SF86 Tier 3 Process..PLS HELP

Hi everyone,

I feel like a fish out of water in this world, as my background is in nonprofit work. I recently accepted a position on a base as a Victim Advocate in their SAPR program and required a Tier 3 clearance. I submitted the SF 86 at the beginning of September and just got word from HR that my investigation was closed and should be sent into adjudication soon. He said this was a good sign.

I have lived a boring but happy life and have literally never been drunk or done any type of illegal substance. Sue me. But we went into some significant debt after my son was born. We moved across the country and the job my husband was supposed to start fell through, so he ended up taking a much lower paying position and we made do with the situation away from family support and me working a low-paying part time job and juggling child care. A night mare we aren’t looking to re-live. Total debt is probably around $12,000, and we have consolidated it and are paying it off each month no problem. In the SF86 though, it only asks about collections or delinquencies. I had a medical bill of like…$20? that went to collections because it was sent to the wrong address. Beyond that I don’t know of anything else. So I disclosed that, but nothing else about finances was asked. I traveled a lot in my early twenties, and the only place of interest could have been the West Bank when I graduated from college. I had studied Arabic in college and enrolled in an independent program to study colloquial Arabic and volunteer with a non-violent reconciliation non-profit.

  1. If there was an issue or concern in my clearance, would I have been contacted already by the investigator for clarification? Since the investigation had closed, if they had questions about the above would they have already asked?

  2. I know there is so much about this on the web and here, but I still feel like people are speaking another language and am not totally sure what the process is. The sponsoring agency did not provide any explanation about the SF86 other than “oh you just have to fill out this background check” like it was no big deal. Once the investigation has closed and it moves on to adjudication, is it my sponsoring agency that makes the final decision on whether or not to grant me the clearance? Or someone from the OPM? Forgive my ignorance if this is elementary stuff.

Thanks for your help in advance.

(oh and I have a cool story about how the same HR at my sponsoring agency told me my job had an exception with the DoD so I could start working before my clearance came in contingently but actually that wasn’t true. So when we were a week away from the start date they gave me and I had already given my notice at my former employer I got a call saying “oops sorry you can’t start and idk when you will be able to.” By some miracle, seriously, the base CO is signing off on my exception so I can start. Just two months after the fact. But it seems like the clearance is on it’s way through the proper channels to be granted soon…hopefully?)

Congratulations on your new position. Let me see if I can answer a few of your questions. First, your clearance will be approved and granted by your sponsoring agency, not OPM or any other outside entity. Now, in my opinion if your case has been closed and is moving into the adjudication phase, your debt consolidation did not warrant any additional investigation nor did your credit report raise any red flags.

For the type of case you went through, an interview for finances would have been triggered by a current delinquent debt of $7,500 or more or failure to pay federal obligations. It appears none of these criteria applied to your case. I think based on the progress of your case that your clearance will be granted soon.

If you never met with an investigator then I would say no worries as on T3 cases an investigator will meet with a subject when certain issues are present. If, as you say, the case is closed and moved to adjudication then now it is just hurry up and wait.