Most organizations never conduct a full background check. An employer might do a criminal background check while a loan company will conduct a credit check. If you ever apply for admission to your state bar, though, you'll be subjected to a full background check. There are other instances, too. Applications for federal government positions or an attempt to get a security clearance with the Department of Defense will trigger a more comprehensive check. What will these more invasive checks entail?
Full criminal background information
A full background check will provide more than just a record of cases where you've been found guilty. This check will include all arrests, even if the charges were dropped or never filed. Full background checks will also include items that have been expunged from your record. While an expungement can conceal some information from basic checks, the public record is not destroyed. A truly comprehensive background check can find even those things a person has taken great lengths to conceal. Depending upon who does the background check, you may even uncover juvenile records.
Full financial and credit history
A full background check will include a credit check. Your score and all potentially negative items will be listed out. If you've had a bankruptcy or foreclosure, you can expect those items on the report, as well. The seven-year rule typically applies even for full background checks. After seven years has passed, no credit check will uncover this information. You can also count on a full check uncovering any broken leases you might have had in the past. If it's in the public record, a truly comprehensive check will bring it to light.
Family court records
Your marriage, divorce, and custody records will come up in a full background check. These issues are all subject to public hearings, which can create a juicy record that background check companies can pour through. In most cases, divorces and custody disputes will be dry enough to contain little data of consequence. In addition, divorces are so common today that going through one won't raise a red flag. If there was something particularly damaging revealed during the divorce, however, it might be uncovered in a full background check.
Information from friends and family
Some background checks will involve interviews with friends and family members from the past. If the FBI is involved and you're seeking a security clearance, the Bureau will try to find out any information that suggests that you'd be a security risk in the future. Most normal people will clear these checks with flying colors. They can still be scary and quite invasive, however.
Full background checks go above and beyond what you'll get from a free background check service. When a full check is involved, financial information, criminal information, and even your personal information is fair game. The comprehensive will give a picture of how your life has looked over the last decade or so, allowing organizations or businesses to make a determination of your worthiness for employment, bar admission, or that all important security clearance.