Perform your own background checks online

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Information that an employer might check can include your work history , credit , driving records, criminal records , vehicle registration, court records, compensation, bankruptcy, medical records, references , property ownership, drug test results , military records, and sex offender information. Employers can also conduct a character check, which might involve speaking with your personal acquaintances, including friends and neighbors.

Generally, the information they check will be related to the job.

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For example, if you are hired to work in a bank, it would be reasonable for the employer to check whether you have a history of embezzlement or theft. The extensiveness of a background check depends on the employer, company, and the job involved. For example, if you are applying for a government job with a high security clearance , you will likely undergo a very thorough background check. What can't be included in a background check? There is some information that cannot be disclosed under any circumstances.

This information includes bankruptcies after 10 years, civil suits and civil judgments and records of arrest after 7 years, paid tax liens after 7 years, and accounts placed for collection after 7 years. Employers can only look into certain records with your consent. For example, school records are confidential and cannot be released without the consent of the student. Military service records are also confidential and can only be released under certain circumstances.

15 Best Background Check Websites to Search for Reliable Info

However, the military can disclose your name, rank, salary, assignments, and awards without your consent. You cannot be discriminated against because you filed for bankruptcy; however, bankruptcies are a public record, so it is easy for employers to obtain the information. Laws also vary from state to state regarding some background checks. For example, some states don't allow questions about arrests or convictions beyond a certain point in the past.

That means you can get up to three credit reports for free a year.

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To see your credit report, visit the annual credit report website. Keep in mind that a credit report does not show your credit score — you need to pay for that separately. If you believe there's an error on your credit report, follow the FTC's guidelines for disputing it.

Best background check services at a glance

Employers or other organizations interested in verifying your education might go through a service like the National Student Clearing House, or they might ask for copies of official diplomas or transcripts. If you think an employer or another organization is going to ask for copies of your transcripts, make sure there are no errors on them. If you're applying for a job, to school, to volunteer, etc. Type your name and city into a search engine to see what comes up make sure to turn off all personalization settings in your browser first. Beyond that, check all the privacy settings on your social media accounts If you aren't sure how to do this, there are plenty of helpful guides online.

Make sure your photos and posts are shared only with the people you're comfortable sharing them with.

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If you have any posts or photos that could be seen as unprofessional, make sure they are kept private or deleted. Running a personal background check on yourself periodically is a great way to ensure that you're staying on top of your records. If you're applying for a rental property, college, or a new job, it's important that you check your criminal record, credit report, and online footprint thoroughly so you can contest any errors.

Best Background Check Sites for Employers

With 36 years of experience in background screening, Justifacts is our pick for Best Background Check Service for Landlords Justifacts services are available across industries, so many of the reports landlords and property managers need to run on potential tenants are already part of Justifacts' process. However, they also offer reports that are specific to landlord and property managers screening needs, such as a tenant credit check and previous landlord reference checks. Pros: Justifacts' real estate services evolved from their work with existing clients in other industries and are supported by the tools and structures Justifacts has put in place for all customers.

For example, reports are accessed via their recently updated web portal rather than received via email.

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Additionally, each client is assigned an account manager. Cons: Because Justifacts offers services across industries, you won't find the customizations specific for landlords offered by some background services companies that solely focus on landlords e. What sets the company apart from others providing this service, according to Lorin Biederman, eNannySource Operations Manager, is that "we personally review each order that comes through.

We do not solely rely on database results. Read our full eNannySource review. Pros: Their customer support is available via phone and email. We tested both and received a call back within the same business day and email response was even quicker. Cons: Background screening is only one part of the nanny resource services eNannySource offers, which may be why they don't have some of the tools, such as as a web portal, that some other vendors offer.

Instead, reports are provided as pdfs via email.

Free Government&FBI BackgroundCheck

What set Justifacts apart in our review is a demonstrated commitment to compliance and technology tools to assist customers. In May they launched an updated web portal where clients cannot only view reports in real time but can also access Justifacts' new Individual Assessment Tool that helps clients with Equal Employment Opportunities Commission EEOC compliance. Justifacts services are available across industries, so many of the reports financial companies need to run on potential employees are already part of the Justifacts process.

Pros: Justifacts does not offer pre-configured packages as they work with each client to determine the specific reports they need. According to Aaron Cotter, Sales Manager, with this personal approach they were able to make adjustments to their processes to meet the unique needs of banking customers and save them money.

Cons: Because Justifacts does not offer pre-configured packages of their services, you cannot find a cost-estimate for the reports you need on their website. Therefore, you can't do a quick online cost comparison versus their competition, but instead you'll have to contact the company to discuss your specific needs.

To save money, you may consider a do-it-yourself DIY approach to running a background check. While this is fine for some situations, such as checking out a potential mate you met online or learning about a long-lost relative, you must use caution if you are pre-screening a potential employee or tenant because the FCRA regulates background checks for these purposes. There are many ways to gather information on people in our digital age. But, keep in mind, the information you find can be misleading, incomplete and even, at times, incorrect.

Search engines, public records, and social media are just a few sources you can search for free. With the breadth and depth of background screening services available, we utilized an expansive review of search terms, social trending and web research to narrow our list.

Best background check services

We then researched further to determine if there were additional qualifiers specific to companies that focused on a particular industry, such as household, finance and landlord. Once we narrowed our list for review, we looked at each company's website for ease of use and quality of information. For any missing information we contacted the company. In this process, we not only filled in information gaps, but also assessed their speed and thoroughness of response.

In addition to those we selected in our Best Of categories, here are other companies we reviewed:. AccurateNow is a division of Accurate Background and offers automated background check services for small and medium-sized businesses. Employment Screening Services, Inc. HireRight provides background screening services to businesses of all sizes around the globe. Their HireRight Express service offers three levels of pre-configured screening packages. Verified Credentials has been in business for more than 30 years and offers background screening for personal and business needs.

InfoMart is a founding and accredited member of NAPBS offering background screening services around the globe across many industries. One of its reports is an applicant risk assessment called Tenant Score.