Hi, I will be going through my 5 year top secret “q” clearance reinvestigation soon and I had a couple of charge offs and collection accounts that have been paid off but are on my credit report. This is stressing me out. Should I be overly concerned?
The collections that are paid off will not be a major problem. You will have to explain why you fell behind and what steps you took while you were paying them off.
Charge offs are another story. A charge off means that the creditor is no longer trying to collect the debt but they have NOT forgiven it. You still owe that money. You might want to consider getting on payment plans with those creditors. If there are more than one and you can’t afford plans for all of them, put together a plan. Get a payment plan with the smallest and you can explain that you are going to attack them one at a time.
Be proactive! Don’t wait until your reinvestigation starts or, worse yet, you receive an SOR, before you start acting.
To piggy back on what @EdFarmerIII said… If it appears to an adjudicator that the only reason you are addressing your financial difficulties is due to investigation… it won’t look good.
Thank you ed I have already settled them and they are all zero balance. Should I still be panicking?
Nope . . . That’s exactly where you want to be. You may have to explain how and why these ended up on your credit report but you shouldn’t have a problem.
The important factors are: 1) did you report the financial issue to your security office as they occurred and 2) did you report them on your security questionnaire.
These two simple steps eliminate the bulk of worry you would have in the PR.
Should I report these or wait until my reinvestigation next year?
If your wages weren’t garnished, and you didn’t file for bankruptcy, then you don’t need to report it now. Put it down when you fill out SF86 again.
Guidelines state to report bankruptcy and judgements which neither occurred. Should I be ok waiting?
Most Agencies require anything that would have been reported on the EQIP/SF 86 to have been reported right away - Collections are reportable right away. So, yes, report these issues right away.
Your situation is a huge reason Agencies are trying to go to continuous evaluation.
I work for DOE. I guess my question is if I have already paid them off and the guidelines state what is reportable, why would I have to report them? Please help as this issue is taking over my whole thought process.
DOE requires financial issues to be reported. You are required to report them as they occur because you slide into the risk pool - reporting the issue shows compliance with rules and that you are not hiding your issues.
From your last statement, your resolved your financial issue but now you created a personal conduct issue because you don’t follow the security rules.
Having held a DOE clearance in the past, I know the annual security training tells you to report status changes and events from the SF86 to security. The easiest way to remember self reporting is when the event would have been reportable on the SF86, you have to report it to your security office.
The choice is yours to make.
I see your point. Thank you. I should report them now even though most of them occurred between the end of 2016 through 2017?
I do agree with reporting it but wouldn’t this trigger an investigation before my 5 year reinvestigation is due?