I worked in Military Intelligence in the Army and investigated clearances at one point.
The purpose of a clearance is not what you did or did not do however many years ago the point is that you are honest and disclose what it is that you
If you are honest you can say you were a male prostitute who did favors for drugs in the 80s for all they care as long as you no longer do that you
will be fine (That's a real case from a guy who got a TS/SCI.) You an almost have done anything short of murder or rape and still get a clearance as
long as it is not repetitive in nature or something you continue to do now.
The purpose of a clearance is not so much about your past activities but rather that you are honest about such things.
It is an issue of exploitability (The enemy agents can use something about you that you did not reveal against you and that makes you a threat.) If
you were unfaithful to your first wife tell the investigator - they are going to ask her about it.
If you smoked dope in school admit it, drank underage, admit it etc. Speeding tickets, past due child support tell them everything - trust me they
have seen it all.
Like someone said for a SECRET clearance it’s basically a credit check along with an ENTNAC as long as that checks out and matches what you put down
you will be ok.
However, a TS/SCI clearance as most IT jobs are they will indeed go back to check where you lived and find people to talk to. It is hard sometimes as
the investigator must find someone who knew a person 15 years ago from an address at an apartment complex but I always managed to do it from either
employment, education or associates.
Again, don't sweat it; be honest and if you had or even have issues admit it.
Credit is what gets most people if its current issues you are having; if they are old or have been paid off or you have worked out a schedule for late
payments or whatever you'll be fine.
The issue again is that people blow off the SF86 and forget something which gets the investigator looking further into things than he/she needs to;
once things don't jive either the facts with the papers or the interviews it’s all downhill from there.
Bottom line - be honest and thorough.
Hope that helps - if you have questions about the SF86 you can u2u if you want.
edit on 27/1/2011 by Golf66 because: (no reason