Background Checks Outside of Employment

A background check isn’t needed only for employment. Other instances in which a person’s background is important include taking out a loan and renting an apartment. For the former, the actual background check consists of an investigation into your credit history – both your current FICO score, as well as your payment history. A background check to rent an apartment, however, is much like an employment background check and, in addition to examining your previous addresses, credit score, and employment history, your history as a tenant is important, as well. As a landlord wants to have a tenant who pays the rent on time and doesn’t create a disturbance, a background check is important for determining whether or not a renter will cause a landlord any problems.

Loans are practically ubiquitous for any large expense, including education, a home, or a car. While car dealers may still advertise about giving a loan based on bad credit, the recent housing market collapse indicates that a loan needs to be appropriate in amount for what a person can pay. And, if a person’s background, including history of payments, is misrepresented – as was the case with many mortgage companies signing people into Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) – then the person responsible for paying a loan might not be able to make high enough or consistent enough payments. A background check, particularly a thorough credit check, can determine whether or not a person will be able to make payments and continue making payments for a loan.

A person’s background is important in a contract that essentially results in a long-term – a year or more – relationship with a person, as is the case with a tenant and a landlord. A background check for a tenant determines whether or not a person or family is at risk for being evicted. This can include a combination of a credit check, criminal background check, and contacting the previous landlord to ask about any issues with this potential tenant.