Start Date 6/20 but Special Agent Reached out Today to Do an Interview

Hello there!

I am about to begin working with the DoD (army) as a civilian employee and have been given a final offer and start date. The job requires a secret clearance, since I have been given a start date a few weeks after EQIP I assume I have an interim (not 100% sure). However, today, a special agent called to schedule an interview today and mentioned that they would be asking about 2 small accounts in collections. I was not aware of these accounts and when I run my credit they don’t show up. I do think I recognize one of the accounts because it is a medical collections but the other I am not sure about.

My questions are:
would these 2 collections accounts be enough for a denial? What if I tell the investigator that I am going to look into these and begin a payment plan? I have many open accounts but I have 100% payment history (I do not like having debts and I do not lie; I would really begin a payment plan).

For some reason, if this investigation goes south, would I know before my 6/20 start date (assuming the government rescinds their offer too)? I have to move states for the job but am very excited to do so but wouldn’t want to be fired shortly after in another state because of a failed BI.

Is it appropriate at the end of the interview to ask how the investigator how the interview went and the potential timeline?

Thank you for reading this and for any guidance/advice you can impart.

EDIT: One other red-flag that may come up during the interview is THC usage throughout college (Recent grad position for Federal Government) but I did mention this on my SF-86 for full transparency and to show honesty and willingness/eagerness to change.

If the only thing that needs to be discussed is two “small” accounts I doubt it will be a big enough issue to cause your timeline to change. My suggestion would be, once the investigator confronts you with the account information write down any information they have pertaining to the account, tell the investigator you will pay off or set up payment plan (depending on how large the amount is) to resolve the debt, get the investigator’s fax number, go home and google contact information for the collection agency and take care of the issue, have them email you a receipt, as soon as you get the receipt print it out and fax it to your investigator to include as an attachment with your report to show the issue has been taken care of, this will mitigate the issue and show financial responsibility.

Check your credit report carefully and find out and resolve everything you can before the interview. Then bring any documentation/proof with you to the interview. That would reflect even more favorably upon you.

Keep in mind, there are three companies who do credit reports. Equifax, Trans Union, and experian.

These collections may only show on one of the three report. To find this collections you would need to pull all three credit reports. has the information on how to check all three. If you look about midway down on the page, there is a link that says get your free credit report. It gives you everything you want to know about credit reports, including how to pull your credit.

I would recommend pulling all three credit reports, finding the collections, and if possible, just pay them off before you meet with the investigator. Bring the receipts.

A word to everybody who uses credit karma. This is not your complete credit report. This can be an abbreviated credit report. Credit karma is more interested in selling you a car, loan, car, insurance, credit cards, anything that makes them money, then giving you your complete credit report.

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I checked my credit on annualcreditcheck and they do not show up. I think i’ll ask for the collections agencies during the interview and then setup a payment plan and fax the receipt of the payment plan after the interview to the investigator.

Thank you for the reply!

Well, I did forget to mention that I used THC throughout college and this position is a recent Grad position; however, besides that, these collections are the big red flags I think. I checked my credit on annualcreditcheck and they do not show up so I think your recommendation is what i’ll do and i’ll do this the same day after our interview.

The THC issues are flags as well and will also be discussed at your interview.

Thank you for your reply!

I did check my credit on annualcreditcheck prior to the OP and they do not show up on any of the checks - the investigator mentioned Equifax. I took a video of my Equifax report and plan on showing the investigator that they do not show up for me. However, I think i’ll also ask for the collections agencies during the interview and then setup a payment plan and fax the receipt of the payment plan after the interview to the investigator. The accounts are $190 and $180, however, unfortunately, I cannot pay them in full currently so hopefully a payment plan would be enough to mitigate the problems.

On another note, would THC usage throughout college be a denial for the clearance or even for suitability for the government? I know this is a whole different situation but many mistakes were made in the past for me.

Would THC usage in college be a clearance or suitability denial? Is there anything to mitigate it other than our word saying that type of behavior is all in the past?

Also, resultant from the advice here, I actually dug up one of the two collections and settled it - I plan on bringing the printed out receipt to the interview.

Don’t bother showing your copy of an Equifax report to the investigator - it means nothing. If you did not have a collection account or delinquent account, you can just say so. If you did have a collection account or delinquent account, you need to explain why it wasn’t listed.

Appearance on a credit report is not the issue, the debt existence and why it was not resolved, or reported, is the issue. Did you never know about the debt? Did you know but ignored it? These are some of the questions you might be asked by the investigator.