocity clause between DOE and DOD. I contacted our headquarters security officer (HSO) and she stated that this was an easy process and that DOE puts there clearances into DISCO and not JPAS. She also said that whoever would pick up my clearance would need to fill out the proper paperwork to transfer/reinstate my clearance and the paper work would go through DISCO, and then to OPM, who would then send out the clearance info to the contracting agency.

    My questions is: 1. what paperwork does the company need to fill out? 2. I thought clearances went into JPAS. Does this paper have an OMB number that I could lookup/download to see an example? 3. Provided we are talking about the government, what is the expected turn around time the contracting agency should expect to get some type of feedback? 4. Does a Q clearance equal a DoD TS or DoD TS/SCI?



  53. Avatar

    I am looking at going into a position that requires a basic secret clearance in the military. 11 to 12 years ago I was charged for minor possession along with a charge for possession of paraphernalia. I’m now 27, and have not had even a speeding ticket in nearly 10 years. I am however married to a citizen of Croatia (US Permanent Resident) with no “threat” ties to Croatia (no land, no influence, no business, no government ties, etc.)

    Everything is fully disclosed on my SF-86 and I’ve already turned it in.

    My question is, will I end up seeing a SPIN or speaking with anyone in regards to this? What will it entail, and roughly how far out until it might occur?

    Very Respectfully,

  54. Avatar

    I am in the clearance process for TS/SCI without polygraph. I’ve received interim secret clearance, I’ve met with the clearance investigator, and he has talked to my friends and co-workers.

    I have a few questions:

    1. Will I or my employer be notified when the process moves to adjudication phase?
    2. What is a ballpark timeframe of when the process will move to adjudication phase?
    3. What is a ballpark timeframe of when a determination will be made regarding the granting or denial of clearance?
    4. Are there any other steps involved?

  55. Avatar

    After you became a US Citizen did you continue to use your foreign passport? If so, why? Why did you not apply to get a US passport? If you continue to use your foreign passport to which countries did you travel with it? Did you receive any privilages from the country you used the passport from even after you became a US citizen? If you still have the foreign passport are you willing to give it up?

  56. Avatar


    I am in the same situation as GusGus.

    I am a naturalized US citizen and have a current US passport. Two years ago, I decided at the last minute to attend a family wedding in Pakistan and at that time had a valid Pakistani passport as well. It was too late for me to get a Pakistani visa on my US passport so I ended up using my Pakistani passport for this trip.

    My Pakistan passport has been expired since late 2007 and I have no intention of renewing it. I have had several other trips to Europe (UK, Ireland, etc mainly as a tourist) in the last few years and have used my US passport.

    How would this impact my security clearance process. I submitted my paper SF86 about 2 weeks ago and I am waiting on a response. I did list all my travel and foreign trips but did I need to list which passport I traveled on?

  57. Avatar


    You said, “I did use a foreign passport prior to becoming a citizen, in about 10 years ago.”

    There’s nothing wrong with using a foreign passport before becoming a US citizen.

  58. Avatar


    Unless your ten-year-old chapter 13 bankruptcy was due to gambling, it will have absolutely no effect on your eligibility for a TS clearance.

  59. Avatar


    There is an NACI and an NACLC. The NACI is primarily for federal employment suitability and is also used for HSPD-12 PIV Cards. The form used for an NACI is an SF85. The NACLC is for a Secret clearance and is based on an SF86.

    There is no national policy about having two or more background investigations open at the same time, but most agencies have their own policy about it. I’m pretty sure OPM doesn’t allow more than one open investigation on the same person at the same time, so any agency using OPM would have to comply with that.

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    1. No, but your employer’s security officer should be able to access the appropriate clearance database and see what stage of clearance processing you are in. When a case closes and moves to adjudication the date is posted to your clearance database record.

    2&3. There are more than a dozen agencies that can grant a TS/SCI. All have different average turnaround times for clearance investigations and adjudications. I haven’t seen any figures for these agencies in over a year, and a lot has changed in the past 12 months.

    4. Sometimes investigations are reopened if they are deficient in some way, but usually there are no other steps involved unless the clearance is initially denied. If a clearance is initially denied, then there are rebuttal and appeal stages.

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    GusGus: I’m glad you found the article on “Foreign Influence and Security Clearances” informative. Thank you for mentioning my book, Security Clearance Manual (SCM). It wasn’t possible to explain the rationale underlying each of the 13 criteria in the Adjudicative Guidelines or provide guidance on issue mitigation in SCM without doubling the number of pages (and significantly increasing the price). Even the articles I have written on many of the 13 adjudicative criteria have not been as detailed and inclusive as I would have liked, but it’s necessary to strike a balance between being informative and didactic.

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    I’m searching for SPIN criteria or SPIN triggers across the net without much luck. I’m curious as to what causes a SPIN and what to expect if one occurs.

    My SF86 is complete and already in process and I am looking at a military commission in the near future.

    Specifically I’m wondering if my situation will generate a SPIN and if it would be one SPIN or two separate SPINs…

    11 years and 2 months ago I was charged with minor possession along with a paraphranalia charge. Clean as a whistle since with nothing more than parking tickets mostly.

    The second is that I’m married to a Croatian citizen who just received (after over 2 years of waiting) her permanent residency (non-conditional).

    Would both of these generate a SPIN? would they be done together or two separate occasions? Would they both start with me? or might they just go and interview my spouse and others.

    I’m processing for a “basic” secret.

    Your blog here is very helpful and I really appreciate the well written articles you have free of charge here.

    Very Respectfully,

  63. Avatar

    Peoplesoft –

    There’s no harm in asking your security officer to check for updates for you. Oftentimes they won’t proactively check until the clearance comes through. The squeaky wheel gets the oil.

    Like Mr. Henderson said, times vary greatly, but it took me 5 months for TS and 3 on top of that for SCI. If it’s longer than a year make sure someone is still actively working on it.

  64. Avatar


    Thank you for this site. My questions are:

    1. My investigation (NACLC) for a (S) is closed and in adjudication currently and has been in this state for roughly two months.

    What is the standard time frame for adjudication?

    2. In 2002 I was involuntarily committed to a hospital for psychiatric observation. At the time I was recently discharged from the military (medical/Injury) and living with my Mother who was dealing/using drugs (who was also losing our house and going through a divorce). I had no form of income and couldn’t work due to my injury. I had recently broken up with my girlfriend and to complicate things further my military medical records (originals) had been stolen from the Greyhound bus (along with all my military paraphernalia) I rode to home of record upon discharge.

    The V.A said that without them I couldn’t receive any form of disability compensation and the Army said they did’nt have any medical records on file. My world was a mess and I had made vague statements of harm to myself whereby my mother had me committed. In sum the diagnosis (unsurprisingly) was acute stress reaction.

    Now, I answered no to previous SF-86 mental health questions because it was due to family and grief and was not because of violence caused by myself as per the guidelines. Since the SF-86 has been revised however it now asks you to say yes if your mental health treatment was court ordered (as was mine).

    The caveat here is that this took place more than 7 years ago. Hence,out of the time frame of a secret clearance. (I have had no issues since then and continue to lead a healthy and somewhat sane life with Doctor’s giving me a clean bill of health).

    My questions in regards to # 2 are was I correct in answering “No” to the mental health questions on previous SF-86’s in which I subsequently received clearance? Since being court ordered wasn’t an issue on the 86 until Sept. 2008.

    Do I have to list this since it will be outside of the 7 year time frame on future SF-86’s for secret clearances? Obviously, for an SSBI I would have to answer yes due to it being 8 and not more than 10 years ago.

    Thank you for your time.

  65. Avatar


    I recently received a copy of my JCAVS Person Summary from a former employer, but I don’t know how to interpret the form and my former supervisor did not provide any information about what clearance I had received, since he could not interpret the form either. He has attempted to contact the company’s security manager, but he has not received a response in the last month, regarding my issue and several other issues, so they are not going to be a viable resource.

    I just need to know where to look on the form to determine what my security clearance is.

    I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Thank You

  66. Avatar

    No offense to any security officers who read or post on this board but some of them need to learn how to read the instructions on the SF-86. I don’t know how many times I have been told by a SUBJECT that they did not list an issue because their security officer told them they did not have to list this issue. Right now I am doing a handful of SPINS that would not even have to be done if the SUBJECT just listed their issue on their SF-86. Question 26E on the SF-86 asks “Have you EVER been charged with any offense related to alcohol or drugs?” This is one of the “EVER” questions. So if back in 1980 one was charged with DUI it needs to be listed. For a NACLC case if this was one’s only DUI, it was not a felony offense, they just had to pay a fine and they listed it we as investigators would not have to discuss it. Yet if it is not listed because the SUBJECT’s security officer told them they did not have to list it now we as investigators have to conduct a SPIN due to possible falsification.

  67. Avatar

    I had my clearance access temporary suspended at NSA. I had work there part time and was working at CIA full. So CIA pulled my accesses as well. I’ve never heard not one word from anyone in regards to my accessess. I’ll called DOHA and DISCO. I was told that I wasnt going to receive a SOR because my clearance wasn’t suspended or revoke. But I was never issued a reason of why my access was temporary suspended. Then I was told that my company stop sponsoring me after 8 months of investigating, so NSA stated that they had to close they investigation as unresolved. But NSA still failed to give me a reason of why they temporary suspended my accesses. So I never received any notification from CIA as well, I was never debrief from CIA but I was debriefed from NSA for over a year now.

  68. Avatar

    In 2003 I had to undergo a three-session psychiatric assessment to qualify for an overseas position. This assessment was required because I had attended counseling sessions for about 2 months in 2000.

    Because this was an assessment, rather than treatment, am I required to put it down on the SF-86?


  69. Avatar


    I echo your sentiment. For the longest time last year, prior to the new form being released, a lot of my cases were being processed and scheduled without the SF medical release. The security officers were reviewing the SF86 and, when there was a “no” to question 21 regarding mental health treatment, they were not scanning in the release. I only didn’t catch it once, with the result being a subject recontact, when the case was totally completed, well after everything should have gone through, in order for me to obtain and send in the SF medical release. After that I always double checked that the release had been submitted.

    The subjects would tell me that they turned all their paperwork in the security office, only to be given back the medical release because they were told it wasn’t needed for their case.

  70. Avatar

    Would a misdemeanor (first time) DWI plea that involved some jail time (5 days, that’s how tough laws are nowdays) on top a fine have an impact on a security investigation? In other words- does the actual jail time have an adverse effect?

  71. Avatar

    More information is going to be needed besides what you just provided. How long ago did this DWI happen? Then details about your past present and future use of alcohol need to be known. Did you drive intoxicated or under the influence of alchol before the time you got arrested but just never got caught? Have you driven intoxicated or under the influence or alcohol since this DWI arrest? Has your use of alcohol affected any aspects of your home life or work life? Any recommended counseling or actual counseling due to your alcohol use? These are just some of the questions that would be asked. There are many factors that are considered besides just being arrested and serving jail time for DWI.

  72. Avatar

    I am applying for an internship that requires that I fill out SF-86; I believe it is for Secret clearance. 3 years ago while I was in college, I was arrested for shoplifting (item was of small value, approx $10). The prosecutor agreed to amend the charge to a “disorderly persons” municipal ordinance violation, which is what I eventually pled guilty to. My penalty was a $150 fine. A year ago I successfully applied to have the municipal ordinance violation and original arrest expunged.

    I have no other “blemishes” on my record before or after; no financial problems, drug use, alcohol problems, etc. I am otherwise an upstanding citizen, involved in community service and so on. However, since this was a crime of “moral turpitude,” I am concerned I will be denied clearance. What do you think?

    Also, I was told that it is a good idea to clarify on my forms that my family and friends are aware of this offense and thus I cannot be “blackmailed” to keep the offense secret. Is this a mitigating factor?

    Thank you.

  73. Avatar

    William and CE,

    Thanks for the info.

  74. Avatar

    I am very confused about the difference between Critical Sensitive, High Risk Public Trust Position, and the various background investigation forms. Originally, I was told that my position was Critical Sensitive and I was required to complete an SF-86 for a Full Field Background Investigation (not a SSBI). I answered the questions going back 7 years (that is why I know it was not for a SSBI, which is 10 years). After I was hired, my personnel file indicated that I was in a High Risk Public Trust position. The SF-50 I received also indicated that the position is a High Risk Public Trust position. If this is the case, why was I originally told it was a Critical Sensitive position (which, I think, means a security clearance is required)? Doesn’t a High Risk Public Trust position only require the completion of a SF-85P?

  75. Avatar


    Did they interview anyone at your work or friends and neighbors? If you got a BI–the SF 86 is used.

  76. Avatar

    Mike: You are correct. An investigation for a High-Risk Public Trust position is usually an LBI or BI (not SSBI) and requires an SF85P or an SF85P-S. An investigation known as a PTSBI can be required in place of the BI, but the PTSBI is rarely used. I don’t know why you were misinformed.

    Some positions are designed both national security and public trust in which case an SF86 is always used because a security clearance is needed in addition to public trust clearance. Check out the investigative chart at resources page of my website for more detailed information.

  77. Avatar

    Jim: The punishment for a criminal offense really doesn’t matter, unless you exceed 365 day on a felony offense in which case the Bond Amendment kicks in for SCI, SAP, and RD access.

    Adjudicators should be concern with conduct not outcomes. It’s what a person does that count, not whether they were caught, prosecuted, jailed, given probation, fined, etc. Of course if they are convicted of a criminal offense, it is important whether the person complies with all provisions of his sentence.

  78. Avatar

    I’m going to be filling out the paperwork for an interim Secret clearance soon. My official records are clean – no police record, no financial problems, and no foreign issues. However there are undocumented crime and drug issues I wish to bring up.

    I’m 23. In a roughly 12 month period during 2004-2005 I shoplifted 4 times for a total of $20 and tried marijuana twice. I then sought counseling and was treated for depression in early 2006. The depression was partly linked to my resentment over the person I had become. I overcame the depression and now consider myself a new person.

    Although my records show nothing I want to bring these things up (there’s a place to attach extra documents in eQIP, right?) since I don’t want to live a lie by excluding them. I’m more than willing to sign a statement saying I’ll never do drugs or steal again and I’ll lose my clearance, job, etc. if I do. I’ve been down that road and I don’t want to go back.

    If anybody could offer any insight or advice on how to make the most of this process I’d very much appreciate it. Thank you for your time.

  79. Avatar

    A quick follow-up: it may be that I need to fill out the SF-85P rather than the SF-86. I have noticed that the SF-85P says to list criminal offenses that have happened in the last 7 years, but makes no reference to whether or not you need to list matters that have been expunged. On the other hand, the SF-86 states explicitly that expunged matters must be revealed. Does that mean the SF-85P does _not_ require you to list expunged matters?

    If using the SF-85P, will the investigators/ adjudicators dealing with your case be able to see (and take into account) the expunged matters on your record regardless of whether or not you list them? In other words, would it be better to disclose it anyway?

  80. Avatar

    When I was in a Civil Affairs (USAR) unit, I submitted my SF86 for for a clearance. There was an issue with a credit card on my report. I filed information stating that I was going to repay back, etc etc. Then I transfered units to an Army National Guard Infantry unit, that does not require a clearance. Anymore, the missions we go on, require clearances. After doing some digging, I found that my clearance I applied for in 2003 came back “ineligible” Now, my credit is worse than ever due to unemployment, and I am being told that my next mission requires a clearance. I want to know, if Im declared ineligible, will I ever get one again? With my credit being so bad because of unemployment, what are my options for appeasing the investigator to get a clearance. As is, we are looking at filing bankruptcy, but ive been told its a clearance killer…please advise on what to do?

  81. Avatar

    I am in the Af Reserves and just obtained a Secret clearance in Jan 09. I also just filed a Ch 7 BK (Apl 09) because of a failed business (SBA loan w/ personal guaranty). Therefore, most of the debt was non-consumer debt – I’ve never had a problem with debt before now. I have a very clean background as far as anything else (the whole person concept) is concerned except for some late payments the last few months. I know under Guideline F that a business downturn could be a mitigating circumstance, but since it is so recent, how will this likely affect me?

    Also, I might be going back on active duty and might require a TS clearance and was wondering how a recent Ch 7 BK might affect this? Does being an officer affect things one way or the other?

  82. Avatar

    Hello, I’m former U.S air force and held a secret clearance in the past about 5 years ago(not sure if it matters) but have been living overseas in South Korea and Thailand teaching English and going to university for the past 4 years.I got married to a Thai citizen as well.I have had under 5k in credit card debt but have fully paid it off over a year ago.

    I just got offered a job in Iraq that requires i get a secret clearance.

    Will any of the above deny me that clearance? and if so how can i mitigate any of the above problems i might face.

    thanks a lot you guys are a real great help to a lot of us.

  83. Avatar

    I currently hold a moderate risk public trust position and was recently suspended because someone at work said that I threatened them. If the company fires me or gets the agency we work for to say that they do not want me on the premises any longer and therefore must fire me will that keep me from being able to obtain another clearance in the future? Also on the other hand if they do not fire me and put a reprimand in my file and in the near future I leave for another job that requires the same type of clearance how do I make sure that I report what they are going to tell the investigator?

  84. Avatar

    Can I be denied a clearance for 2 credit cards I had financial trouble with due to lack of work, (one was for $200 and the other was for $500?

    I made restitution on the $500 card and it shows it on my credit report; however, the $200 card got charged off and I called the bank to make restitution for it and they told me the account had been charged-off and closed. there was nothing else that could be done about it.

    Will I still be denied even though I paid off the biggest one and the smallest card got charged off?

  85. Avatar

    Hello. I am currently looking into getting into OCS for the Army Guard. I have to get my security clearance. I went over seas back a few years ago to Iraq, and when I got back I had to go to the doctor for my lower back. He put me on Hydrocodone, and I was on them for almost two years prescription. I decided one day a couple years ago to get off of them, and I started seeing a mental health doctor to get prescription Suboxone. I am currently still on a small dosage, but I have not touched a painkiller in over 2 years. By reporting this on my packet, will that effect me getting my clearance? Thanks.

  86. Avatar

    Anyone please help. I’m going in for an interview for the SSA insurance specialist position and I have troubled credit. Before getting married I filed for chapter 7 due to over whelming debt due to job lost because of a termination. Married 2 years later reestablished my credit was able to purchase a home and multiple cars then my wife got a new job with lower pay because she was extremely unhappy in her previous place of employment we just had a new baby and the expenses added up while income went down we also fell to a mortgage modification scam and lost about 3000 dollars on lawyers fees and fell way behind on our mortgage and all other debt we have since filed a chapter 13 and looking to pay off the debt through the bankruptcy. My student loan also fell in default and I since called and started the process to establish a payment plan by completing a financial status form for an affordable payment. The position I’m applying for is non sensitive I believe. I have worked for local government for almost 8 years with zero problems at all. Please help thanks.

  87. Avatar


    I currently hold secret clearance with the DoD. I work at a large defense contractor as an engineer and plan on moving to Texas to a different defense contracting company 6 months from now that would require, at minimum, maintaining my secret clearance or getting TS.
    I just receive a DUI misdomeanor (first offense ever) a month ago and currently in the process of being sentenced. Worst case senario is I receive 18 month interlock on my vehicle, misdomeanor, and probation.
    Would moving now, before sentencing be a good idea or should I wait for the court date/sentencing? Would the 6 month move be too soon (how long should I wait)? Also, would the 18 month interlock be considered as part of the probationary period which would deny my application to the company or for TS clearance?

    And other info you can give would be much appreciated!

  88. Avatar

    Hi when i was 19 i signed up for the army, but i went awol after being in for two months. i have an oth discharge because of it. i have since became a corrections officer and want to continue my career in law enforcement. will my oth show up if i apply for border patrol since it did not for my current position.

    • Avatar

      You are assuming it did not show up, but it may have and was adjudicated to not have been a serious enough concern to address. You also did not state whether you disclosed this information for your current job, but in the event you did not, then that would be a serious issue. There is nothing to prevent you from applying for other jobs, but make sure you are entirely truthful about disclosing this information when required.

  89. Avatar

    You are assuming it did not show up, but it may have and was adjudicated to not have been a serious enough concern to address. You also did not state whether you disclosed this information for your current job, but in the event you did not, then that would be a serious issue. There is nothing to prevent you from applying for other jobs, but make sure you are entirely truthful about disclosing this information when required.

    • Avatar

      I know its been awhile since you replied to my posting, but no i did not disclose it on my application. i checked no that i have never served in the armed forces. im always nervous i wont even have a chance at a position due to one mistake almost 10 years ago. will it hold me back from getting a clearance if im honest on my application since it was so long ago. i want to finish my degree but dont know if this will hold me back from jobs that require a clearance

  90. Avatar

    Have you ever heard of anyone being “given the opportunity to withdraw their candidacy” before being issued a clearance denial? This was offered to me about a week before the security investigation for my State Dept internship timed out, supposedly so that the denial wouldn’t go on my record. Do you think that this is a special consideration, given the limited timeframe for clearance for an internship, or that this would also have happened if I were applying for a full-time position?

  91. Avatar


    I have been working in DLA for almost five years and would like to do some traveling since I am single and have no children.My job is non-sensitive in nature and would like to see if my old derogatory credit will have some effect in getting a non-sensitive critical/secret clearance. I had pay all debts on time for the past 8 years with no issues whatsoever. Also, I would like to know if there are jobs overseas with non sensitive clearance. I have a great job and work with the best people here in Columbus. But for some unknown reason I feel stagnant and there is no upward mobility. I am trying to find a job overseas with the agency. Any feedback is appreciated. Best of luck to all.

  92. Avatar


    I’ve held a security clearance since 2007. During my first clearance process I omitted the fact that I had sold a ritalin pill (my own prescription) to a friend once during college. I should have revealed this under the section dealing with drug use and selling drugs but reasoned at the time that I wasn’t really selling drugs, it was my own prescription, etc etc. I realized later this was dumb but didn’t really know how to handle it.

    Now, 7 years later I’ve been re-investigated and have my TS clearance still and the last form didn’t require information far enough back to cover the incident. My question is how do I handle this going forward?

    I’m now having my clearance upgraded to a TS SCI and expect I’ll have to have a polygraph though not full scope. I don’t know if the questions will even cover something like this… but either way, is there someone I should be coming clean to?

  93. Avatar


    I have held a security clearance since 1999. Secret from 1999 – 2009, and TS/SSBI from 2009 to now (2014). The problem I have is that since my last TS/SSBI investigation in 2009, my family has had some serious financial problems due to dual unemployment for both myself and my spouse at the same time in 2009. We had a previous home which we couldn’t sell due to the downturn in the market. We had that house rented, but the renter stopped paying and with NO household income between the two of us, we had to let the house go into foreclosure. We did fall behind in our mortgage payments on our primary residence, but have since caught up on that. We had 2 credit cards that ended up going to charge-off because we had to prioritize, and the mortgage and cars came first. Fast forward to 2013 when I was again laid-off from a job and I was the primary breadwinner. The credit card that we were still making payments on even during the 2009 layoffs, has gone into serious delinquency status. I was just offered a new job, and immediately started a payment plan on that credit card, but of course it reflects poorly on my report. My TS clearance expired 1 day before I began the new job, so a re-investigation is now underway. I do have a plan to repay the credit card, and have already made a payment plan agreement with the credit card company. But, nevertheless, I have credit issues on my credit report. I listed all this info in my SF86. Is it even possible that I will be granted a new TS clearance? Can they deny my TS application outright, or will an investigator meet with me first? Will the fact that I have held an active clearance since 1999 with no security incidents, and the fact that I have no other negative info other than the financial issues factor in at all?

    Thanks for your help!

  94. Avatar

    I am waiting to speak with a BP background investigator soon and have a question to ask. I know BP disqualifies candidates based on association with individuals who have been convicted or involved in illegal activity. If my parents have been divorced and I have minimal contact with my father who was arrested about 9-10 years ago with possession of marijuana, will this make me ineligible? I probably speak with him no more than 10 times a year, just a quick hello and hows it going.

    • Avatar

      It is unlikely that it would affect your application for employment, and most likely won’t even come up.

  95. Avatar

    Does anyone know how long OPM keeps SF86 data on file before destroying it or getting rid of it?

  96. Avatar

    Currently Im going through a SSBI for my new agency previously I held a secret . while meeting with the investigator I was informed of a debt one of the schools stated I owed them. My attendence was from 2008 to 2009 in which case they would not release my records. There is nothing on my credit report to indicating this claim. I tried calling the school and have been passed on to several departments for which no one is returning my calls. Im confused about the debt since all of my schooling was paid using financial aid which are deferred until the middle of this year. In the meantime what am I to do and will my clearance be denied?

    • Avatar

      Book fees, lab fees, etc….are separate from the financial aid you may have received. It seems odd that no one at the school wants to help you resolve it, but regardless, it should not be an issue that would prevent you form getting cleared.

  97. Avatar

    Hi; I don’t know if you are still answering questions on this board but had a couple of questions. Over ten years ago I was active duty army and held a top secret clearance with ssi; back then I was really clean no issues with law, medical or financial. I got out of the army and due to my geographic location could not find a job with the government where I could utilize my clearance. I ended up just working retail and office jobs. In addition I currently have no issues with medical or the law; however my finances are a mess. I have about 7-10 accounts in collections; some are small amounts about 850 and the others range from $1000 up to $9,000. The majority of these are credit cards. I realize it is irresponsible behavior on my part and I’d considered filing for Bankruptcy in the past, but I read somewhere that if you have a car that is still being paid off that it can be used as collateral. I was weary about filing bankruptcy if the car had a possibility of being taken away; so as of right now I have not filed for bankruptcy. Mainly due to that I really feel like I do owe the money back and partially because I didn’t want to risk losing my car in the bankruptcy process. I filled out the SF85P and I don’t have any federal debt that had been delinquent but I did include all of my non federal debt and my plan to pay it off although at this time I’m unable to pay or have arrangements with every single debt I owe; I just don’t have enough income right now to do so. I did make arrangements with three of the debts that I owe, but it was after I filled out the SF85P, I did make it clear recently in an email to the adjucating team via email that once those 3 debts are paid I will pay off 3 more debts I owe and then continue on until everything is paid off. This is my issue right now. I applied for and recd a job offer that my understanding is that it is a High Risk Public Trust position. I cannot start on the job until I’m cleared. I filled out the SF85P towards the end of August and hadn’t heard anything; to my knowledge my contacts (references) or work places in the past haven’t been contacted nor have I been contacted for a personal interview. I emailed the person who had been my contact for fingerprints, etc and they had responded and told me that my case had been sent to adjucators and I would need to follow up with them. The email I got back was that DHS is in the process of reviewing your background paperwork for entrance on duty; do I have your permission to send you a formal letter regarding your case via email? Please respond as soon as possible as your case is delayed pending receipt…I can’t imagine that this letter will be a positive one. Would you have any insight on to one this letter might be? In addition if I’m found not suited for the job due to my financial situation; what steps would you advise in the year I would have to wait to my financial issue? I would have to sit down and do the math, but I currently am paying close to $500 per month to three of the debts and I expect them to be paid off in 6 months. I can then pay some of the smaller ones and have those paid in a couple of months and then be paying 3 more and have those paid in 6 months. I imagine that in a years time I should have the majority of the debt I owe paid off if I stick to the close to $500 a month figure; or do you recommend that I file for bankruptcy instead…thanks so much for your help….

  98. Avatar

    @An, it is not clear based on what you have written as to whether DHS is still pre-screening your application or whether they released it to OPM to start the investigation. A new BI for a High Risk Public Trust position takes longer than 2-3 months to complete, so the question to ask is have they actually started the BI. It is unusual for them to be conversing with you about financial issue prior to the closing of the investigation, perhaps they are still trying to determine whether it is worth the cost and effort in the event you are not found suitable for the position. Although bankruptcy is a legal tool to use in discharging debt, the cause of the debt is more important. Sounds like you are on the right track, but I would not be surprised if an adverse decision is made in your case.