What Do You Get to See when You Check People’s Background?

A lot of people want to know exactly what will show up when they check people’s background. Specifically, they are interested in the criminal background check. If you pay for one of these checks, you want to make sure that nothing is missing. At the same time, you want to make sure that if someone runs a check on you, they see only what they are supposed to see as well.

What Shows Up when You Check People’s Background?

There are a lot of myths out there in terms of what does and doesn’t show up. This is also because the terms “criminal background check” and “background check” are used interchangeably, when they shouldn’t. The latter is far more in-depth and also looks at things such as credit, employment, and family history. So what do you get to see?

  1. Criminal past. You will be able to see any arrest records, mugshots, and criminal activity. Do remember that an arrest record is not an indication of guilt. Even a criminal charge isn’t an indication of guilt. Convictions will also show up, including sexual crimes, felonies, and misdemeanors.
  2. Family background and addresses. This shows someone’s past life, in other words. The more comprehensive the check, the more you get to see. Indeed, you can even find out about previous neighbors.
  3. Further information. You will also find out things that could be important to those performing a background check – landlords, schools, employers, etc. It is important, therefore, that you indicate yourself how comprehensive you want the report to be. As you can see, the details provided through a background check can vary significantly. Usually, on a general background check, you will see things like past employers, education, tax records, marriage and divorce, bankruptcy, licensing information, vehicle ownership, and more. Some reports even provide the details of the type of property someone lived or lives in.
  4. General statistics and neighborhood checks. This tells you about crime rates in the area where someone lives, and the criminal background of others in that same area. This part tells you not so much about an individual, but rather about the levels of danger in a location. Usually, this part of the report is of interest to those looking at moving home into a new neighborhood. You will also get to see important demographics, such as level of education, ethnic makeup, employment figures, age group distribution, poverty rates, marital status, and so on.

Receiving and Understanding a Background Report

If you receive a comprehensive background report, you may feel slightly overwhelmed with all the information that is included on it. This is why you need to think about which figures you are most interested in first, and look those up afterwards. It all depends, therefore, on why you are performing a background check in the first place. If, for instance, your daughter has a new boyfriend, you may only need to know about their criminal past. But if she wants to move in with him, you may also need to make a neighborhood check.