Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a Social Security Number (SSN) and an individual Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN), and how it is used when pulling a background screening report?
According to the IRS, a TIN is only available for certain nonresident and resident aliens, their spouses, and dependents who cannot get a SSN and is used for administering tax laws such as filing tax returns and opening a bank account. Depending on the identification number, it is either issued by the IRS directly or by the Social Security Administration (SSA). TINs are a 9-digit number, beginning with the number “9” and formatted like an SSN.
SSNs are issued to U.S. Citizens and those with lawful alien status. They will not begin with the number “9.”
The three major credit bureaus only use the SSN for credit report identification purposes. It is important to remember that these three bureaus are businesses, not government organizations. While there are governmental regulations and oversight – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion have the lead in protecting consumer data and information, along with determining what information is furnished in credit reports.
What happens if a TIN is used to access a credit profile on ApplyConnect? Experian, as the other two bureaus, does not use a TIN to identify a consumer thus the renter will fail the identity authentication process and be prevented from purchasing their tenant credit report.
As a result of this system, if the applicant has an SSN that is the most reliable way to verify an individual’s identity and return a complete credit report.
It is important to protect your investment and organization by utilizing a quality background screening service with extensive consumer ID tools at its disposal which meets industry standards. Data integrity is the foundation of a trustworthy background check.