Are Background Checks Accurate? These Certainly Are.

There’s a lot of information that can be turned up using modern technology, but you may still wonder if background checks are really that accurate. After all, acting on incorrect information about someone can have consequences. In this article, we are going to explain just how accurate background checking sites are and which sites to use to get the current information every time.

 

People run background checks for serious reasons. Perhaps you are looking for a long-lost family member? Perhaps you want to find out more about a new neighbour or your daughter’s new boyfriend? Perhaps you don’t trust the new guy in the office.

Whatever your reason, if you run a background check, it is vital that the information you get back is accurate. Just imagine the consequences if it isn’t.

You could end up traveling across the country to meet someone who isn’t actually your long-lost half-sister. You might accuse your daughter’s new boyfriend of having a criminal record when he hasn’t. You could end up accusing your new colleague of something he hasn’t done.

It doesn’t bear thinking about which is why people are so keen to know which background sites are best at generating accurate results. The truth is that some sites are much better than others. In this article, we are going to tell you everything you need to know to make sure that if you run a background check it is accurate every time.

What is a background check?

Before we begin, let’s establish exactly what a background check is and why you might want to run one.

A background checking site is an online service which can generate a profile of anyone in the country by pulling together information from hundreds of different publicly available data sources. The sort of information they can find includes things like:

  • Criminal records (state, county, and city)
  • Employment history
  • Work authorization
  • Credit history
  • Education history (high school and college)
  • Driving record
  • Licenses held
  • Social media profiles

On its own, this information doesn’t tell you very much. But when it is put together, it can paint a powerful and interesting portrait of a person. This can be useful for a number of different reasons:

  • Criminal checks – If you are worried about a neighbor or work-colleague a background check can tell you whether someone has a criminal record.
  • Employment checks – Before hiring someone, employees often like to run a background check to make sure their CV checks out. (There are specific laws governing this kind of background check.).
  • Finding information about someone – If someone in your life is a bit of a mystery and you want to know more, a background check can help.
  • Finding a lost family member or friend – If you have lost contact with a friend or relative, a background check can help you track them down.
  • Checking for local sex offenders – If the risk of possible sex offenders living in your area worries you, a background check can help you know or put your mind at ease.
  • Checking records about yourself – A lot of people are interested in knowing what information about themselves is publicly available. Running a background check on yourself will tell you.

Background checks are useful for all these reasons and more, but only if they are accurate. If they return information which is not correct, this can create far more problems than it solves.

What is the most accurate background checking site

Finding an accurate background checking site is very important, but it is also not as easy as you might think. Some sites are much more thorough than others and while some are just trying to get money out of you at any cost, others are genuinely built by people with pride in the service they offer and a commitment to getting things right.

We have been tested all the top background checking sites to see which ones can produce the most accurate and consistent results. The results are now in and here is our pick of the top three accurate background checking sites:

1. BeenVerified

BeenVerified is both a great all-round background checking site and the most accurate of all the sites we tested. They generate detailed reports with all of the information presented to customers in easy-to-follow reports. We tested BeenVerified with multiple subjects and not once did they miss a record we would expect them to find. Even when given vague information, BeenVerified was able to track down the right data.

Their service comes at a reasonable price too. A basic subscription is just $26.89 per month or you can pay a mere $17.48 per month for a three-month package. For such a thorough and accurate service, this is a terrific price.

You can stay up-to-date with the progress of your checks through an excellent desktop dashboard or their smooth and well-designed apps for iOS and Android devices. Their service is fast and easy to use, but there is also a responsive customer support team if you do encounter any issues

ACCURATE BACKGROUND CHECKS: BeenVerified gives you a thorough, detailed, and accurate background checks every time. Use this link for an incredible discount.

2. TruthFinder


TruthFinder was another background checking site that proved unerringly accurate throughout our tests. They didn’t put a foot wrong, even with complex queries and limited data being provided to them. The speed of their work was not quite as consistent as some other providers but this did depend on the nature of the search. Nevertheless, their reports were first-class as were both their dashboard and their apps.

TruthFinder also offers a responsive 24/7 customer support on a toll-free number which is great for new users. There is a real sense that the customer is their top priority, which is not always the case with lesser background checking sites.

EXCLUSIVE DEAL: TruthFinder lets you run a quick, accurate background check without hassle. Give it a try with our special discounted subscription offer available to our readers only.

3. Instant CheckMate

 

Instant CheckMate impressed us with the accuracy of their results, and were especially good with vague searches. The speed of their service also impressed us too with results generated faster than every other site we tested.

At $34.78 per month, or with a discount, a three-month subscription for $27.82 per month, they are not the cheapest. But if speed and accuracy are what you need, it might be worth paying a little more.

Instant CheckMate also offers nice apps and a good dashboard. Their customer service was very helpful too and their reports, while detailed, were never too difficult to decipher.

Why are some background checks inaccurate?

There are a variety of different reasons why a background check could turn up inaccurate information. Some of these are avoidable and may be your fault rather than the site, and some are unavoidable no matter which site you use:

  • Initial information is wrong – When you start running a background check, you will be asked to input as much information as you can about the subject. Most sites can dig out accurate reports with a bare minimum of information. But if you input something wrong, it could end up with them checking someone else. It is therefore important to make sure all the details are correct and input accurately. If you have any doubt about a piece of information, it is best not to use it and risk a false-positive result.
  • An error in the records – Background checking sites source their information from dozens of differently publicly available records. It is not unknown for these records to contain mistakes either due to human error or a failure to update or amend files. If they do, a background check is unlikely to know so this false information could be reported as fact.
  • Common details – If a subject has a fairly unique name, it shouldn’t be too difficult to get accurate information. But if they have a common name, like John Smith, it can be harder to differentiate between individuals. Equally, if an address has multiple people with the same name there, mistakes can happen. High-quality background checking sites shouldn’t make these mistakes often, but it can never be ruled out entirely.
  • Different sources – Background checking sites will often source information from different places. Some of these sources can be more accurate and up-to-date than others, so this can have a bearing on how accurate their reports are.
  • Similarities and coincidences – Sometimes, inaccuracies are just down to bad luck. If someone with a similar name also has a similar social security number or birthday, sites can get mixed up and make mistakes. Again, the best sites, such as the ones we have recommended above, have taken steps to mitigate this risk. But none will claim to be able to offer a cast-iron guarantee.

What to do if you think a report contains inaccuracies

If you opt for any of the three providers on this list, the chances of you finding inaccuracies in your final reports are minimal. But it is possible, so it is useful to know what you can do if you have doubts. Try these three steps:

  1. The first thing to do is check through the initial information that you input into the site. Make sure you haven’t entered anything incorrectly, which could be affecting the results.
  2. Next, contact the site’s customer support to ask for advice. All high-quality background checking sites have excellent customer support which can usually be reached either on the phone or through a live-chat service online. They will be able to look into the results you have doubts over and even help you to double-check the source.
  3. The last step is to check the sources yourself. If a background check has got most things right, but there are one or two results which don’t look right, it is worth going to the source yourself to double-check. It might be that their site is checking an out-of-date or inaccurate version of the records and you may well be able to find the right information yourself in no time at all.

Will free background checking sites return accurate results?

We are often asked why people shouldn’t use a free background checking site rather than paying for the service. Accuracy is one of the main reasons we give.

A free background checking site is unlikely to be using sources that are either up-to-date or accurate. They will certainly not be referencing the same huge range of data sources that a paid-for site does. This inevitably leads to them reporting inaccurate results far more frequently. Equally, the algorithms they use to search through these databases are likely to be far simpler than a paid-for site and this means they will make more mistakes.

We get far more complaints and comments about free background checking sites than we do paid-for ones and our tests back up this feedback. As a rule, if you want an accurate background check carried out, don’t use a free site.

Conclusion

If you pick the right background checking site, you can be fairly confident that it will deliver accurate results. But no site will claim to be 100% accurate. In this article, we have picked out the three sites which our tests found to be the most accurate.

But, as we have explained, there are occasions where even these sites can go wrong. Sometimes their sources contain errors and if you give them inaccurate information to start with, this can also lead to bad results. But the chances are that they will return accurate results far more often than not and we would not hesitate to trust any of them

Have you ever experienced an inaccuratebackground check? What did you do? Do you have any additional tips for our readers?

We always welcome feedback and comments from our readers to help inform others, so why not share your own experiences with us using the comment box below?

Read Are Background Checks Accurate? These Certainly Are. by David Spencer on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

Does a Sealed Record Appear on a Background Check?

If you have a criminal record which has been sealed and are wondering whether it will show up someone runs a background check on you, don’t fret. In this article, we will explain exactly what happens to your criminal record once it has been sealed and recommend the best background checking sites to see for yourself what comes up.

It is possible for convicted offenders to apply to a court to have their criminal record either expunged or sealed. What’s more, it is quite common for offenders who are looking to make a fresh start to do just this. Depending on the nature of the crime, and whether they fulfill all the necessary requirements, many have a good chance of succeeding.

But even if their application is successful, a lot of people are still unsure whether a background check will be able to reveal their criminal past, even when charges were dismissed. In this article, we are going to tell you everything you need to know about sealed records and what information remains in the public domain. We will also advise you how to check your own records to see what can still be found.

What is a sealed record? 

A sealed record is a criminal record which a court has ordered to be sealed. This means that, while the record still technically exists, it is no longer part of public record. In theory, a sealed criminal record can only be accessed with a court order

Getting a criminal record sealed is a fairly simple process. There are a number of different requirements that you will have to meet and these can vary depending on what state the crime was committed in.

Typically, the sort of requirements that all states will look for include things like:

  • Have served your sentence and any probationary period you were given
  • Have no subsequent criminal proceeds or arrests against your name
  • Have waited for the required period of time
  • Have limited prior charges (“three strikes”) is still in place in some states

If you are thinking to have a criminal record sealed, it is advisable to check the requirements in the relevant state closely to make sure you fulfill all their criteria. It is not a bad idea to seek the advice of a lawyer too.

If you do decide to proceed, the next step will be to submit an application to the relevant court. You will then have to wait for them to reach a decision.

What is the difference between sealing and expunging a criminal record?

You may also have read about the possibility of getting a criminal record expunged and be wondering what the difference is.

Expungement is when the record is removed from your file completely and destroyed. There is no mark left against your name and no record exists for a background check to find. That means neither employers nor even the U.S. Army can access those records.

A sealed record is slightly different because the record itself does remain. However, that record is removed from the public archives, and can only be accessed with the court’s permission. Even advanced background checks won’t be able to peek into these files.

The process of applying to get a criminal record expunged is much the same as getting one sealed. The requirements will vary depending on which state the crime was committed and you have to make an application.

It is difficult to say whether you have a better chance of getting a criminal record sealed or expunged. Different courts and judges will have different views. If you are unsure which to apply for, the best thing to do is ask a lawyer for advice.

Do you need to get your record sealed or expunged 

Before going through the process of getting your criminal record sealed or expunged, it is worth checking whether you need to.

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), if you were arrested or charged with a misdemeanor, but not convicted, your record must be wiped clean after seven years.

In some states, there are also laws which prevent background checking sites from looking back for more than so many years. In Texas, for example, there is a seven year rule preventing background checking companies from reporting dismissed charges. Other states with similar rules include California, Colorado, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, and Washington.

Also, if your criminal record dates back far enough, you could just chance it. Some background checking sites will only look so far back, so it is possible they will not find your record even if it is still there.

If you want to find out whether your record will show up on a background check, whether it has been sealed, expunged, or not, our best advice is to run one on yourself to see.

Best background checking services for checking your criminal record

We have tested all the leading background checking sites to see which offer the most comprehensive criminal background checking service. The results are in and our top three recommendations are:

1. BeenVerified

BeenVerified was the most impressive background checking site we tested, especially when it comes to digging up criminal records. BeenVerified delivered accurate results and they delivered them fast. For the most comprehensive results, we would recommend signing up to their premium package for an extra $9.95 per month. This is on top of their basic subscription price of $26.89 per month or you can choose to pay $17.48 per month for a three-month subscription. While this might sound a lot, BeenVerified actually offers excellent value for money.

Their background reports are comprehensive, accurate, and easy to read. They have a fantastically easy-to-use desktop dashboard and great apps for iOS and Android devices too. Their criminal record checks identified every record we tested them on. They even send researchers to local courthouses and record offices in person to look through physical files and ensure nothing is missed. With great customer support, if you have any problems too, they really were the standout background checking site.

2. TruthFinder

TruthFinder is another background checking site which performed very impressively. They have a two-tier pricing structure, with a one-month subscription starting at $27.78 or you can opt to pay $23.02 for two months. Their basic package offers a full criminal record check which should return such information as sex offender registers, driving records, and data about known relatives.

If you pay a little more for their premium package, you will get every record there is. TruthFinder is impressively detailed and their results are delivered in well designed and easy-to-read reports. There is 24/7 customer support available on a toll-free number too. This means if you do have any issues, TruthFinder will help you day or night.

3. Instant CheckMate

Instant CheckMate was the other background checking site that we were particularly impressed with. Their comprehensive reports were among the very quickest of all the sites we tested. They are well-laid out and really easy to follow too which we were impressed by.

Instant Checkmate’s comprehensive criminal records searches will dig out complete criminal records as well as things like as sex offender registers, marriage and divorce records, details of relatives, address history, and social media records.

Their prices start at $34.78 per month, but if you choose a three-month subscription you can pay just $27.82 per month. This is a little higher than some other sites but given the speed and quality of their results, it still offers good value for money.

EXCLUSIVE DEAL: Want to run a quick, in-depth background check with TruthFinder? Give it a try with our special discounted subscription offer available to our readers only.

Does a sealed record appear on a background check?

If you do succeed in getting your criminal record sealed, that should mean that it no longer appears in a background check.

This is because sealed records can only be accessed with a specific court order. These are only likely to be given in extreme cases, such as if you are a suspect or arrested in relation to another offense.

The offense is removed from public record and this is what background checks look at. They will never seek a court order to access records and even if they did, it is highly unlikely they would be granted one.

If you want to be sure your record is clean before applying for a job, the best way to check is to run a background check yourself using one of the sites we have recommended above.

Are there other ways a sealed criminal record could be discovered?

Unfortunately, the answer to this question is yes. Even though an offense has been removed from the public record, there are still other ways that someone could find out about them.

If your offense was high profile enough to attract media attention, the chances are that those reports can still be found online. A simple Google search could be enough although if the offense was long enough ago or you have a fairly common name, you might be afforded some protection through anonymity.

In some parts of the world, there are now ‘right-to-be-forgotten’ laws that require search engines like Google to remove content of this nature if you ask them to. Unfortunately, in the USA, there are no such laws, although some states such as New York have come pretty close.

It is worth seeing what the law is like where you are based. It is also worth contacting Google to ask the question too. There are other mechanisms they have in place that you might be able to use to either remove search results or push them down the Google rankings.

Social media could also reveal a prior criminal record too. Most employers these days do look at social media accounts before hiring so it is worth going through your accounts and ensuring any reference to an offense are either deleted or hidden from public view.

RELATED READING: How to run a national criminal background check online

Conclusion

Sealing your criminal record is another way of removing it from public files. The record is not removed completely but it is sealed and can only be accessed with the express permission of the court. A background check should therefore not reveal any sealed records. But it is worth checking before you apply for any job which is why we have recommended the best background checking sites to use.

Have you got any sealed records? Have you run a background check on yourself to see if it appears? It shouldn’t, but mistakes can happen. Is there anything we have missed in this article? Do you have any tips for our readers? We always welcome feedback and comments from our readers to help inform others, so why not share your own experiences with us using the comment box below?

Read Does a Sealed Record Appear on a Background Check? by David Spencer on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

Are Background Checks Effective? Here’s Why.

In this article, we are going to explain just how effective background checks are. People run background checks for lots of different reason but not all of them are confident that they will return the information they need. We will explain how you can tell which background checks will return reliable and effective results. We will also recommend the best background checking site to use to get effective results every time.

 

Most people have a specific reason they want to run a background check. You might be finding out about a new employee, checking out a new person in the neighborhood, or looking for a long-lost relative. Whatever your reason, one thing you want to be sure of above all else is that a background check is effective. No-one wants to waste time digging up information that might be incorrect or send them off on wild goose chases.

It is a legitimate concern. It is undeniably true that some background checking sites are much more effective than others, while some are more suited to particular types of searches. In this article, we are going to explain how to pick an effective background checking site. We will highlight what features you should be looking out for and also revealing the results our exclusive tests to find the most effective background site sites around. 

What is a background check?

The term ‘background check’ can be used to cover all sorts of different things. So, let’s quickly explain exactly what we mean by a background check and what they are commonly used for.

Background checking sites are websites which allow you to search through public records to find out information about people. It often surprises people just how much information about individuals is open for the public to look at. Accessing it has always been difficult, but these sites make the process fast and easy.

They can discover all kinds of things, such as:

  • Criminal records (state, county, and city)
  • Licenses held
  • Education history (high school and college)
  • Employment history
  • Work authorization
  • Credit history
  • Driving record
  • Social media profiles

Looking at this data in isolation wouldn’t reveal a great deal about someone. But putting it together can paint a very vivid picture of what a person is really like as well as providing up-to-date information about all aspects of their life.

When you should use a background check

People use background checks for all sorts of different reasons:

  • Employment checks Employees often like to run a background check before hiring someone to ensure their resume is accurate and they aren’t hiding anything.
  • Criminal checks – People often like to run checks on neighbors and other people in their lives to ensure they are hiding a secret criminal past.
  • Finding out more about someone – Everyone has that mysterious person in their lives they wish they knew more about. If you want to know more about them, a background check can help.
  • Finding a lost family member or friend – You might have a lost aunt, cousin, or half-sister you would love to track down but have no contact details for. If so, a background check can help you find them quickly and easily.
  • Determining what information is there out there about you – Before applying for a job, or just out of curiosity, you might want to know what information about yourself is publicly available. Running a background check will tell you.

There are lots more reasons why you might want to run a background check. But whatever your motivation, you won’t want to take the plunge without first ensuring that they are effective.

What is the most effective background checking site?

There are lots of background checking sites out there but not all are effective as they might claim. This is why we have been testing all of the top sites to see which gives the most effective results. The results are now in and the top three most effective background checking sites are:

1. BeenVerified

 

BeenVerified is the most effective background checking site we tested. Their results were consistently reliable regardless of how much information you can provide upfront. Their reports were detailed and easy-to-read and in none of our tests did they turn up a single piece of inaccurate information.

This great comes at a very reasonable price too. A basic BeenVerified subscription costs just $26.89 per month or you can pay a mere $17.48 per month for a three-month package. This represents excellent value for money.

Subscribers can follow the progress of all their checks on a beautifully-designed desktop dashboard or though excellent intuitive apps for Android and iOS devices. They also offer a very helpful customer support service if you do encounter any problems or have any questions.

EFFECTIVE BACKGROUND CHECKS: BeenVerified gives you a thorough, detailed, and accurate background checks every time. Use this link for an incredible discount on the already most cost-effective service around.

2. Instant CheckMate

Instant CheckMate is another site which was able to generate extremely effective results, even with a bare minimum of information. We were particularly impressed by their speeds with accurate results being returned faster than any other site we tested.

Prices for Instant CheckMate start at $34.78 per month, or with a discount, a three-month subscription is available $27.82 per month. At these prices, they are not the cheapest, but if you need accurate results quickly, they are worth the extra cash.

Instant CheckMate delivers their results in easy-to-follow reports and also have nicely designed apps and a good desktop dashboard. Customer service was very helpful as well, making for an impressive all-round service.

EXCLUSIVE DEAL: Want to run a quick, accurate background check with TruthFinder? Give it a try with our special discounted subscription offer available to our readers only.

3. TruthFinder

TruthFinder was another site which proved to be impressively effective. No matter what type of search we threw at them, they always returned unerringly accurate results, even with search terms deliberately intended to trip them up.

The speed of their research was not quite as good as some other sites we tested. But the information they found was provided in excellent reports and their apps and desktop dashboard were both first-rate and extremely simple to use.

We particularly liked TruthFinder’s responsive 24/7 customer support. This is available on a toll-free number and is a really helpful service, especially for beginners. The whole experience of using TruthFinder was a positive one and that is not always the case with every background checking site.

Why are some background checks more effective than others?

Effective sites, such as the ones recommended above, are sadly not standard across the background checking industry. The quality of service and accuracy of results can vary significantly depending on which site you choose to use. Unfortunately, this is not always immediately apparent if you just look sites up on Google or another search engine.

The effectiveness of a site can depend on a number of different factors. Some of these are beyond the control of the site but most are not. A good background checking site can mitigate most of these issues but some take them far more seriously than others:

  • Incorrect information input – At the beginning of a background check you will be asked to input information about your subject. Sometimes you may get this wrong and this can cause the site problems in returning an accurate result. The best sites can spot a majority of errors and will ask you to check the information you have shared. But others will just plow on regardless and end up giving bad results. No site is 100% perfect on this but the best can spot a mistake more often than not.
  • Common details – Names can be very common and if people with the same name happen to have a similar address, social security number, or telephone number, this can throw a site off. The best sites have algorithms which should prevent such errors happening most of the time. Lesser sites will not go to so much effort.
  • An error in the records – Background checking sites source information from dozens of different resources. Sometimes these records to contain mistakes either due to human input error or because the files have not been properly updated. Sometimes a good background checking site may spot an error but often if it is in the official records it will make it into their reports too.
  • Different sources – Public data can be accessed from all sorts of different sources. Some are more accurate and up-to-date than others and often there is a price difference between these and the rest. The best sites will always use the best resources while lesser sites will not. This is why there can be big differences in results depending on which site you use.

No background checking site will claim to get everything right 100% of the time. This is practically impossible. The most effective sites will have systems and processes in place to get things right as much as is possible. These are the sites you should look to use and in this article, we have picked out three of the very best.

What you can do to make your background checks more effective

The effectiveness of a background check will depend on the process and algorithms employed by your chosen site. But there are some things you can do to help make your check as effective as possible.

Firstly, when inputting the initial information, make sure everything you tell the site is 100% accurate. Double-check the spelling of any names or other details you are providing. If you have doubts about any piece of information you have, the safest bet is not to enter it. A good background check should corroborate it and if the first check doesn’t work, you can always try again and add that information second time round.

Background checking sites use different sources for their data. if there is one piece of information in your report which looks out of place or you know is wrong, there is nothing to stop you checking the source directly yourself.

Lastly, don’t be shy about using customer support. All of our recommended sites offer excellent support and they are more than happy to help you with any queries or problems you may have. Some will even help to check data that looks wrong manually for you. This can be especially helpful when running an advanced background check across a multitude of parameters.

Are free background checking sites effective?

No. Free background checking sites are almost never effective and our advice is to avoid these sites at all costs.

Running an effective background checking site requires technical and manual resources and these cost money. If a site isn’t charging a fee, there are two possible reasons for this.

Either it is not doing the job properly and cutting corners to save on costs, in which case the accuracy of their results and the amount of information they offer is likely to be compromised. Alternatively, they could be making money through selling your data or even possibly uploading malware or other malicious software onto your device.

We are yet to test a free background setting site which could be considered in any way effective. Best to give them a wide berth.

Conclusion

There is no point running a background check if it isn’t going to be effective. In this article, we have explained what constitutes a useful search, and how it can vary so widely between sites. Most importantly, we have highlighted the three most effective background checking sites we have tested.

Have you foundbackground checking sites to be effective? Any examples of how effective checks have been for you? Do you have any further tips for our readers? We always welcome feedback and comments from our readers to help inform others, so why not share your own experiences with us using the comment box below?

Read Are Background Checks Effective? Here’s Why. by David Spencer on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

Are Background Checks Instant? Here’s What You Should Know

If you’re wondering whether instant background checks are too good to be true, we’ll set the record straight in today’s article. Often, this information is time-sensitive, so you’ll want to make sure the service you use returns fast background check results. Read on for the top 3 fastest online background checking sites.

Everybody is in a hurry these days. We eat fast food, send messages all over the world instantly, and access information with the touch of a button. So, when we run a background check, it is no surprise that many people expect fast results too. However, background checking is not an exact science and different sites will use different sources for their data. This will affect how long it takes them to generate results.

In this article, we will explain exactly how background checking works, why some information takes longer to source than others, and tell you whether it is possible to get an instant background check.

How fast are background checking sites?

This is a complex question because there are a lot of different variables that can determine how long it takes to run a background check.

If you just want a basic check of all easily accessible public records, most background checking sites can produce near-instant results. Many sites will ask you to submit a few basic details of the person you want to run a check on and will then generate a pretty detailed report in just a few seconds.

However, if they need to gather information from further afield, it can take longer to compile a full report. For example, if you want information about someone’s college background, a background checking site will usually have to contact the relevant university and wait for them to respond. Similarly, for employment records, they will often have to go directly to former employees for information.

To find out about professional licenses and certification, information also has to be gathered from other sources. Many criminal records are yet to be digitized. This means that a background checking site will often have to send a researcher to look through files manually. This can sometimes involve travelling as well as manual research and this inevitably takes time.

So, while it is usually possible to get a basic background check completed pretty much instantly if you want one which is totally comprehensive, this can sometimes take a few days. It is difficult to put a precise length of time on this as different background checking sites have different ways of working. But, in our experience, no decent site will make you want for more than five days for a complete and comprehensive background check report.

Top 3 sites for instant background checks

We know that speed is important to many people, which is why we have tested all the best background checking sites to see which can produce the fastest results. After our exhaustive tests, the results are in and these are our top three recommendations for (near) instant background checks:

1. BeenVerified

BeenVerified Homepage

BeenVerified is not only the fastest background checking site that we tested but it was also the best all-round performer too. After inputting just a handful of details, BeenVerified consistently produced a detailed report in just a few seconds. Some details take them a little longer to find but even when they needed to send out researchers to check manual records, they were still able to generate a full report in just a few days.

They were not just fast but also comprehensive too. While almost all of the other sites we tested missed at least one thing out, BeenVerified was consistent in digging up every last record. We were also impressed with how easy the BeenVerified reports were to read. Even when they found huge quantities of information, they still broke it down into a report that was well-designed and dead simple to scan and understand.

Their basic subscription rate is just $26.89 per month or you can pay $17.48 per month for a three-month subscription. For that, we felt they offered superb value for money.

2. TruthFinder

Truthfinder homepage

As the name suggests, TruthFinder is superb at finding out every last detail about someone. But it also does this fast too. Basic reports take just a few seconds to generate and are again well laid-out and easy to read. The time to generate a longer report varied a little in our tests but was still usually within five days which is pretty good.

Like many other background checking sites, they use a two-tier pricing structure. Prices start at $27.78 for one month or just $23.02 for two months. This is a little higher than some others but we felt they offered more information in their basic package.

They offer 24/7 customer support on a toll-free number if you have any problems. But frankly, their background checking service is so good, we doubt you ever will.

EXCLUSIVE DEAL: Want to run a quick, accurate background check with TruthFinder? Give it a try with our special discounted subscription offer available to our readers only.

3. Instant CheckMate

Instant Checkmate Homepage

Another background checking service which was both fast and reliable was Instant CheckMate. Their comprehensive reports were generated as fast as any service we tested. What’s more, they look great and are also super easy to follow. Detail is not a problem for Instant Checkmate either. They found just about every record we looked for. They also offered an impressive range of information in their lower price bracket too. The customer service support was also a strong point too.

Prices for Instant Checkmate begin at $34.78 per month, and with a discount, a three-month subscription is just $27.82 per month. For us, that represents a good price for a very good background checking service.

What goes into a background check?

To understand how long it takes to get results from a background check, it is important to understand what they are and how they work.

A background check is a process to find out information about a person. It can be as wide or narrow in scope as you want depending on the information you want to see. The type of information typically found in a background check includes:

  • Criminal records (state, county, and city)
  • Credit history
  • Employment history
  • Work authorization
  • Education history (high school and college)
  • Social media profiles
  • Driving record
  • Licenses held

There is some flexibility in this depending on which background checking site you use. Some will find more while others will not dole out as much. All of the information that background checks find is help in the public domain. The information is located on public files in government or public sector institutions all over the country. It is perfectly legal for people to access this information.

In short, a background checking sites takes what could be a long and laborious process and makes it fast and simple, while returning a reasonable degree of accuracy.

Reasons why a background check might be delayed

We have established that a basic background check can take just a few seconds and a more complex one as long as a few days. But no system is perfect and there can be times when background checks take longer.

A reputable background check should communicate with you if there is a delay. Certainly, the three we have recommended will do. If you do encounter a delay there are a number of possible reasons for it:

  • Administrative – Some outside sources require specific forms and permission to be granted before they can share information. If these haven’t been processed properly, this can result in delays.
  • County Court record delays – Most background checking sites suggest that a manual search of county court records should take 3-5 days. But there are occasions when it can take longer. We have seen some searches take as long as 30 days. This is annoying but at least it proves they are doing their research properly.
  • International background checks – If you are searching for information on someone who has spent time living abroad, it can take longer to access these records. Some background checking sites don’t do international checks but those that do will give you an idea of how long it will take to get records from specific countries.
  • Aliases and alternative spelling – For different reasons, some people might have records under different names. Also, if they have a common like John, it is possible that some records could be held under Jon or even misspelled under Jhon. Most background checking sites will still track those records down but it can take longer.

Why run a background check?

There are a number of reasons why people choose to run background checks. Some of the most common reasons include:

Conclusion

Not all background checks are instant but many can be. A lot of information is held on easily accessible public databases and can be accessed in just a few seconds. Some isn’t and can take longer to access. But the best background checking sites should be able to generate comprehensive reports on anyone in no more than a few days.

In this article, we have explained why some background checks take longer than others and detailed some possible reasons for delays. We have also identified the top three background checking sites to get a fast background check done.

Have we missed anything out? How long do background checks take in your experience?  Do you have any additional tips for our readers? We always welcome feedback and comments from our readers to help inform others, so why not share your own experiences with us using the comment box below?

Read Are Background Checks Instant? Here’s What You Should Know by David Spencer on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

Are Background Checks Expensive?

If there is one question we are asked more than any other, it is whether background checks are expensive. In this article, we will explain how much you need to pay to get a good background check, and also recommend the top three sites that offer the best value for money.

Are Background Checks Expensive?

Background checks are almost always carried out for important reasons. It could be over concerns over the safety of your children or family, in search for a family member, or checking the suitability of a potential employee or tenant.

No-one wants to cut corners on important issues like these but at the same time, they also don’t want to blow a chunk of money on a check that might not return any useful information. However, everyone has a budget, and it is a fact of life that some are bigger than others. This is why the number one question we get asked about is how much background checking services cost.

In this article, we are going explain how much it will cost to run a good background check and where this money goes; we will explain why free background checks are simply not worth the risk; and we will recommend the background checking sites we feel offer the best value for money.

What is a background check?

So what exactly is a background check? For the purposes of this article, when we talk about a background checking site, we are referring to a site that can pull together a comprehensive picture of an individual from publicly available information gathered from dozens of different sources. They will include things like:

  • Criminal records (state, county, and city)
  • Credit history
  • Employment history
  • Work authorization
  • Education history (high school and college)
  • Social media profiles
  • Driving record
  • Licenses held

Different sites use different source but while no two sites will return exactly the same information, most good ones will dig out much of the same data.

This is important because people decide to run background checks for all sorts of different reasons, such as:

Whatever your reason for running a background check, you will want information that is accurate, comprehensive, and insightful. A reputable background checking site will provide just that.

Unfortunately, sites like these do come at a price, and there are plenty of charlatans on the market too. This means you need to be careful, and only give your money to sites which are reputable. We also recommend that you avoid free background checking sites as well, many fail entirely to serve results to your query and may even harvest your search data for nefarious means.

Why do background checking site charge at all?

A lot of people write in to ask us why background checking sites charge a fee at all. It’s a fair question. After all, they are generally providing information that is already in the public domain and all the site does is collate this into a single report.

The truth is that a good background checking site does a lot more than that. When data is publicly available, it is often stored in huge databases containing millions of different records. The technology needed to sift through these files and return accurate results is advanced and, inevitably, not cheap to create and operate.

But a good background site will also go further. They will research information that is not readily accessible. Education records, for example, often require a site to physically make a request to a college and then input the information. Some criminal records actually need a runner to visit the courthouse in person and sift through hard-copy files.

All of this takes time and resources. Background checking sites are not charities. If they incur costs when operating their service, they have to charge their users to cover these. They are also profit-making companies and need to make money if they want to stay in business.

What is the most cost-effective background checking site?

The key to getting a good background check is not to look for the cheapest but for the one which offers the best value for money. That is what we focused on during our recent tests of all the top background checking sites. After exhaustive research, we’ve determined the most-cost effective sites to be:

1. BeenVerified

 

BeenVerified is not only a terrific all-round background checking site, it also offers some of the most affordable prices of any premium service. Their basic subscription rate is just $26.89 per month or you can pay a mere $17.48 per month for a three-month subscription. For that modest fee, we felt they offered superb value for money.

BeenVerified allows you to run an unlimited number of searches for that fee. They can generate reports on the most minimal amount of information and, crucial, their reports are both detailed and highly accurate. They are presented in an easy-to-read report and you can keep track of progress on either their excellent desktop dashboard or apps for iOS and Android devices.

They are fast and reliable and while the whole process is simple, there is also a responsive customer support team on standby if you do encounter any problems. An impressive and cost-effective background checking service.

2. Instant CheckMate

 

Instant CheckMate is another background checking site that offers great value for money. Their prices begin at $34.78 per month, and with a discount, a three-month subscription is just $27.82 per month. Their big selling point is speed. No site could turn round a check faster in our tests so if you need instant information, it is worth paying a little more.

Speed does not come with compromises elsewhere in the service. Instant CheckMate was both reliable and detailed in its searches and in none of our tests did they miss out any significant information. With good customer support, nicely designed apps, and easy-to-read reports, there is not a lot to fault in their all-round service.

3. TruthFinder

TruthFinder uses a two-tier pricing structure with prices starting at $27.78 for one month or $23.02 for two months. At the lower tier, we felt they offered a little more information which is really useful for those with a tight budget.

All of their reports were impressive being nicely laid-out and packed full of detail. Crucially, TruthFinder was also unerringly accurate in the data it unearthed too. Speeds were a little more varied though, depending on the nature of the search.

They offer a superb and responsive 24/7 customer support on a toll-free number which is really helpful, especially for new users. It adds to the sense that their users really matter to them.

EXCLUSIVE DEAL: Want to run a quick, in-depth background check with TruthFinder? Give it a try with our special discounted subscription offer available to our readers only.

Can I use a free background checking site?

If you search for free background check in Google, you will get dozens of results, most of which will claim to offer a similar service to paid-for sites without the expense.

As we explained above, there are costs involved in running accurate background checks and if these aren’t being passed onto users, there are two possible reasons.

The first is that they are not conducting their checks as thoroughly as the paid-for sites. In our tests, free background checking sites will often only check a handful of easily accessible public data sources. They will certainly not find any of the information that requires manual research.

If a search is challenging because, for example, the subject has a common name, free background checking sites will also often return inaccurate information. Wrong results can cause you all sorts of problems. You might end up accusing an innocent person of being a sex offender or you could travel half-way across the country to meet a long-lost relative who actually has no connection to your family.

The second reason could be that they are covering their costs in another way. Often, this will be through selling the data they compile about your subjects, and yourself as a user, to third-parties. This is not only a significant breach of your privacy but it could also lead to you being contacted by all sorts of strange people trying to sell you stuff you don’t need.

In the case of a lot of free background checking sites, we found that both practices were the norm.

Free sites have poor accuracy reports, miss out on a lot of data, and can often sell your information on. There might be no cost involved but if you need to run a background check, you want the information to be right. And for that to be the case, you have to incur a small cost.

Conclusion

If you want to run a background check that generates accurate and detailed results fast, you do need to pay. But most premium background checking sites charge a modest fee for an unlimited number of checks over an agreed time period. It is quite possible to get a great background check carried out at an inexpensive price.

There are a number of background checking sites that offer terrific value for money and in this article, we have identified the best three sites. Free background checking sites do exist but, as we have explained, they are really not worth the effort.

What is your experience of running background checks? Have you found any other sites which offer good value for money? Do you have any additional tips for our readers? We always welcome feedback and comments from our readers to help inform others, so why not share your own experiences with us using the comment box below?

Read Are Background Checks Expensive? by David Spencer on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter