Offer Rescinded - Bother to re-apply?

TS - IC. Pretty disappointed. I was upfront with everything on the SF-86… people who were interviewed spoke highly of me. My only guess as to why would be my credit report … still recovering from 2015 bankruptcy. I would like to reapply in a year and continue to improve my credit. Do people in my position re-apply and actually get through the second time?

July 2018 - Interviewed

July 2018 - CJO

Aug 2018 - SF-86 Submitted

Dec 2018 - Medical/Poly

Jan 2019 - Credit pulled (155 days after submitting SF-86)

Jan 2019 - Personal reference interviewed

Jan 2019 - Colleagues interviewed

Feb 2019 - FedEx Letter - Rescinded based on “information you provided us or was otherwise obtained during your processing.” Not open to appeal, no other information will be provided. May re-apply one year from the date of the letter.

How did you know the credit was checked? I’ve gone through two different SSBIs and not once was I notified of my credit being pulled.

Hi… I received a letter from two different credit reporting agencies writing that my credit had been pulled for employment.

It’s a soft pull. It only shows up on your annual credit report.

How is the recreational drug use or arrest history? Two biggest reasons will be recreational use that is too current, and finances below at least a fair rating. I will not submit people under a 650. Are there many who would clear? Yes. But it is an uphill climb. I guarantee you can overcome a denial for bad credit if your score has recovered and you are current on all bills. Keep in mind the behavior prior to a bankruptcy and that following is critical to showing you changed your ways.

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Thank you for responding. Yes, recreational drug use over ten years ago… sporadic. No arrests, although I was charged with a misdemeanor (driving 81 in a 70mph zone) which was reduced to an infraction in 2017. I don’t think I did a good job providing context to earlier experiences and demonstrating how different my life is now. I just disclosed everything. I plan to reapply.

They may have a timeline they work with regarding those charges. I often will hold off submitting a person if they are close to being in tolerance. As long as I believe I am submitting an honest form…

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kayNay: I recommend that you don’t guess at why they rejected you. Submit a FOIPA request for all documents they relied upon to make their decision. There may be something in the documents that point to another reason for rejection under employment suitability/fitness criteria.


Thank you. I did submit a FOIPA request. Not sure how long that will take. Just throwing my energy into things I want to improve regardless.

My question is: Do people who have been denied in the manner that I was get through when they reapply…

Some people are able to successfully reapply after being rejected for employment or denied security clearance. I have had clients who were denied security clearance and successfully reapplied a year or more later. I’ve also had clients who were rejected based on an agency’s unfavorable employment fitness determination and successfully reapplied. But some disqualifying conditions can take several years before they can be mitigated.

You quoted the letter you received as saying: “May re-apply one year from the date of the letter.” This might be a one-year debarment from agency employment, which must be listed on any future SF86. I recommend you check with the agency and ask if you have been debarred from employment with them. Normally agencies use the word “debarment,” when they impose a debarment.

Since there are no government-wide procedural due process requirements for employment fitness determinations and because the adjudicative standards at Title 5 CFR 302.203 are so vague they’re almost worthless, some IC agencies can be very arbitrary, capricious, and fickle in their handling of employment fitness determinations. I wrote an article about his several years ago, which might be useful ( ).

Once you receive a response to your FOIPA request, you can contact me for an assessment, but be aware that some agencies are extremely slow in responding to FOIPA requests.

Best regards,


William H. Henderson

Federal Clearance Assistance Service

Direct: 831-233-4340

Toll Free: 855-861-8686, ext. 2

Fax: 855-861-8686



I have a client that has a 660 score and has 20k in unresolved delinquent debt, many charge offs two collections, two repos. I don’t think that the score really matters. I also have a client with perfect credit and a 600 score.

And yet one of the two biggest causes for denial is bad credit or irresponsible credit. 660 is fair; I would submit a 660. However, once below 650 the approval rate quickly drops off. Last stats I saw, if I remember correctly, was 97% will clear down to a 650 if no other issues, 650 to 630, roughly 67% clear…under 630, 33% clear (barring other issues). If one goes below 600…for my client, the numbers are in the teens getting approved for an initial clearance under 600. Obviously your client does not view credit as stringently. Each agency has their own standards and can deny differently. Revocations on credit are more difficult…but getting initial approval with a score below 600, as I often state…the odds are greatly stacked against you. The behavior leading to credit distress and the behavior following is the bigger picture. If you have a two person working household, and one loses their job, it is understood there may be some financial stress. That is explainable. How you react to that stress and adjust tells the story. It may very well be just my applicant pool, but I doubt it…when there are significant financial issues, I often see arrests, and more drug use. And even more telling multiple attempts to contact and get them to complete or correct their forms.

As for perfect credit and a 600…I would not use that description. Obviously debt to available credit is driving that bus if there is no negative info. Clearly credit scores are used by many agencies to determine many things. Is there an actual correlation? Well, they think so. Health insurance, car insurance, and the government all feel there is enough of an indication to make decisions regarding their level of trust. If credit scores did not matter, low scores would not pay outrageous interest rates compared to those in the 800’s, the list goes on…

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Amber . . . Don’t forget, the reason that finances are by far the most common reason for denials is NOT because they look so closely at finances or because they consider finances to be so much more important. The reason is that far, far, more people have financial problems than have drug or foreign contact issues.

I cleared with a credit score in the fives . . . I expect that this is equal to clearing with heavy drug use several years back or a former Russian fiancé . . . .


I would ask if you can re-apply and when. Also, I would submit a FOIA. If you are talking about the agency I went thru the process with up in Ft. Meade, the FOIA is extensive. It might have omitted info from psych, but that’s it. Might give you clarity. It took them about 2 years to send me my FOIA.

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Thank you for the response. I submitted an FOIA. I was told I can re-apply one year from the date of the letter I received. Seems I’ll reapply before I receive the FOIA.

Hi, what level clearance did your clear?

Secret . . . I was recently offered a position that would have called for a TS but I declined as there are too many things in my past to risk my clearance on that investigation.


The adjudicative standards…I am told…are the same for both Secret and TS. But I think the risk factors for TS are certainly given a tad more concern based on the definition of severe damage or exceptionally grave damage…and many who would clear Secret…MAY not clear for a full TS. That sure sounds like I am talking out of both sides of my mouth, but I can tell you in 8 plus years with this position, and 25 plus years in other Industrial security positions, after many, many conversations with clearance staff for this client…even though it isn’t supposed to work that way…I know a few granted Secret or allowed to continue with Secret eligibility, but it was clear if I kept them in process for TS…they were at great risk of not getting cleared. I would never knowingly put a person’s ability to earn a paycheck at risk…but obviously if the flip side to that is “risk to national security” it is an easy decision to make. They need a revocation. But I am convinced clearance folks can find themselves on the fence and thinking a person may have enough damaged credit they were at a greater risk to possibly become a security risk. With my 400 positions they range from Secret to TS to full poly TS…and we have lost a few along the way. It was a much higher amount when HR was submitting folks as opposed to me screening and rejecting applicants. I put the effort in up front as I don’t want to lose an employee 6 months later because they are living a high risk life.

I’m surprised to see clearances granted in the 5’s. With the stats my client sends us…once you hit 600 you are at a huge disadvantage to clear for them…but it likely may just be it is them…and not others. Merlin as well speaks often of getting folks cleared in the 5’s. It could also be this is a support contract with many entry level positions. If one has a lot of debt issues at that income level, there may also be a lot of other risk factors, arrests, drugs, etc.

Nice, well, definitely do that!