FAQ's

Our goal is to make your background check experience easy. We don’t want to leave any of your questions unanswered. If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for below, don’t hesitate to call us at (866) 538-6525.

Account Setup and Activation

How do I create a new account?

Visit our website at www.easybackgrounds.com and follow the ‘Account Set Up’ link to create a no cost/obligation account. Complete the quick easyBackgrounds Signup form to create your account.

It appears I need an account authorization code to sign in. It said it would be in my email, but I haven't seen it yet. What do I do?

If your welcome email is not in your Spam or Junk email folder, please give us a call at (800) 538-6525, or drop us a quick note to support@easybackgrounds.com. We’ll activate your account immediately from here and let you know when you should be able to enter your login information. When you do, you will be provided with a copy of our License Agreement. Then, you will be instructed to enter your name as entered when you created the account, your user ID and you will need to agree/disagree to the terms. If you agree and select ‘submit information’, you will be ready to screen!

How long is my account active? How do I reactivate it?

Company accounts remain active when an order is placed at least once per year, and individual users remain active when ordering once each 6 months or more. Accounts are deactivated to protect your credit card and personal information. You will receive an automatic email letting you know if your account status is changed to inactive. To reactivate, just reply to that email with a quick note requesting a reactivation. We’ll do that ASAP and confirm that you’re all set to order again.

Ordering and Order Updates

How do I place an order?
  • Log in to your account.
  • Click the Order Reports tab.
    • Applicant: Create Profile.
    • Fill out all information for the Applicant. Please note: Name format is Last, First, Middle.
    • You do not need to enter in any additional names or address to search; these will automatically populate if necessary based on the Instant Address History/SSN Trace.
    • If you would like us to automatically send a copy of the report to the applicant, check off the By Email box and include the candidate’s email address. (This is not a required step)
    • If you would like to provide the applicant’s phone number so that we may contact them if we need additional information, check off the next box and provide their phone number. (This is not a required step)
  • Criteria: Select Searches.
    • In the drop down bar, select the package you wish to use.
    • Click Select.
    • Search bars containing the included searches will appear below.
    • If they are colored green, they are complete and do not require anything additional from you.
    • If they are yellow, click anywhere on the bar to see what you need to provide. A new area should drop down. Fill out any required information.
      • For example, if you ordered an education verification, you will need to add additional information.
    • Be sure to hit save in each drop down area before you proceed.
  • Once all the bars are green, you are ready to submit.
    • On the right side of your screen, you will see a box that says Current Order.
    • Press the green order button to place the order.
    • A small window should pop up asking if you would like to review your order or place another order.
    • Click review your order to see an overview of your now pending report.
    • Click order another to continue placing orders.

Please note: If the total cost is higher than the package price, this could be due to additional county or state jurisdictions auto-populating based on the Instant Address/SSN Trace, or it could be due to court fees in the jurisdictions ordered. We recommend that you order all counties that populate, as they reflect areas that the candidate has lived in within the past 7 years.

However, if you do not wish to order these, simply click on the bar, and remove the individual searches you do not want us to search. If you would like to remove an entire search group from your report, click the X on the right of the bar to remove it, but please be advised this will remove all of the jurisdictions.

How do I order an additional search to a report that is already in progress?

To order additional searches on a report that is currently in progress, login to your easyBackgrounds account. Once there, locate the candidate-either by the Quick Find link, or by clicking In Progress and selecting their name. This will bring you to the Applicant: Detailed View screen.
Below their name, DOB and SSN, click on View Report Options then Order More.

This will bring you to the order reports screen, and the applicant’s information will be pre-filled. Select the package or search that you would like to order (you will not need to reorder any of the searches that you already have in progress), then click order. This search will now be included with the original report.

How do I re-screen an applicant?

To re-screen an applicant that you already have a completed report on, login to your easyBackgrounds account. Once there, locate the candidate-either by the Quick Find link or by clicking Completed and selecting their name. This will bring you to the Applicant: Detailed View screen. Below their name, DOB and SSN, click on View Report Options then Re-Screen this Applicant. This will bring you to the order reports screen, and the applicant’s information will be pre-filled. Select the package or search that you would like to order, then click Order.

After my candidate was done entering their SwiftHire information and submitted the request, the system seemed to freeze/took a long time to process. What may have caused this?

There are a few reasons that this could have happened. The most likely reasons could be either Internet congestion at the time of submitting the order, or more commonly, the browser being used. Our system works best with Firefox, so we always recommend using this when possible – it will still work with other browsers, but Firefox is optimal.

Database vs. County Searches

What is the difference between a ‘database’ and county court search?

Aggregated databases pull information from publicly accessible records, save them in a database and then access that database when a search request is made. The accuracy of the information is dependent on when the jurisdictions make the information publicly available and how often the database manager accesses that specific jurisdiction for records.

The advantages are that search results can come back very fast and are very inexpensive. However, the information in the database may be incomplete and/or outdated because not all counties update public access records for electronic access at regular intervals (see our blog on the recent national survey completed by the U.S. Department of Justice). Also, it may be difficult to verify whether a potential match found is your actual candidate if other verifiers, such as date of birth or SSN are not included in the database. Because of these limitations, database only criminal searches do not comply with the FCRA’s “maximum possible accuracy” standard.

A direct County Court search accesses information at the jurisdiction level on request, either by physical or electronic search in the county or State court records. This information is the most accurate and current at the time of the search and reduces risks associated with missed hits from out of date databases. It also provides the opportunity to verify each search at the source using multiple data points. Perhaps most critically, it is the only way a Consumer Reporting Agency can meet the requirements under the FCRA to provide accurate information in our reporting.

These searches may take a little longer to complete, particularly when there is a potential match that requires verification. Source-based county criminal research also delivers higher total value than a database only search by reducing the risk of just one adverse event, i.e., a missed record.

I only want to include a National Criminal Record Indicator in my report, no counties or statewide searches.

It is important that you understand that the National Criminal Records Indicator (NCRI) search is not a complete US/Nationwide search, as data sources and frequency of updates vary by state and may not produce the most current information available.

This search is not intended as a primary means of criminal record research, it is used to enhance the County and Statewide Searches by identifying jurisdictions the candidate may not have provided you. easyBackgrounds strongly recommends that a County Search be conducted in all counties that the candidate has lived in the past 7 years. The choice is always yours to make. However, if you only order the National Criminal Records Indicator, we are required to verify any potential records that are located on this search in order for easyBackgrounds to remain in compliance with the FCRA guidelines to report accurate information. Our policy is to order the County Search wherever the NCRI record indicates. You will incur the costs associated with those county searches as well as any fees charged by those counties.

Search Types and Options

Do you offer a nationwide criminal record search?

We offer a National Criminal Record Indicator search. This product retrieves information from a criminal data base, which most of the US States supply data to. It is not a complete US/Nationwide search, since data sources and frequency of updates vary by state and may not produce the most current information available. This search is not intended as a primary means of criminal record research; it is used to enhance the County and Statewide searches. We recommend that a County Search be conducted in all counties the candidate has lived in the past 7 years.

What is the Instant Address History/SSN Trace? Why is there inaccurate information listed on it? Can the inaccurate information be removed? Where does the information come from?

The SSN Trace verifies that the SSN is valid (or not), compares it against the Master Death Index list of SSNs, and provides the year and state of issuance. It should be noted that this search does not access the Social Security Administration (SSA) and it does not verify that the number is associated with a particular name. If you require verification of SSN assignment to a particular individual, we offer the CBSV-SSN search (Consent Based Social Verification) for pre-hire verification, and E-Verify support post-hire.

Is the Instant Address History/SSN Ttrace a Social Security Number Verification?

The SSN Trace does not come from the SSA Administration and is not used as a Social Security Number Verification. If you need a verification specifically, we offer a search called CBSV-SSN – Consent Based SSN Verification. This service matches personal identifiers directly with the Social Security Administration (SSA) Master File and Death Index. Specific release is required and will be generated at the point of order for signature.

How does the Instant Address History work?

Recent determinations related to compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) indicate that reporting historical addresses on a final report could lead to adverse action by employers, and that address history is not verifiable under FCRA section 613(a)(2).

The Instant Address History is used to identify and populate other types of searches, such as County and Federal record checks, and is visible at the time of order as well as on the search in your online account. However, it cannot be included on the final report. The results of the SSN verification, including validity of the number, the state and year of issue, master death index match, and relationship to the provided name will still be included on the final report.

I would like to include a credit report as part of my background screening. Can you help with this?

If you only need to obtain a credit report on one or two applicants, we recommend that you request your candidate obtain their free annual report and provide it to you. FCRA guidelines require site inspection, and additional fees would be incurred for us to provide this service to you.

However, if you regularly require credit reports and intend to order them frequently, we will be happy to connect you with the service that can certify your location and set up regular reporting access. The fees included are: $105 for setup and site visit, $10 per report and either $7.50 monthly or $60 annual fee for maintaining your account. All these items are billed from Merchants Credit Bureau (MCB).

Where can I see a list of the individual searches that are offered and how much they cost?

To see a list of the individual searches that are offered and how much they cost, log in to your easyBackgrounds account. Once there, click on the My Account tab, then Pricing and My Prices. This will provide you with all our individual searches pricing, as well as the pricing of your personalized packages.

Where can I find what is included in my packages?

To see what is included in your personalized packages, log in to your easyBackgrounds account. Once there, click on the My Account tab, then Pricing and My Prices. This will provide you with all our individual search pricing, as well as the pricing of your personalized packages. Click on the package that you want to use and a new window will open that provides the details.

Why should I use packages and how do I change them?

Packages are common and combine search types that you perform regularly. For example, you may perform different types of searches for your light industrial staff than you do for your executive team, or those traveling with company vehicles. Packages save you money by helping us pass on the savings we receive in performing those combined searches, and save your time in ordering.

To add or modify a package, just give us a call!

Employer Requirements Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)

What would we need to comply with to become a participating member of easyBackgrounds?

The FCRA requires that any requester of a consumer report for employment purposes meets specific guidelines for why that information is gathered, how it is used and how the candidate must be informed. Our end-user agreement includes our standard terms and conditions, as well a your certification that you understand and comply with FCRA guidelines, including permissible purpose to obtain a consumer report, compliance with state and federal laws, protecting consumer information and more. Agreeing to these items is done when you create your account as well as when a new user is added to your account. We can provide a copy of that agreement, as well as a guidelines for an effective background screening policy on request.

Please review the end agreement closely as well as the two additional documents that accompany this FAQ with your welcome email.

Where can I find a copy of a release form/any document to provide to my applicants?

To obtain a copy of a release forms, notifications and other forms, log in to your easyBackgrounds account. Once there, click on the My Account tab, then Profile then My Documents. This will provide you with a list of some of our commonly used documents.

Can you help me with Adverse Action Letters?

Yes! In the event a Pre-adverse or Adverse Action notification is necessary, we can provide you the forms pre-populated with our contact information and the steps the consumer can take to for correction or dispute.

Pricing and Added Fees

Aside from the package price, what additional fees will I Incur?

AsApproximately 15% of County Courts nationwide charge a fee – usually in the $1 to $10 range. These Court fees vary widely from county to county, and state to state. We pass these fees on directly with no markup as an addition to your package or individual search rates. When conducting criminal record search in New York, the Court fee will be $65.00 (see below). This is the only state that has a fee this high. Any of these additional fees will be displayed alongside the search prior to your confirming each order.

Other additional fees you may encounter

  • For Employment Verifications – some companies have outsourced employment history and verifications to a third-party service. Those organizations require anyone requesting employment verification to utilize that service. In those instances, fees of around $10 to $12 will be added to the verification.
  • For Education, Degree, and Certificate Verifications – some schools and institutions also utilize third party services for verification. Third party fees for individual student records range from around $7, to as high as $20 each.

These third-party verification fees are not presented at the time of ordering, since there is no set system for identifying which companies, schools and other institutions are utilizing them in advance of our attempt to verify.

Why is the fee for New York $65?

This search is conducted through the OCA, which is the New York State Office of Court Administration. It is the only access to a criminal record search information for the state of New York, as well as for several counties in and around the New York City region. The OCA charges this fee directly. The court fee includes searches for conviction, non-conviction and pending records as it relates to felony and misdemeanor cases, originating in Town and Village Courts, City, and County/Supreme Courts. This is much more comprehensive than what is available from most other state searches, which typically search only the upper courts. The results from this search are produced almost instantly.

Payment Options, Credit Card Information and Invoicing

What is the easyBackgrounds credit application?

You can choose to be invoiced monthly or have your service charges applied automatically to your credit card after the report is completed. If you would like to set up a company credit account, select credit application option and complete our easyBackgrounds credit application. We process those on the same day. On approval, your account will be ready to use.

Why do I need to provide a credit card on the easyBackgrounds credit application?

As part of the review and approval process for easyBackgrounds Credit, an authorization is run in the amount of $200 on the credit card provided to secure your account. This is an authorization only, to confirm card validity and available funds – it is NOT a charge and does not affect your credit card account balance. The credit card provided will only be charged if your account becomes significantly past due. Once we receive the authorization, you will be all set for monthly billing.

What are the payments terms for clients?

Our User Agreement states that you agree to pay nonrefundable fees and other charges for easyBackgrounds’ background check services. Full payment must be made within thirty (30) days of the invoice date. At easyBackgrounds’ option, payments not received thirty (30) days after the date of the invoice will cause the account to be placed on temporary interruption, with no additional requests being processed until the balance due is paid in full or arrangements have been made with easyBackgrounds’ Accounts Payable Department. Accounts with invoices unpaid (90) days or more will be assessed an interest charge of 1 1/2 % per month, as allowed by applicable law. If the account goes to collection, End-User agrees to pay all collection expenses, including attorneys’ fees and court costs.

The End-User agrees that providing credit card information and submitting it electronically to easyBackgrounds represents a legal authorization to debit the card for the orders placed or for non-payment per the 30 day terms. End-User agrees that prices for services are subject to change without notice, although easyBackgrounds will make every reasonable effort to give notice of such change before it becomes effective. Any account that remains inactive for a period of twelve (12) months will be deemed inactive and may be terminated by easyBackgrounds.

Where can I find copies of my invoices?

To view your invoices, login to your easyBackgrounds account. Once there, click on the ‘My Account’ tab. Click on ‘Accounting’ then ‘Invoices’. This will provide you with a list of all your invoices, allow you to select a summary or detailed view, as well as show you the amount and status (paid/unpaid).

On my invoice, it is listing the payment as NA (Credit), but my card was charged. What does this mean?

This invoice reflects the completed report for the candidate listed. Your credit card was correctly charged. NA (Credit) means that the credit card type was not successfully captured. It is not a reflection on the payment status. The payment was successfully charged.

How do I update my credit card?

Login to your easyBackgrounds account. Once there, click on the ‘My Account’ tab. Click on ‘Accounting’ then ‘Update Credit Card’. This will provide you with your current credit card profile, and allow you to update or change the information.

Screening Completion Times

How long will it take to complete my background screening order?

The time required to complete a background screening order is referred to as “turnaround time,” or TAT. TAT depends upon a number of factors; two key factors include:
• the specific search types that you ordered – different searches take different amounts of time to complete; and
• the jurisdictions in which the screening is to be completed – different jurisdictions employ different methods to store and access records.

There are a number of other factors that can affect TATs for searches. Take a look at Transparency in Turnaround Time for more information.

Why is my criminal background screening taking so long to complete? Does it mean there is a record?

Not necessarily. There is a wide range of factors that can affect the TAT for criminal searches that have nothing at all to do with the existence of a record. There are approximately 3,700 counties in the U.S., and they can employ very different methods to store, retrieve, or make their records available. Some courts require the physical intervention of the clerks or their staff, which can cause delays due to staffing, particularly during the summer vacation season when available staff levels are reduced and some working schedules are shorter. Similar issues can arise during holiday periods. Recently, some court systems have begun obscuring important confirmatory data such dates of birth and social security numbers in the public accessible records. Rest assured that easyBackgrounds is working closely with its research sources to minimize the effects of these factors on your search TAT.

Do you still have questions?

Call easyBackgrounds today at (800) 538-6525 and or email us at support@easybackgrounds.com,
and one of our friendly staff will be happy to answer your questions.