Who Performs Background Checks and Why?
Background checks are valuable tools that exist to help businesses, employers, loan officers, and other professionals make decisions about whether or not they want to extend privileges to certain individuals. Before offering someone a job or a loan, businesses and banks want to verify information about the person in question and ensure that they are working with someone responsible and trustworthy. To do this, professionals examine a person’s history by viewing criminal, financial, and public records. The following is a list of professionals that may seek information about a person’s background.
- Employers. As a matter of safety, employers need to do background checks on all potential employees. In doing so, employers can verify that potential employees are citizens with work histories that attest to their abilities. A background check can also be a means of gaining insight into the character of the candidate.
- Police Officers. When drivers violate traffic laws, police officers run their information through their computer systems to determine what their driving record looks like and whether or not they have any outstanding warrants. If a driver has an outstanding warrant, a police officer can take him or her into custody.
- Lenders. Before lenders offer loans to borrowers, they want to be sure that the borrowers have a strong financial history so that they can rely on them to make their monthly payments. Poor financial histories and low credit scores can affect interest rates, and even interfere with a borrower’s ability to take out a loan.
- Renting/Leasing Agents. Prior to allowing an individual to rent or lease a car, apartment, or house, agents conduct background checks to examine an individual’s rental and credit histories. They then use this information to determine if that individual can be trusted to make monthly payments.
- Attorneys. Background checks can provide valuable information for attorneys to use in court. Information obtained is often used to verify testimonies or refute them. It can also be used to determine a person’s credibility in court.
- Government. Many government files consist of sensitive, classified information. Before a government employee can access those files, he or she must be granted security clearance. Gaining security clearance requires an extensive background check.
However, background checks are not limited to professionals. The average, everyday person can perform a background check if he or she is concerned about someone — whether that person is a significant other or someone offering their services, such as a babysitter or housekeeper. Below is a list of potential reasons that an average person may have for ordering a background check.
- Relationships. Significant others are not always honest about their past. Individuals who want to be sure they can trust their romantic partners have the option of conducting background checks to make sure that their partners are who they say they are. This can prevent long-term heartache and complications.
- Babysitting. Parents want to be sure that their children are in good hands when they are not around. By conducting a background check on potential babysitters and caretakers, parents can get the peace of mind they need to leave their children in someone else’s care.
- Housesitting. Before entrusting their home to strangers, individuals should consider running a background check to see if their housesitters have a history of criminal activity, especially theft.
- Investing. Investment brokers are in charge of handling money and acting on behalf of the investor. This is a big responsibility, and many individuals are concerned about handing over their money to brokers without doing research into their backgrounds first. Doing a background check can help protect investors’ interests and alert them to any issues of which they should be aware.
- Personal Curiosity. Do you know what is revealed from an examination on your background? Conducting a background check on yourself can show you the information that employer, lenders, and other professionals will see prior to deciding whether to grant you certain privileges. A look into your own history can prepare you for your future endeavors — whether those endeavors may be home buying, job searching, or renting — and help you to avoid later surprises.
Whether you are dealing with national security or just the security of your own home, safety is a concern. Knowing information about the people you choose to allow into your life is just good sense. Before you entrust your money, children, or even yourself into the hands of other people, consider running background checks. Not only will this give you insight into a person’s history, but it will also save you the trouble of worrying about the people in whom you’ve placed your trust.