Applicant Background Check FAQ'sFAQ: How do I pass a background check?
A: Give a frank and honest explanation during the job interview of any past problems. Check your records, check your references, and check your web footprints. For more information, see How to Pass a Background Check.
FAQ: What if there are mistakes in my background check?
A: Mistakes do occur in background checks. The information in a background check was created, compiled, maintained, searched, and reported by fallible individuals. This is why it is important that employers give you the opportunity to review negative information before any adverse action is taken. If you identify information in a report that is incomplete or inaccurate, you should promptly inform the employer, provide any supporting documentation and request the information be re-investigated. When notified of discrepancies in our reports, we promptly re-investigate and furnish the required reports, notifications, etc., at no further charge. For more see What should an APPLICANT do if an error is found in a background check? If you have any questions about a background check from A Matter of Fact please contact our customer service representative (see main office).
FAQ: I may be a victim of identity theft or fraud, what should I do?
A: In the "Resources For Applicants" section below, review the FTC's (Federal Trade Commission) Identity Theft Resources and visit the Identity Theft Resource Center web site. If other names appeared on your Social Security Scan, see Six Common Reasons Other Names May Appear on a Social Security Number Scan.
FAQ: Does A Matter of Fact maintain Consumer Information such as a Criminal Record Database? Does A Matter of Fact reuse information from old background checks?
A: No! The only consumer files we maintain are archived copies of recent background checks. No information from a prior background check is used in a subsequent background check. Each report is compiled separately from fresh research.
FAQ: Can I get a copy of my file?
A: A Matter of Fact will only have a "file" for you if we have recently conducted a background check at the request of an employer. If you were denied employment or promotion due at least in part to the information contained in the background check we conducted, you should have received a full copy of your report from the employer. You should have also received a letter from the employer explaining your rights and providing details on how to obtain a copy of your file from us (or see main office). The Background Check Report that you will receive from us will be another copy of the same report we gave to the employer. Your file may contain other documents such as the original Background Check Request sent to us by the employer.
Note: Some employers routinely request that all applicants complete a background check authorization as part of the application process, but only order background checks on final candidates. At times, this causes applicants to believe we have conducted a background check when we have not. We only conduct background checks when requested by approved employers. Usually, an employer will tell you when they have actually ordered a background check.
FAQ: How do I get my FREE annual copy of my file?
A: There is some confusion here. The FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) gives consumers the right to annually obtain a free copy of their files from consumer reporting agencies that compile and maintain files on consumers on a nationwide basis. A Matter of Fact does not compile or maintain such consumer files. Each background check report prepared by A Matter of Fact is compiled from fresh research data (see above Does A Matter of Fact maintain Consumer Information such as a Criminal Record Database?).
FAQ: Does A Matter of Fact respect a consumer's privacy?
FAQ: How Do I Get My Own Work History?
A: The Social Security Administration has several reports that may help you reconstruct your own Work History. See below, Social Security Work History and Earnings History Reports.
Resources For ApplicantsThe following resources may be of use to you as an applicant (or "consumer" as you are called in the law).
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
- For corrected Summary of Consumer Rights form see here (pages 5-7 of 20)
- FTC: Background Check Resources:
- FTC: Identity Theft Resources:
- Federal Reserve Board of Governors
- Social Security Work History and Earnings History Reports
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
Identity Theft Resource Center
- The Identity Theft Resource Center® provides victim and consumer support as well as public education.
- National Credit Bureau Contact Information
- Background Check Related Laws
- FCRA Background Check Requirements for Employers
- California Background Check Law and FCRA Employer Requirements Summary
- A Matter of Fact Background Check FAQ
- Background Check Articles