Secret clearance chances

Hi was ill in 2018/2019 had an FMLA and had financial problems due to lost income that included everything from credit cards, to my mortgage, to medical debt, and taxes. I’ve been paying everything off in fits and starts since 2019 and finished doing so this last March. I also had mental health problems including depression and suicidal thoughts at the time. I was just accepted for a position that requires a secrecy clearance with the dod at a school. Will I have trouble getting the clearance? Im 48 have only smoked pot once when I was 13 and have no other criminal, drug, or other issues. Did get a masters in the UK but graduated in 2007 and haven’t been back since then. Unfortunately I haven’t really kept in touch with people either. Really trying to move forward in my life. Would hiring a lawyer help me or is that a waste of money? Thank you!

Why would you hire an attorney? (serious question)

Answer the questions honestly on the case papers. If you are completing an SF86, you would answer no for “in the last seven years have you illegally used any drug or controlled substance” (I cannot recall the exact wording on the SF 85, but you can google it) if in fact your last use was outside the 7 year time frame.

As for your financial issues I suggest pulling your credit report (from all three bureaus) in order to report accurately. Be prepared to discuss in detail each account and provide as much information as you are able.

Foreign contacts go back 7 years and include contacts maintained by your spouse, if that is applicable.

Do yourself a favor. Google the form you will be completing and review it. Be sure to read each question and take note of the time span in each question. Some are “ever”, some are 7 years, and some are 10 years. Answer honestly, and if you are required to sit down for an interview be prepared to provide additional details beyond what is asked for on the form.

Thank you! There are security clearance lawyers who help you fill out the forms and gather all the right paperwork. I’m wondering if it is worth it to hire one to help me through the process since I am new at this and obviously don’t know what I’m doing.

Attorneys charge a lot of money for being minimally helpful. I was asked about debts and mental health problems in SF 86, just pay attention to wording to accurately answer questions within the time frame they want covered. No need for over reporting but definitely avoid omissions. It doesn’t sound like you need an attorney, just sit down and list all debts and your attempts to settle them. Look for any judgments against you - I had one of which I wasn’t aware until discovered by investigator… you may pay an attorney a consultation fee to review your product once you’ve completed the report, for peace of mind, but different things may arise during your discovery that you may wonder about consulting different types of lawyers - not a security clearance self proclaimed experts…