SF86 and Collections

Hello, sorry for the text wall but I could use some advice.
I’m currently in the process of enlisting in the Army (I want an MOS that requires a secret clearance) and I have no criminal record, no foreign contacts, no type of mental health history or issues, etc. My only issue is with filling out the section about finances. I have 7k in student loans that are current and never late, a credit card with a 3% utilization with never missing a payment, and just paid off an installment loan with no late payments. I’m a full-time college student and I do not work, but help look after both of my disabled parents and help them with my many siblings. I’ve been using some of my school refunds to pay for expenses. However, I have one collections account on my credit report since November 2017. I had a cable bill account paid and closed thinking that I had done everything correctly and owed nothing in November 2017. I never in my life checked my credit report until September 2018, when I found out about this one collection. It was originally worth 1,000! The original company was still the owner but was collecting through agencies. I figure that when I checked in 2018, the credit delinquency had already been previously listed and removed under another agency, and then to the other. I didn’t have any idea what to do, so I left it there until January 2019. First week of 2019, a different agency took over efforts and I finally realized that I had to do something about it, even though I had no clue what. So at this point, there had been three agencies after it, but still owned by the Original Creditor (OC). I send out a debt validation letter Febuary 2019, got a response March 2019 in which they validated it with incorrect account statements, so I contacted the original creditor about a month later. They told me to return equipment and I did that (have evidence, though they have not subtracted those fees yet), they removed the early termination fees because they were unwarranted, and I have transcripts of representatives telling me that the balance would be lowered to about 250 due after that from an apparent forward bill that I was unaware of before closing the account. They still haven’t followed through but I’m currently still working on it and in the mean time have taken online FDIC financial education course modules to educate myself on finances and debt (and have certificates from some of these modules). I plan to pay the balance in full as soon as the OC corrects the balance. I have yet to make a payment on it until then though.

My questions:

On the SF-86, do I list all 3 of those collections agencies that tried to collect this one debt since 2017, or do I only list the original creditor? Note that I am unsure of when the first agency would have been on my report, as I checked my report after they would have already left my report. I only have evidence of them being there from a soft inquiry on my first report listed as requested on November 2017.

In your honest opinion, what do you believe my chances are of getting a secret clearance with the information above? What can I do to increase my chances?

The best method is to list the original debt, all of the collections, then explain in the comments section that they are all the same debt.

Thank you for your response. The sf-86 only provides me with 2 spaces to identify the debt. Would the original creditor suffice, and then list in the explanation section of that one box that it was pursued by 3 other collectors with the names of those collectors?

Is there a way that I can add additional pages to the clearance form?

The electronic SF86 allows for as many entries as you can input. If you need more space for some reason, additional paper is allowed.

Look at Page 114 on the SF86. It has a spot to explain it. Ideally you would have paid this $250 collection charge before submitting. If not, explain why you haven’t yet (e.g waiting on an adjusted bill after returning equipment from Company to provide final payment per their process). It asks you how you got into the situation. Sounds like it was a case of forgetting to return equipment and you were not aware you still owed money until finally contacted. On XXX date, you returned the equipment , arranged for a lower payment and are in the process of paying it. State that you expect to resolve within the next X month.

Investigator will ask about it and whether it was paid. By the time you get an interview (you might not for Secret), it will have been paid and put behind you. Keep up with any other payments.

This won’t tank you

1 Like