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Background checks

Background checks are very common practice in the U.S., and it is estimated that more than 90% of employers perform these checks on job applicants. Aside from job screening, background checks are also conducted by homeowners and licensed gun vendors who want to get accurate information about renters and people who wish to purchase firearms.

The importance of background checks is tenfold considering the fact that 1 in every 4 people in the United States has a criminal record, and it is just as important to know what is a background check and how it can affect you.

What is a Background Check?

A background check is a check in which an employer/a licensed gun vendor/a homeowner check for official information about an individual. The data in background checks derives from official records, and it provides insight into a person's past. These types of checks contain information about a person's age, their credit score, their criminal records, previous job experience, full name, aliases, and more.

There are several types of background checks that are conducted based on the checker's needs. For instance, a homeowner would want to know if a potential renter has a good credit score and if the renter has ever been evicted, for whatever reason it may be.

So, background checks are an important part of the screening process in different types of situations, and they allow to find out if there are certain disqualifiers in a person's past that make him/her less suitable for a job/renting a home/purchasing firearms.

Background checks

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How are Background Check Conducted?

To perform a background check, an individual must give his/her consent to the person requesting the check. The consent is given through a form that the individual fills out and signs. To perform the background check, the form must be filled out properly, contain the individual's identifying information (full name and social security number), and their signature.

Once the form is full and signed, the person who requested the background check will send it to a third-party company that conducts background checks. The check takes between 2-3 days, and sometimes a week, depending on how thorough it must be.

There are certain cases, like with FBI background checks, that results take up to a month. Once the check is complete, the applicants will get answers about their application to their email address. In case the application was rejected because of disqualifiers that showed up in the background check, the applicants will be notified, and a reason for disqualification will be provided to them.

How Is a Background Check Tied to Your Credit Score?

One of the most important thing professionals search for in background checks is applicants' credit scores. In the case of homeowners, a credit score background check helps determine if a potential renter is at risk of not paying rent.

In case of employment background checks, credit scores help determine how financially responsible a job applicant is. In any case, if someone performs a background check on you, it will not affect your credit score.

Online Background Checks

Aside from professionals, non-professionals can conduct background checks online; today, there are several professional background check directories you can use to perform a background check on people you know.

The information in online background checks is collected from public records, and at the end of the search, you will get a report about the person you are searching. The reports are accurate, as they rely on public records, so you can be certain that you will get reliable data about the people in your life.

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How are Public Records Collected?

Public records are records that contain data about individuals that is collected by official authorities in the United States. Authorities that collect records include health departments, courts, and law enforcement agencies. Some of the information collected by these authorities is not confidential, and that is why public records are named as such.

Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in the country, people can access records that contain information about them, as well as other individuals. Professional background check websites that specialize in providing reports about people tap into public records all over the country, and aggregate information from those records.

When you perform such a check about a person, you will get information about their real name, aliases, criminal records, social media information, arrest records, sex offender registries, marriage records, birth records, divorce records, and much more. The purpose of background checks is to determine if a certain person has told the truth about themselves, or if they may be lying to deceive other people, for whatever reason it may be.

How to Conduct a Background Check?

Two decades ago, most of the information in public records was kept in paper files; to gain access to these records, you would have had to contact each authority, request each record you wanted, pay for each search, and wait until you got the search results. Nowadays, most public records are kept in computerized directories, so there is no need to contact each authority to get the information you need.

You can still do so, but it is quicker and easier to perform an online background check. To do so, you can use professional directories that specialize in quick and reliable background check reports. To use these directories and find the information you need, you must provide at least one identifying piece of information about the individual in question:

  • Full name – the first name and last name of the individual, and their state of residence.
  • Phone number – a new or an old phone number (this will be used to perform a reverse phone number lookup)
  • Physical address – a new or an old physical address (this will be used to perform a reverse address search)
  • Email address – a new or an old email address (this will be used to perform a reverse email lookup)

The data you get from a background check is meant to protect you, so it is a vital service not only for professionals but also for individuals who wish to learn the truth about others.

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Search for anyone in the United States! 100% Confidential! Updated on July 28, 2021
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