Are Background Checks Free?

Are Background Checks Free?

When delving into the realm of hiring and property management, a pivotal question arises: “Are background checks free?” This article aims to shed light on this query, specifically for those on the lookout for a new background screening provider that offers comprehensive, swift, cost-effective, and legally compliant services in alignment with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and relevant local and state regulations.

Understanding the Cost of Professional Background Checks

The straightforward answer to whether professional background checks for employment and tenant purposes are free is no. The inherent costs associated with accessing diverse databases, some of which impose access fees, and the expert labor required to compile, analyze, and verify the retrieved information, make offering such services for free unfeasible.

Why Employers and Landlords Run Background Checks

The primary rationale behind conducting background checks is to ensure the safety, integrity, and compliance of the workplace and residential properties. These checks are instrumental in verifying identities, qualifications, and histories, thereby enabling employers and landlords to make well-informed decisions, mitigate fraud risks, and adhere to regulatory standards.

How Background Checks Work

A comprehensive background check encompasses several key components:

  • Social Security Trace: Validates the individual’s identity and traces past residences.
  • Sex Offender Search: Identifies any listings on sex offender registries.
  • Criminal Records: Searches for criminal history across county, state, and federal levels.
  • Driving Records: Checks for any driving offenses or suspensions.
  • Verifications: Confirms the authenticity of employment history, educational background, and professional licenses.

The Steps of the Background Check Process

Initiating with the individual’s consent, the process leverages both public and private records through a series of steps:

  1. Identity Verification: Ensures the accuracy of the individual’s identity.
  2. Research: Gathers records from a multitude of sources.
  3. Verification: Double-checks the information, particularly employment and education histories.
  4. Analysis: Compiles and scrutinizes the data to formulate a comprehensive report.

Typically, background checks cover a seven-year period, although this can vary based on the check’s type and jurisdiction.

What Shows Up in the Results

The results of a background check can unveil a vast array of information, tailored to the specific needs and jurisdictions as per client requirements. The general scope often includes:

  • Criminal History: Reveals any convictions, pending charges, or acquittals, with the scope varying by state and federal laws regarding reportable history.
  • Employment and Education Verification: Confirms positions held, dates of employment, degrees earned, and institutions attended, directly correlating with the claims made by the applicant.
  • Credit History: Applicable mainly for financial positions or roles that involve handling money, subject to FCRA guidelines and state regulations.
  • License Verifications: Ensures any professional licenses held are valid and in good standing, a crucial check for roles requiring specific qualifications.

The jurisdictions covered and the depth of the search can be adjusted based on the client’s specific needs, whether they require a more localized check within a particular state or a broader, nationwide search. This flexibility allows clients to tailor the background check process to suit their unique requirements, ensuring both thoroughness and compliance with applicable laws.


Addressing the question, “Are background checks free?”—it’s clear that the complexity, necessity, and legal obligations of conducting detailed, compliant background checks come with inherent costs. For organizations seeking dependable background screening partners, prioritizing quality, legal compliance, and efficiency is crucial.

EDIFY Background Screening stands ready to serve as your qualified partner, offering the experience and technological prowess needed to conduct thorough, cost-effective background investigations. We invite you to contact us at 336-283-0237 or visit our website at to learn how we can support your decision-making process with confidence and efficiency.

Investing in a comprehensive, compliant background check means investing in the safety, integrity, and success of your organization. Choose EDIFY Background Screening for peace of mind and dependable results.

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