Consumer Reports vs Investigative Consumer Reports

What are the differences? Which is better for your organization?

It is common that employers know what consumer reports offer. This is because the majority of requests are for consumer reports within background screening. As defined by the FCRA, “any written, oral, or other communication of any information by a consumer reporting agency bearing on a consumer’s credit worthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or mode of living which is used or expected to be used or collected in whole or in part for the purpose of serving as a factor in establishing the consumer’s eligibility credit or insurance to be used primarily for personal, family or household purposes; employment purposes; or any other purpose authorized”. These reports are used by employers for screening purposes to verify the information the applicant has provided is consistent and correct.

Investigative consumer reports, on the other hand, can act as a standalone report or provide supplemental information to the consumer report. At One Source, we offer both options. Investigative reports through the FCRA are defined as” information on a consumer’s character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or mode of living is obtained through personal interviews with neighbors, friends, or associates of the consumer reported on or with others with whom he is acquainted or who may have knowledge concerning any such items of information.” Both reports allow an employer to evaluate risk. An investigative consumer report offers insight employers use to gain a better understanding of a person’s character through interviews. These are often in the form of personal and/or professional references.

When deciding which might be best, ask what information are you trying to gain. Are you looking for information concerning a person’s job history or schooling credentials? Or are you in search of insight into the character of a person and how they performed for a previous employer?

In all disclosure and authorization forms used through One Source, the signee is authorizing they may be subject to BOTH, a consumer report and/or an investigative consumer report. These forms are adjustable for an employer to change as fits their organization. View disclosure and authorization documents below.

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