Have you received a Letter of Intent (LOI) to deny your security clearance? Do you know how you should respond to Statement of Reasons (SOR)? Understanding the process and the government’s concerns about how you handle your financial affairs can help you make changes and prove that you have taken corrective action. That way, you do not threaten your current or future job opportunities which may require security clearance.
If you have received a LOI that threatens to deny your security clearance, you should take it very seriously. If your MOS requires security clearance, then you could be demoted. Civilian contractors may be terminated. Service members who are unable to gain security clearance can be blocked from advancement. While a denial may be due to a number of factors, we are focusing only on financial causes.
The LOI likely includes an SOR. The SOR is issued from the Adjudicator at the Central Adjudication Facility (CAF). If the SOR is unclear, you have the right to request the investigative data so that you may better understand the exact items which are causing concern.
Respond to SOR
You absolutely should respond to the SOR to explain why there is no longer a cause for concern for each item listed. If you have since had a payment plan agreed to by a creditor, you should include a copy of that agreement for review by the Adjudicator. If you entered into a debt management program through a credit counseling agency, provide a copy of that agreement to show that you are faithfully completing a repayment program.
If you had little choice other than to file for bankruptcy, make sure that you include the facts of the case in your response and provide copies of the filing for review. A bankruptcy filing is a serious matter, but it does not automatically result in denial of security clearance. You should avoid debt settlement companies, though, since there will be no evidence that anything is being paid.
Adjudicator Reviews and Responds to SOR
The Adjudicator will be looking to see if your financial woes continue to threaten your reasonable ability to maintain the security required of your post. They do not require that your financial issues have been fully resolved. What they will require is that you have taken the necessary corrective action so that you are clearly on a path towards resolution. Any documentation that you can provide in addition to your response that proves that you are making real progress will help your cause.
If you need assistance with this process, you are encouraged to contact legal services through the JAG, a nonprofit credit counseling organization or Military One Source.
At the conclusion of this process, you will either be granted security clearance or you will receive a Letter of Denial (LOD) by the Adjudicator.
Long is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Industrial Relations. He subsequently received his Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University. His Certificate in Financial Planning was issued by Florida State University.
Long has achieved the Accredited Credit Counselor and Accredited Financial Counselor certifications through the Association for Financial Counseling, Planning and Education. Long originally achieved the Certified Credit Counselor designation through the National Institute for Financial Education.
In addition to years of nonprofit leadership, Long has been an innovator in the field of volunteer tax return preparation programs. He assists volunteer associations and nonprofit organizations who seek to integrate credit counseling and asset-building programs with free personal income tax preparation. His approach to using free credit reports as both an incentive and a screening tool for placement into asset-building programs has been shared with members of the National Community Tax Coalition, the EITC-Carolinas Initiative of MDC, Inc. and nonprofit groups across the Carolinas.
Long assists members of our armed forces in the Carolinas, Iowa, Rhode Island, Georgia and Germany with financial readiness. Please support our Soldiers, Marines, Airmen and Sailors!
"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."