5 Types of Background Checks

Sep 18, 2020

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What is a background check?

A background check is a process a person or company uses to verify that a person is who they claim to be. Background checks provide an opportunity for someone to check a person’s criminal record, education, employment history, and other past activities in order to confirm their validity. Whether you’re applying for a job, looking for a new apartment, or purchasing a firearm, you may have to undergo a background check.

Below is a list of the 5 most common types of background checks and what they each consist of:

  1. Employee Background Checks – Employers run background checks to avoid hiring someone who may pose a threat to the workplace or become a liability to the employer. 96% of employers conduct one or more types of employment background screening. An employment background check typically takes place when someone applies for a job, but can also happen at any time the employer deems necessary.

2. Criminal Background Checks – A criminal background check is often required in situations where a person or organization needs to know about major criminal activity, including violent or sex crimes, fraud, embezzlement, or convictions before making a decision regarding employment, adoption, military enlistment, a firearm purchase, and more.

3. Fingerprint Background Checks – A fingerprint background check, or Identity History Summary, is often used in conjunction with other background checks and is most often used as part of the pre-employment screening process.

4. Credit Background Check – A credit background check is a record of a person’s credit-to-debt ratio and shows how someone has managed credit and bill payments in the past. Also called a credit report, it’s a standard requirement when applying for a car or home loan, credit card, or any other type of loan. Many landlords also check credit reports to verify whether a person applying to rent a property has a history of good credit and may be more likely to pay rent on time.

5. Professional License Check – A professional license background check, or an education verification check, verifies that the applicant does indeed possess a valid license as claimed. This is an important step in helping to protect the employer from negligent hiring claims.


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