Confused by Clearance Sponsorship Refusal

I am a recent college grad in a STEM field, and quite confused to be told by a sponsor that I pose a difficult time getting a clearance. Can someone advise as to what I could do or how long I have to wait to have this mitigated? Will every employer have the same risk assessment to getting a clearance?

I think the worst was a ($280) debt that went into collections because the bill was going to a school address while I was on an internship for two semesters and was hired full-time afterwards, never returning back to school, thus never finding this bill until it showed up in my credit report! Paid it off immediately upon finding it though. Found it about half a year ago though, so it is pretty recent.

Saw a doctor once cause I was overwhelmed with too much on my plate for a good year with school, work and some classes, so I was given something for anxiety (1-2 years ago).

Other than that, it’s just your typical college kid stuff: 4-5 years ago, I had an incident of underage drinking, and there was no official police involvement at all (no police record, just my school involved), which made me dry since. I tried pot once and never again (4-5 years ago), otherwise no drug involvement. Of course, illegal downloading of music and movies during college (stopped 2 years ago).

I am a US citizen, born and raised, and never had any passport with any other country. I know some foreign nationals due to the company I work for employing people on work visas, and meeting some through school. I traveled to some Caribbean islands (not Cuba) and Canada twice.

Can someone explain to me what is the red flag and what can be done about it, if anything at all?

Omg, worried about downloading music, really? The worse thing u mention is anxiety. Ur clearance will go through just fine. Now stop being paranoid.

I am not paranoid. I am not getting a chance at going for the clearance either. I received a clearance sponsorship rejection from a defense contractor for this recently. Difficulty being able to be cleared for their programs was the reason for the rejection during a pre-screening before going for an interview with the company. The anxiety? Really? I thought finance snafus was the most common reason for clearance rejections, and the recentness of the event making that much worse.

Also, I got asked by a federal agency (different company) three times for amounts and monetary value of my downloading (during polygraphs), including writing it down on a paper I needed to sign and date. Seemed like a big deal to them.

The issues you described do impact getting TS/SCI access, which is what it sounds like you were trying to do. A lot depends on the granting agency and their threshold of issues like illegal drug use, alcohol abuse, and anxiety. Time is the only mitigator and if no new issues pop up in a year or two then you should be able to relieve any concerns.

So stop being so honest, dummy. It’s a very simsimple solution, amigo. Now stop overanalyzing the clearance process and go do your job.

Was your poly CI or full-scope?

dkr35, that poly was full-scope. The CI portion was the easy part! I was under the impression you confess to everything stupid you’ve ever done and as a result no one has anything they can blackmail you with and you can join the company, but that is not the case at all. “Leave your baggage here and get on the plane” said the polygraph examiner. That was a TS/SCI. Pretty sure I don’t want to go for another until I am well into my 30s!

Marko Hakamaa, thank you for the feedback! I wasn’t told the level of the most recent, but the pre-screen was asking in the past 7 years, so I assumed it was for a secret level clearance. So I would have a decent chance in another half a year to distance myself from everything by at least one year?

issuedetector, some of us were brought up to be honest individuals. Aren’t many rejections just for investigators finding out you lied on the SF-86?

Happy holidays, everyone!

I have an excellent (780) credit score, never missing a payment otherwise and fixing that financial hiccup with a bill being sent to the wrong address which made it go into collections, so it doesn’t show on my credit report. Do I need to disclose that a bill went into collections if it did because the billing agency was sending the bill to a wrong address and upon finding it, I paid it in full, and explained the situation to the collection agency which prompted them to contact all three bureaus and ask that the derogatory mark be taken off and there is no evidence on my credit report?

Is it considered drug and/or alcohol abuse if it was all just once and several years ago? Funnier part was it was only one alcoholic drink that night. Aren’t those mitigated due to the amount of time already passed? After 4 years?

I filed local taxes late twice. Once because I didn’t know about it (previous state I lived at didn’t have local taxes), but upon getting the notice, I filed. Second time, the tax service I used didn’t do it, and I found it after the final filing date. I filed late, but I did file. Honest mistakes. I actually took a tax prep course on my own accord after the second time to make sure I learned everything about tax prep and didn’t let this happen again, and determined not letting this happen again. Not sure if this matters for the SF-86, and if time is the only mitigation factor, how long do you have to wait?

…I’ve learned my lesson; I won’t be an overachiever and then end up talking to a shrink about stress or anything for that matter, ever again.

I found a nickel on the ground today and did not seek its rightful owner. Do I need to admit this on my sf86?

Ash10 sounds just ss foolish.

I admitted to everything stupid I have ever done in great detail (a few polys, psych, interviews, detailed questionnaires) to a 3 letter already and believe I got an adverse suitability determination at the end; definitely a offer withdrawal a few months ago. Doesn’t the information from THAT investigation which involved submitting to them a SF-86, with the three letter get pulled up in subsequent investigations even if it never reached a DoD CAF, since I now have a file with that three letter agency? Seems the OPM knows about that three letter having information on me after seeking a FOIA/PA request, they were mentioned, but I have no idea if that is a generic thing or not to have that particular agency listed. Other than that, I didn’t get any other records and the DoD CAF claims to have no records on me. Not sure where that puts that previous SF-86, but that was to extreme detail. I know a few people got contacted by an investigator for that investigation.

Assuming I don’t move and have another investigation for a different company (fed or contractor), wouldn’t the same investigator come for the second time and notice the change in the SF-86 as well?

You are correct. Have u considered the option of being financially responsible? That way there is no need in you being at this blog.

Correct to what, exactly? Honestly, vI wasn’t aware I wasn’t financially responsible to begin with.

I am in the process of downloading aerosmith, gratis. What’s your question again, ash10?

@Issuedetector, as in the other post, if you wish to continue on this blog in offering your expertise and advice, I ask that you clean up your comments and be a bit more professional. Not everyone has the knowledge or experience regarding security clearance processes.

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Sorry. Just being helpful.


I find issuedetector’s responses LMAO funny and accurate. He has the investigator’s view on this stuff which is limited to that level. He never sees the adjudication level. So the answers are relative to his Subjects.

Also, I don’t have full confidence that some of the people asking the questions are being fully upfront about an issue. They might be characterizing it in the most favorable terms as a sort of trial balloon to see if how they present it will be acceptable. I’ve had Subjects chararcterize something in a very minor way and only after I came back to it a few times (got a sense there might be something there) did I end up with a C or D issue.

Toby, thanks for you post, and I understand he is looking at it from the guy on the ground point of view. I have also been an investigator and an adjudicator, and always take the information people present to me with a grain of salt. Hence, my advice is based only on what they choose to present. We can all provide advice in a straightforward and humorous manner without being insulting or degrading. That will help avoid pissing contests and nonsensical arguments that digress from what the actually point was.

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I am still curious as to what happens to all the information collected by that three letter agency including that SF-86 and polygraphs, and psych evals, that I didn’t pass suitability for, if I were to undergo another investigation by a completely separate company, when an FOIA request from the DoD CAF and OPM revealed they never received any SF-86 from that three letter agency. The DoD CAF said they had nothing on me, and so did the OPM, but the OPM made mention that the three letter might have information on me. Not sure if that is a generic response and coincidence, or not, from the OPM.

What happens in the next investigation for a different company that requires a clearance in this case? Does the previous SF-86 and other information get used and compared?

How are investigators chosen for investigations? By location of the person under investigation or by the company that is asking for the investigation, or some other manner?

Without knowing the specifics of the agency and what they actually did, there is no way to advise you on your questions. With the Intelligence Community having to disclose and share more information with other agencies due to recent clearance reforms there is always the possibility that the information you submitted will come out. I have seen cases where the FBI shared illegal drug use information on applicants who previously applied for a position with them.
Cases are assigned to investigators based on which agency is requesting the investigation and the geographic region of the work that needs to be done. No one investigator does the entire case, only the bits and parts that are located in his/her geographic area.

Marko kinda right, maybe. If your entire case limited to a single geographic area, residence, employment, etc., then only 1 investigator will be involved. But in any event, the FI who interviews you will be the quarterback of entire case.

Rarely does an old sf86 come into play, but that does not give u permission to lie. Just be honest. Unless ur a felon, u will get cleared.