Background checks are often an essential part of life. Our article tells you if there’s any way to receive a totally free background check.
Background checks are often essential for verifying someone’s identity, eligibility, or personal information. Because of the effort that goes into compiling background check reports and the time it takes to create these reports, most background checks will cost some type of fee to complete. However, if you’re looking for an easier, cheaper way to double-check someone’s history, you may be able to utilize a few different free background check methods.
This article will discuss what background checks are and why they might be useful. Then, we give you an idea of the best free methods for background checks so that you can search for the information you need at no cost.
What Are Background Checks and Why Are They Useful?
Background checks are reports that show the history of a person and include information such as criminal and civil records. They are often used to double-check someone’s identity, verify education and employment history, and ensure that an individual doesn’t have any concerning information in their past, such as an extensive history of felonies or being a registered sex offender.
Background checks evaluate the safety of a person, whether they are being hired for a job, vetted as a potential dating partner, or being offered certain opportunities.
Why Might I Pay for a Background Check?
Background checks conducted through third-party agencies or other companies will often charge for background checks due to the time and labor it takes to put these reports together—usually, the more extensive the report, the more expensive the service.
Online searches, however, can be performed by you and are often free or inexpensive to run. Because less manual labor and time are put into these reports, you can expect to pay very little or nothing at all compared to other types of background checks. But note these types of services cannot be used by employers or landlords to vet potential employees or tenants.
If an employer requires a background check, they will typically run it in-house or foot the cost. So, make sure to double-check expectations before starting the background check process.
How Much Is a Background Check?
Depending on the agency running your background check and the type of background check needed, you can expect to pay anywhere between $10 and a few hundred dollars for your report. The cost of a background check increases when you need something in-depth, fingerprinting or verification of international information.
Methods for Free Background Checks
When it comes to free background checks, there are a few different methods that you can utilize to evaluate someone’s personal history. However, remember that most free online tools are illegal to use as an official background check for employment—research employment and hiring laws in your state to understand your rights regarding background checks in these situations.
A simple way to perform a free background check on someone is to search for their name on the internet using Google. The first page of results is likely the most helpful when finding information about someone, such as social media accounts, potential news stories about the person in question, education and employment history, and criminal or civil records.
Performing an internet search is often the best way to get started in your search for someone’s background, as the information you find will point you in the right research direction.
Reverse Phone Lookups
One of the easiest ways to check someone’s background for free, reverse phone lookups utilize a search based on the individual’s phone number. Simply enter the number into the search tool, run the report, and take your time reviewing what comes back. You will likely have access to criminal and civil records, address information, social media accounts, and friends or relatives that are associated with the owner of the phone number.
Social Media Checks
Evaluating social media for background information about someone can be an easy, free way to learn essential facts. Social media websites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram can all provide information on a person’s work and education history in addition to helping you verify that a person is who they claim to be.
Public Record Access
Public records are just that—public. You can access criminal and civil records along with other records such as driving and education history by visiting courthouses, town halls, and other record-keeping areas. It may take more time to go through these records manually, and if the person in question has used alternate names in the past, you may not get the best results, but evaluating public records can give you solid answers about a person’s criminal, civil, and property ownership history, among other things.
What Can I Do With Background Check Information?
As you discover certain points of information while conducting your free background checks, you may be wondering what you can do with the information you learned. Most public record information is eligible to be accessed by anyone, but you may not make hiring decisions based on a totally free background check search.
Additionally, you cannot use any of the background check information you learn to harass someone, commit or plan a crime, or discriminate against an individual. These serious crimes may result in hefty fines and jail time if convicted.
Finding the Important Information You Need
Background checks are often essential to evaluating a job applicant’s eligibility, vetting the safety of a potential date, or ensuring an individual is qualified for certain opportunities. Unfortunately, sometimes, background checks can be expensive, and there’s no way around it.
Still, if you want to get started verifying a person’s identity or need a totally free way to search for someone’s personal history, then you can utilize the methods in our article. Just be sure that you are using the background information you collect in a legal, responsible fashion, and you’ll be able to find the important information you need for little to no cost.