Whether you’re looking to secure new employment or want to purchase a firearm, at some point in your life, you’ve probably come across a background check. These verification methods confirm a person is exactly who they claim to be, which is important in multiple instances. Depending on the reason for validating your identity, several different types of checks may be used. 

Many websites like Checkpeople.com offer a comprehensive report of an individual, which can be completed in minutes. Virtually anyone can order a background check, making it a versatile option for anyone wanting the full picture of an individual. 

To help you determine which ones you’ll need, here are the most common checks performed, and what they consist of:

Criminal Background Checks

These are typically used with paid and volunteer positions, such as working with young children or the elderly, these background checks. These reports may pull information from the county, state, federal, or national databases to check the individual’s history. From there, they will compile a list of felonies, misdemeanors, and ongoing criminal investigations. 

Certain tickets, arrests, and infractions may also be included in the report, depending on the timeframe being evaluated. Information relating to the event will also be indicated, such as the nature of the crime, the disposition (whether you were convicted, not convicted, or if the matter is ongoing), and the date. 

Employment Background Checks

When you’re applying for a new job, it’s common for an employer to run various checks on you to confirm your identity. Nearly 96% of all employers perform some type of screening before hiring. 

The typical employment check will include your Social Security number (SSN), date of birth, name, and addresses (past and present). They’ll also confirm any employment history, driving records, drug screenings, and education validation. It is also common for criminal background checks to occur for most positions. You can expect employers to look back approximately 7 years (although certain states allow validation of 10 years).

Fingerprint Background Checks

These background checks are mandatory for certain professional licenses, institutions, and employment. Work within fire departments, public schools, and airports all require a fingerprint background check to secure employment. Potential employees will be sent to an authorized government organization or fingerprint business, which will digitally scan (or copy with ink) fingerprints to submit for comparison against their database. Once compared, a report will be sent back to the investigating party, with any results found. 

Credit Background Checks

Validating a person’s credit background is normally found within the financial sector of employment, although this may also be used frequently with landlords. To pull a credit report, the individual being assessed must sign a form giving consent for the information to be shared. These are typically found in the terms of service or application. They authorize the company or landlord to perform the check.

These reports are always pulled when trying to secure financing (such as a loan or mortgage, for example). Essentially, it records the credit-to-debt ratio, payment history, and credit accounts. These reports will also include negative histories like bankruptcies, unpaid accounts, civil judgments, and tax liens attached to the file.

International Background Checks

When an employer is looking to hire an individual, who has recently moved from another country, an international background check is often used in conjunction with the regular employment check. One example of this would be the migrant or seasonal farmworker in the US.

These reports will include any international criminal activities, education verification, and employment history. To perform these background checks, an employer will need various documentation to run the check, which is determined by the country of origin.

Although these are not the only types of background checks you may experience in your lifetime, they are the most common for the average American citizen. From securing your next job or applying for a new mortgage, your information is constantly being collected, downloaded, assessed, and approved – often without your awareness of how the process works.

While historically, these reports were time-consuming and expensive, the transformation into an online realm has allowed employers, agencies, and individuals access to these background reports in record-breaking time. This allows a faster review process, which keeps verifying processes fast and efficient.