SF86 for Secret clearance - Please help


I’m hoping someone could let me know how my application looks. I realize that each case is different, but wanted to get an idea of my chances.

I’m currently completing an SF86 for secret clearance, and here are my concerns:

Foreign contacts: I have listed a handful of people (4) with whom I have contacted. They’re all from the country I was born - childhood friends, aunt, mom’s family friend. I rarely interact with them, and when I do it’s via facebook messenger. I saw them once when they came here for a visit and vice versa. Very limited contact. The contact is not continuous or close. Will this prolong the process.

Foreign activities: My spouse wrote an article for this foreign think-thank that’s funded by that country’s defense ministry. The country is a peaceful nation. I’m wondering if this is going to cause an issue. They did not ask him to write it, him and his colleagues brainstormed the idea and proposed it to the person at the thinktank and it was accepted. It was a collaborative effort which was published on the think tank’s website. Nothing incendiary; the topic was on a political party in a warring nation. Again, the paper itself is not in any way controversial. His co-authors were all, if not most, Americans, I think.

Financial: I have no late payments (a couple here and there in 2016, 30 or 60 days) when I had a baby and things were chaotic, but I have exceptional payment history in the past three or four years. No bankruptcy, good credit score. I did see a medical bill (~500) in collections that we had missed because insurance didn’t pay and we didn’t know they didn’t so it was sent to collections. I paid it off last month. Another account (~300) was sent to collections because our car was registered in a state we no longer lived. We also had sold that car, but I’ve resolved it and waiting for it to show up in the system). I feel like these are minor issues, but my main concern is my taxes:

While I was working as a contractor, my paychecks weren’t consistent and so for tax years 2010 through 2014, I had federal taxes owed. I filed my taxes on time every time and I also got in touch with IRS soon after filing taxes on time to set up a payment plan and stayed on it. I would add the balance for each subsequent year to the existing payment plan. Currently paying it off with no issues… I’m really concerned about this. Is this going to cause any problems?

My employment history is clean, my education has no issues, no drug use, no criminal record, though I was stopped for speeding and received a reckless driving charge (83 mph, I hired a traffic ticket lawyer and got it down to a minor traffic infraction).

In general, what do you think of my overall application?

Thank you for your help! Sorry for the long post!

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You foreign contacts will have to be checked out. Whether or not this will cause a delay no one can say.

I am not sure about the article written by your spouse. It may not really be relevant or it may be very much so. I think that it will depend on the nation, the thinktank, the coauthors and so on.

Your financials don’t sound like they should be a problem and neither do your taxes.

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Where were you born? What country did your husband write for a foreign think tank?