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The Main Types of Background Checks and What They Are Used For

By on 2020-11-30 10:00:53, 0 Comments

types of background checks

Background checking is a customary process for various industries, organizations, and firms. It is a screening method meant to ensure and maintain security and safety, as well as an assurance of one’s level of preparedness. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) allows employers to run background checks, in general, though some states may implement certain exemptions or restrictions.


The Common Types of Background Checks

We’ll be sharing with you the most common types of background checks conducted. Note that depending on the purpose, one may only need to conduct specific checks. What matters is that no federal or state laws are violated during the process.

Standard Background Check

A standard background check can be requested by anyone, and you can even conduct one for yourself. In most states, public records and basic background check reports can be acquired online. You can choose from either a name-based or fingerprint-based check. Either way, you’ll be asked to provide details of the person being searched. 

This type of background check may include basic details about a person such as:

  • Full name
  • Aliases
  • Date of Birth
  • Social Security Number
  • Marital Status
  • Religion
  • Face
  • Residential Address History
  • Employment History
  • Email Address
  • Phone Numbers
  • Social Media Accounts

Criminal History Background Check

A criminal background check includes details that can be found in a standard background check. In addition, there are in-depth details about a person’s criminal history. Criminal records searches are commonly part of employment background checks. This is specifically true to enterprises handling sensitive works or confidential data such as banks and hospitals. This is also requested to check on government officials and public servants. 

Criminal background checks include arrest records, incarceration records, and court records. These also contain convictions of any offenses, including misdemeanors and felonies. If there are any, sex offenses may also be included but in most cases, the victim’s details are not divulged. All warrants filed by and issued upon the person you’re searching for can be found in a criminal record check. Some states add driving records and traffic violations as part of a criminal history report. 

Credit Reports Background Check

Unlike the other types of background checks, credit reports cannot be easily requested by anyone. There are stricter guidelines on these, including the need to provide a detailed and valid explanation of how the information will be used. Aside from the FCRA, there are several other major laws regulating consumer credit such as the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA), and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). All these laws are in place to protect the rights of consumers and to ensure that their credit information isn’t improperly used.

To avoid negligent hiring, credit background checks are requested by employers who are screening job applicants for positions that directly involve finances or work that requires a great deal of integrity and credibility. Once approved, the requestor can get access to a person’s credit score, debt levels, repayment history, credit and collection accounts, repossessions, charge offs, and delinquent accounts. Any confirmed or suspected fraud activities might also be included. 


The Common Purposes For Running A Background Check

Pre-Employment Process

A pre-employment background check is the most commonly requested type of report. Most businesses include this step as part of their hiring process. Employers are required to fill out the Employment Eligibility Verification Form, also known as Form I-9, to verify the identity of anyone hired for a job in the US. 

Volunteer and Nonprofit Works

Similar to employment verification, non-profit organizations also request background checks on their volunteers. This usually happens when the group closely works with vulnerable members of society like battered wives, abandoned children, or people with mental health issues. 

Tenant Screening

Lessors conduct checks on their lessees to guarantee their creditworthiness. This is to protect their properties and facilities. Also, since the asset is technically still under their ownership, they need to ensure that their properties won’t be involved in any illegal activities.

License Issuance

Government agencies and private organizations request background checks before releasing professional licenses. This is on top of any tests or screening processes they have in place. It’s the issuing agency’s responsibility to ensure that the applicant is eligible to hold a license and that the authority that comes with the said license is not abused.

Child Adoption Application

Adopting a child is not as simple as picking up the most adorable kid in the room and bringing them home. There is a due process that must be followed, including rigid and rigorous screening. Foster care conducts background checks on aspiring parents to guarantee the safety and security of the children.

See What Information Is Listed About You

It can be valuable for various reasons to run a personal background check on yourself and find out what information may be found out about you. Doing this can come in handy especially if you are worried about what potential employers or lessors may learn about you. 

Whether you’re the one conducting the check or you’re the one being checked upon, it’s highly recommended that you are privy to background check rules and limitations. Aside from federal laws, legislature varies per state. For example, to run a background check on an employee or potential tenant, you will need to use a service that is certified. Hence, always proceed with caution and only trust data from respective agencies or reliable third-party search engines.

types of background checks

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