What is a background check?

As an employer, landlord, or creditor, you are probably aware that you should be running background checks on your employee, tenant, or credit applicants. This raises the question, though, what is a background check?

"A background check, is any type of pre-screening. This can include criminal background, driving record, or employment history checks. Some even use the term “background check” to include credit reports."


A background check, in broad terms, is any type of pre-screening. This can include criminal background, driving record, or employment history checks. Some even use the term “background check” to include credit reports. AAA Credit Screening offers a variety of background checks, so perhaps the question being asked should be, “What background checks are available, and which background check is right for me?”

AAA Credit Screening’s reports fall into three categories: credit, criminal background, and other.

  1. Credit Checks

    credit check A credit check from AAA Credit Screening Services includes a credit report, with a full credit history and score, as well as any public records of judgments and tax liens based on data reported for the past 7 years. AAA Credit Screening’s reports are from TransUnion, or Equifax upon request. The credit bureau will also typically report any addresses or employers that the applicant has had that they know of. The address and employer information is not always up-to-date and should not be treated as a comprehensive report of this applicant’s address or employment history.

  2. Criminal Background Checks

    Criminal background checks are reports of an applicant’s criminal record in a given area. Criminal background checks from AAA Credit Screening Services include 7 years of criminal history. The narrowest scope of criminal background reporting that AAA Credit Screening offers is the U.S. Countywide Criminal report, wherein AAA Credit Screening pulls data straight from the county courthouse records.
    criminal records
    Other criminal background checks are Statewide and Nationwide Criminal reports. These reports include misdemeanor and felony convictions that have been reported for the applicant, statewide and nationwide, respectively. For applicants that reside outside of the United States, AAA Credit Screening Services also offers international criminal reports.

    Another option for criminal reporting is the Federal Felony Criminal report. Federal Felony Criminal reports are unique in that they do not pull records that were stored in standard county courthouses, but rather from federal district courts. These criminal reports often include “white collar crimes” such as check fraud and tax evasion.

  3. Other Background Checks

    Other background checks that AAA Credit Screening offers include Motor Vehicle Reports (Driving Record), Educational Verifications, Employment Verifications, Worker’s Compensation Reports, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) "Specially Designated Nationals List" (SDN) Searches, Social Security Number Verifications, Drug Screening (DOT, non-DOT, and Hair Testing), and Medical Services, such as Audio/Vision Testing and Lab Panels.
When you order any one of the above-mentioned reports from AAA Credit Screening Services, you are ordering a background check. The sheer number of options can be daunting, but AAA Credit Screening offers carefully crafted packages for employers, landlords, and creditors alike. For more information on which kind of background checks are right for you, call AAA Credit Screening Services toll free at 1-888-282-0447 or fill out an online new customer sign up form today!

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