After several months of searching you have finally found the perfect job. You have gone through the interview and the potential new employer likes you. In fact they have offered you a job, pending a background check. If there is a black mark on your history, you may be wondering, how many years does a background check go back?
Background checks can differ greatly, according to the information for which the new employer is looking. For example, if the employer is talking about a credit check, most of this information is limited to a seven year reporting period. The exception in the credit report is judgments and bankruptcies. These are reported on your credit report for up to ten years, but are always of court record where the action was filed.
When persons have a criminal record, the amount of time for the report will vary by jurisdiction. It is typical for felonies to be kept much longer than misdemeanor crimes. If your crime was later pardoned, it will not show up on the report at all.
If the background report is searching for things like social security fraud, these items are usually reported as current events only. If you were involved several years ago and escaped without criminal charges, it is likely that there will be no report filed. Thus your dark secret may remain in the dark.
Most records used for employment verification report information that is less than seven years old. Certain employers may keep records for a longer time, however the background check is normally only interested in this amount of time.
Education background checks are simple checks with institutions of higher education where you claim to have attended. If you were truthful in your application or resume, then there should be no red marks in this area.
If you have marks against you that are within the time included in how many years a background check goes back, the best policy is to be upfront with an employer about the situation. Let them know how you have learned your lesson and have turned over a new leaf. It is possible that you will still get the job you seek.
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