Consumers are individuals who may be the subject of a background check, often as an applicant for employment or tenancy. PBSA assists consumers in understanding their rights and responsibilities related to background checks for employment or tenancy.
As applicants, and the subject of the reports our members prepare, you are an essential part of the background screening process. Employers, property managers and background screeners have legal requirements to follow under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to ensure your rights as a consumer are protected. PBSA encourages applicants to stay engaged in the process, ask questions and discuss any concerns you have with either your employer or property manager or the background screener.
The information below is intended to provide you, the subject of background check report, with general knowledge of the process, terminology used, and your rights. Note that most of the information provided is geared towards individuals in the United States; however, individuals outside of the U.S. may also find the information helpful. In addition, there are some links for information specific to other countries.
The following resources are provided to you on behalf of the PBSA to serve as valuable navigational tools and resources to assist you. This information is intended for general educational and informational purposes only and is not legal advice, expressed or implied. If you need legal advice, consult with a qualified, licensed attorney.
- History of Background Screening
- Infographic: Background Screening Process
- Infographic: Consumer Benefits of Professional Background Screens
- Infographic: Background Screening Basics
US Federal Agency Links
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
- Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
US Credit Bureau Information
US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
- Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
- Questions and Answers About the EEOC’s Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions Under Title VII
- Background Checks: What Job Applicants and Employees Should Know
US Federal Trade Commission
- Background Checks
- Fair Credit Reporting Act
- FTC Consumer Information
- Employee Background Checks
- Background Checks: What Employers Need to Know
- Background Checks: Tips For Job Applicants and Employees
- Renting an apartment? Be prepared for a background check
US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
- Summary of Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (eff. 9.21.2018)
- Summary of Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act - En Espanol (eff. 9.21.2018)
- Summary of Rights For Victims of Identity Theft (eff. 9.21.2018)
- Summary of Rights For Victims of Identity Theft - En Espanol (eff. 9.21.2018)