What are the Different Levels of Background Checks?

March 15, 2022

When looking for a job, many people wonder what the different levels of background checks are. There are many different levels of background check, and each one has its own purpose. In this article, we will discuss the different levels of background checks and explain what each one entails.

What is a Background Check?

It is a process that employers use to screen potential employees. It involves checking the criminal history, credit score, and driving record of an applicant. Employers will use background checks to determine if an applicant is qualified for the job. Landlords also use background checks to screen potential tenants.

Level 1 Background Check

The Level 1 Background check is also known as a basic background check. It is the most common type of background check, and it includes a search of public records. The Level I Background Check will reveal criminal convictions, bankruptcies, liens, and judgments.

This is the most popular background check for employment. It is also the most basic and does not include a search of private records. Generally, most employers will only require a Level I Background Check.

Level 2 Background Check

The Level 2 Background Check is more comprehensive than the Level I Background Check. It includes all of the information in the Level I Background Check plus a search of private records. Private records include employment history, education history, and reference checks.

Companies will usually conduct a Level 2 Background Check when they are considering a candidate for a high-security position or a position that involves handling a lot of money. Level 2 background checks are also known as comprehensive background checks.

Level 3 Background Check

The Level 3 Background Check is the most comprehensive type of background check. It includes all of the information in the Level 1 and Level 2 Background Checks plus a search of military records and credit reports.

This type of background check is usually reserved for positions that require a high-level security clearance. Credit reports can reveal if an applicant has a history of financial instability. Military records can reveal if an applicant has a history of drug abuse or mental illness.

It is important to note that few employers require a Level 3 Background Check. In fact, they are highly uncommon unless the position is very sensitive.

How to Pass Your Background Check

If you are worried about your background check, there are a few things you can do to improve your chances of passing. First, make sure that all of your criminal history is up-to-date and accurate. If you have any convictions on your record, be prepared to explain them.

Secondly, ensure that your credit score is in good shape. A low credit score can indicate that you are not responsible with money. Finally, make sure that your driving record is clean. Driving violations can suggest that you are a risky driver, which can make you seem reckless.

Be sure to address any issues on your background check before you apply for a job. This will show the employer that you are honest and willing to take responsibility for your actions.

How Much Can a Background Check Affect Potential Employment?

A background check will not automatically disqualify you from a job. However, it can affect your chances of getting the job if there are any negative findings on your record.

If you have a criminal conviction on your record, the employer may be less likely to hire you. A bankruptcy or credit score below 600 may also make an employer hesitant.

It is important to remember that each employer is different and will weigh the findings of your background check differently. Some employers may be more lenient than others, so it is always best to apply for jobs that you are qualified for and have a good chance of getting.


Background checks can be a helpful tool for employers to use when hiring new employees. They can help to ensure that the person they are hiring is honest and trustworthy. There are different levels of background checks, and you’ll have to prepare for each of them differently.

With preparation and perseverance, you’ll have that new job in no time!

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