When you seek a new job or settle in a new apartment, the process will inevitably involve a background check at some stage. In 2019, HR.com survey indicated that 96% of the US employers conduct background checks for their prospective hires and clients. With this stage looking certain, it is important to avoid last-minute surprises by carrying out a personal background check. Conducting a background check for yourself will help you be informed and stay ahead of the process.
Employers conduct background checks on their potential employees to ensure they hire candidates who do not have any criminal records that could affect the organization's reputation. It also helps to prevent fraud and criminal activities in the organization.
Landlords also carry out background checks on their potential tenants to ensure their apartments only house tenants who do not pose a threat to other tenants. They, too, do this to avoid letting the apartments to individuals with bad credit history who have the possibility of defaulting their rents.
What Is A Personal Background Check?
A personal background check is a GBS screening service that allows your background check just like an employer would. You should be aware of the information that the background check shows. Personal background check can be extensive. People search sites, like the ones you see everywhere that claim to be free will not provide you sufficient or updated information. You can check out our other article, why free background checks are not accurate.
What Personal Background Check Shows
Personal background check show reports on the following records:
1. Social Security Number (SSN) Verification
The GBS Background check gives information associated with a Social Security Number, showing personal details like official names, alias and address history. From here employers double check at the industry standard court houses (typically two in each county) to verify the info.
2. Credit Report
National credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) provide free credit reports every year. You can access the free services at annualcreditreport.com. This should be only for financial positions or upper level positions.
Background checks reports show:
Summarized debt and payment history.
List of past and active debts and outstanding loans.
Possible Bankruptcy activities within 10 years of their filing date.
FICO score is not legally provided to employers, however if you're applying for housing, like an apartment, the property manager or landlord is legally allowed to see FICO.
3. Address History
Background checks identify addresses linked to your SSN and your name. They reflect typically up to 7 years of history of residence. The address is used to check other criminal records. You can find this information on “white pages” that are available online for free.
4. Driving Records
The state's department of motor vehicles provides information about driving records. You can go physically and obtain a copy or order it to be sent online. These reports typically only go back 3-5 years in most states.
5. Criminal Records
Criminal background checks will show criminal records of an individual like convictions, imprisonment, and probation. The check reflects any criminal activity recorded in the past seven years, even if the charges were dropped or found not guilty. The length of years the employer goes back mainly depends on the state the employer is located.
6. Education and Job History
Some employees run a background search on your education history to confirm that you attended the school you listed in your resume. They also search for information to verify that you have worked in the companies you claim you have worked for.