However, you probably won't see important details about whether they've been arrested or evicted in the past. Luckily, most court information is public record.
To find it, go to your state's official government website or find the information you need at the National Center for State Courts. Make sure you search every state that the person you're checking has lived in. After that, you might want to drill down to discover any felony and misdemeanor convictions on the county and city level.
Keep an eye out for civil judgments, too, such as a bankruptcies and court orders to pay debts. In most cases, a credit report can't be pulled without a legitimate business purpose and written permission. A good strategy for screening a roommate would be to ask him or her to volunteer a report. All consumers are entitled to get a free copy of their credit report once a year from the three reporting agencies — Equifax, Experian and Trans Union. The more information you have about a person, the better your searches will be.
Knowing a middle name and date of birth will help you weed out people with similar names. If you aren't completely sure you've found the right person, don't act on the information until you've verified it is actually them.
Being penalized for something that isn't your fault isn't fun. Kim Komando hosts the nation's largest talk radio show about consumer electronics, computers and the Internet. The background check service also offers detailed reports, which make it easy to hone in on a target.
It paints a complete picture of their education, employment experience, civil activities, financial responsibility, commercial and public records where they were named along with any criminal history or activity. Criminal background checks are most often used for purposes of employment or government agency clearance. In this way, a company protects itself by finding out everything it can about a potential new hire.
The most important reason is to keep your employees, your clients, and your business safe. Performing a background check is mandatory in many situations where an employee will have responsibility for protecting the safety of others such as in a school, courthouse, hospital, financial institution, airport, or the government. Since it is quite common for potential employees to lie on their resumes, you want the whole picture before signing them into service.
Free Background Check Search
Performing a simple free background check on every candidate before hiring can potentially save thousands of dollars and a lot of liability. Another quite common purpose for a criminal background check is rental of property. A landlord can see your address history and if there are any tenant infractions or citations against you to make sure you are going to be a good tenant. A criminal background check is thus essential for landlords. When you perform a comprehensive free background check on someone, you will have access to a lot of free public records and information.
Some of the potential things you will see are:. Things that will not be on the report are medical and mental health records. If the person is currently taking prescriptions, you will not have access to that information.
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Consumer activists dispute the need of free background checks for these two tests and consider them an invasion of privacy. If you do intend to perform all background checks manually, you must be aware of the following:. You can certainly perform a free background check on your own but doing so can be time-consuming, costly, and leave you legally vulnerable.
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Be sure to get proper authorization from the employee or potential candidate with signature to cover yourself. Thankfully there are a variety of online services to do an online background check where you can pay a small fee to have the entire background check processed for you and with a few clicks you can get all the information you need, quickly and easily.
However like with anything, you have to be careful witch an online background check. There are good and bad online background check services out there offering different levels of expertise and quality of service. We have compiled this chart below to help you make an informed, responsible decision about online background checks. Some of the important things to look for when searching for the right online database system to choose for your background checks are:.
Regardless of what service you use, make sure you have the proper authorization if you need to comply with FCRA. With most of the services, your initial search will show some results so you can identify if it is the correct person. A free background check will show you the history, relatives, age and sometimes address history along with any aliases. You will need a paid subscription to get access to all of the detailed information in their database.
Information will vary by service, but some of the information you can expect is:.
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The most common way to do a free background check search online is a combination of name and current address. However services do offer a variety of other ways to search for people, they are:.
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Performing a free background check can be tricky if you use the information for purposes of hiring, firing or eliminating someone from an opportunity for housing or rentals. Before doing any preliminary work of free background checks, check your state laws. In some states, obtaining information on criminal convictions or credit histories is prohibited. Some states disallow the use of motor vehicle records pre-screening for employment purposes. Best Background Check Services. Top Background Check Services of Reviewed.
Read Review. FCRA Accredired User-friendly, good support. FCRA Compliant:. Name, age, phone number, email, addresses, VIN Check, license plate. Easy to use, impressive support.
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FCRA Compliant :. Name, address history, known relatives, social media information. User-friendly, great support. No free report. Easy to use, fairly good support. Small details are extremely important, for instance making sure that the offense that is showing up under say Mike Louis is really Michael C. Louis or Mike W. Lewis and so forth. It is not uncommon to get "untrue" information due to mistaken identity. Running legitimate reports with the applicant's permission, social security number, etc. Last, but not least, a problem with the "free" background check companies is the fine print - regarding how the reports are to be used.
What most people miss usually at the bottom of the screen is the fact that the reports are not to be used for employment background checks, tenant screening, consumer credit decisions or any other purpose that requires FCRA Fair Credit Reporting Act compliance. What this means is that if you are a legitimate business, property manager or landlord, you can be faced with serious legal consequences if you use one of these sites.
Because running reports on one of these sites means that they didn't require the authorization of the applicant to run the background check, which is a violation of the FCRA that requires consumer reporting agencies to have an applicant's permission to run background checks and credit reports.
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