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Utilizing the services of the top background check services can prove beneficial for various reasons. Whether you seek to ensure the safety of your loved ones or simply desire information about a past acquaintance, these sites can provide quick and accurate results.
Conducting a background check involves gathering information about an individual’s criminal history, employment history, and other personal details. The cost varies depending on the type of check and the service you use. To ensure fast, convenient, and confidential results, it’s crucial to choose the right background check service.
There are various options available, from premium to budget-friendly services. It’s essential to conduct research and compare the features and prices before making a decision to ensure you receive value for your money.
Top 6 Background Check Services: Quick Comparison
- TruthFinder – Best Background Check Service Overall
- Intelius – Best for Fast Results
- Instant Checkmate – Best for User-friendly Interface
- PeopleFinders – Best for Extensive Database
- Spokeo – Best for Budget-friendly Options
- US Search – Best for Comprehensive Criminal Records
Top Background Check Services for Reliable Results – Comprehensive Analysis
In order to select the best background check services, we considered a variety of factors, including access to non-public information, cost, speed, customer feedback, and additional features. The following section provides an in-depth review of our ranking criteria.
With that being said, here are the top background check services, along with the reasons for their inclusion in our list of recommendations.
1. TruthFinder – Best Background Check Service Overall
- Unrestricted background check options
- Self-monitoring features
- Powerful people-locating capabilities
- Expensive compared to other options
TruthFinder offers a comprehensive range of background check features, including access to both public and private databases, as well as self-monitoring tools. This allows users to see what information may be available to others about them.
In addition to standard background check options, TruthFinder also provides the ability to identify potential associates and relatives of the searched individual. The platform also offers self-monitoring tools, enabling users to view their own record and make corrections or hide it from other TruthFinder users.
TruthFinder excels as a people-finding platform, providing a vast amount of information about the searched individual. A significant advantage of the service is the ability to conduct unlimited background checks.
However, the cost of the service, at around $30 per month, may be considered high by some users. Nevertheless, if you plan to use TruthFinder frequently, the investment may be worth it.
2. Intelius – Best Background Check Service for Fast Results
- Features education-specific tools
- Provides useful data visualizations
- Offers both subscription and individual report options
- Includes a social network viewer
- More costly compared to other options
Intelius‘s background checks provide extensive information. In addition to typical details such as addresses, criminal records, and financial information, it also includes educational history, which can be useful for reconnecting with old acquaintances.
The service is suitable for reconnecting with old friends, checking criminal records, and reviewing your own background check. It also allows you to identify unknown phone numbers and view property information. You get quick results and all searches are private and confidential.
Intelius offers seven different background search options, from phone directory lookups to full-scale background checks. Access to these services requires a long-term membership with varying trial period prices for each plan.
In addition to its extensive database, Intelius stands out for its user-friendly interface and the way it displays connections as a graph, making it easy to see relationships. The monthly subscription cost is around $25, which may be considered expensive, but the quality of Intelius’s service justifies the cost.
3. Instant Checkmate – Best Background Check Service with User-Friendly Interface
- Affordable pricing
- Precise and timely information
- Effective search tools
- Unrestricted reports with a subscription
- No option for individual reports
Instant Checkmate is a powerful people search tool that collects data from public records. With a user-friendly interface, it offers a vast array of information, including contact details and criminal records. However, results may not be immediate and the service prompts many questions and warnings before providing a report, which can be inconvenient.
With Instant Checkmate, you can easily search for someone using only their name, city, and state. It also includes a reverse phone lookup feature, although this can be challenging to locate on the website. When you perform a search, you get presented with a list of potential matches and can access detailed reports for each individual.
The service only accesses public records, so the information provided by Instant Checkmate is also available elsewhere. However, the platform covers a broad range of data, including properties, vehicles, past addresses, family members, marriages, and bankruptcies in its reports.
It also reveals if the person you are searching for is a registered sex offender, holds a gun license, or has any criminal, arrest, or traffic records.
One of the key benefits of this service is the extensive range of data compared to similar search tools. However, running a search with Instant Checkmate can be frustrating as it requires navigating through several pop-ups before accessing the final report. Despite this, Instant Checkmate is still relatively easy to use.
You get the monthly plan for unlimited background check reports at approximately $35 per month.
4. PeopleFinders – Best Background Check Service for Extensive Database
- Comprehensive reporting at an affordable cost
- Reveals data that other search tools may not
- User-friendly website
- Allows for the purchase of individual reports
- Mobile apps are well-designed and functional
- Does not provide information from social media platforms
PeopleFinders is a service that specializes in locating individuals. It’s a user-friendly online platform that utilizes public records to uncover information about a person using their name, phone number, email, or address.
With the option to purchase a single report or gain unlimited access to perform multiple searches, PeopleFinders effectively searches public databases to aid in identifying individuals.
Moreover, PeopleFinders provides multiple methods for finding individuals. Users can search by name and city, phone number, email, or known address. If a name search returns multiple potential matches, PeopleFinders presents a list of possible results along with age and known family members to assist in narrowing down the search.
This feature is crucial as many other search tools require payment before displaying any results for the search.
PeopleFinders offers various pricing options to its customers. For a single individual, it offers two types of reports: a search report that includes basic contact information, and a background report that includes criminal, property, and court records. Users can also gain access to an unlimited number of reports by subscribing to a monthly plan.
Our team found PeopleFinders’ service to be comprehensive, uncovering data that other competitors did not. For instance, PeopleFinders provided information about a company owned by one of our targets that other websites failed to report.
However, it falls short of providing internet-related data and is only accessible within the US. Despite this, PeopleFinders is one of the most budget-friendly options for long-term use, with an introductory price of $10 for the first month and under $25 per month after that.
5. Spokeo – Best Background Check Service for Comprehensive Criminal Records
- In-depth online searches
- Reports are updated frequently
- Reverse call searches are available
- Online searches may lead to incorrect name matches
Spokeo allows users to search for individuals by email addresses or other identifying information to access a vast array of industry-leading sources. Reports are frequently updated as new information becomes available, providing information on a person’s hobbies, education level, financial status, dating profile information, and even music and gaming accounts.
However, not all searches were precise, with some names being mixed up, indicating a lack of human intervention. Despite this, Spokeo’s capability to perform reverse phone number searches on unwanted spam callers is a significant advantage.
6. US Search – Best Background Check Service for Budget-Friendly Options
- Reasonably priced reporting
- Effective search options
- Current data
- Search results are available at no cost
- Reports contain contact information
- No possibility to purchase a single report
US Search not only offers background checks but also allows you to access information from the past. The website’s design resembles that of Yahoo in 1998. However, the minimal investment in web design seems to have allowed US Search to focus on providing comprehensive search options and affordable prices.
US Search allows you to conduct searches by name, phone number, address, or email address, providing a vast array of results to aid you in locating the specific person you seek. Unlike other similar services, US Search does not block access to search results behind a paywall. You can preview the list to find the right person, only paying for a full report on an individual.
The reports provided by US Search include crucial details, such as the names of relatives, previous addresses, owned properties, and criminal records.
In addition, they provide known phone numbers, email addresses, and social media handles. This makes it easy to reach out to the person you’re searching for, making US Search ideal for contacting old friends or distant relatives.
Various pricing options are available, including the cost of a single report or a monthly subscription option for unlimited searches.
Ranking Methodology for the Best Background Check Services
The methodology used to rank the best background check services involves evaluating and comparing various factors.
Getting Exclusive Data
A top-notch background check must grant access to exclusive information, ideally sourced from a credit header. They are the opening section of a credit report, excluding any personal financial or employment details that may not be suitable for a non-business investigation.
Credit headers allow for verification of personal identifying information, the latest address, contact number, and occupation of an individual.
Obtaining State Records
Several states now provide free or affordable searches through digital or paper forms. However, due to the time-consuming nature of searching online and offline databases, it’s more convenient to invest in a premium search that includes relevant state records.
A premium records search can also confirm private details such as professional licenses, educational degrees, marriage and death records, traffic infractions, and other important information that can confirm a person’s identity and achievements.
Checking Social Media
Including social media checks during screening processes is becoming more frequent to uncover any potential issues that could impact work or travel.
While some free searches only cover publicly indexed names and pages through Google, some background check services may use specialized software to search for trends, names, and profiles. TruthFinder, for instance, conducts a thorough search of the web and can yield skip trace quality results, going beyond a basic Google search of names.
Tailored Background Checks
Tailored background checks may include a combination of different screenings, and may also include specialized tests that are specific to a job position or freelance work, such as babysitters or housesitters.
Certain background check firms boast certification from organizations like the National Association of Professional Background Screeners. Such accreditation may be based on standards such as safeguarding applicants’ rights and adhering to legal regulations.
Reliability of Report Data
Incorrect reports can impede your objectives and expose you to costly liabilities. Reputable background check services typically have a track record of precision and professionalism that enables you to make an informed choice.
Customize Your Search
While a broad search is beneficial, not all background checks are identical. To get specific information, such as employment history or financial records, you require a company that can narrow down the results to your preferences.
A reputable background check service will offer multiple screening options, ensuring you always receive the necessary information for your specific situation.
A background check service should not require professional or technical expertise to use. The top background check services are user-friendly and present information in a clear and straightforward format. The ideal service should make the process as uncomplicated as possible and have a quick turnaround time.
Dedicated Customer Support
A reputable background check service should have a dedicated customer support team that is well-versed in the industry and able to address any queries you may have. If you encounter any difficulties during your search, they should be able to provide an explanation.
Additionally, a good background check company should prioritize their customers’ needs and not push unnecessary or irrelevant searches.
A paid search can be a valuable tool for obtaining information that may be hard to find on your own. Most paid companies provide the information in a readable, well-organized format for easy comprehension.
Background Check 101 – An Overview
Background check services are a convenient and easy way for businesses, organizations, and individuals to obtain information about someone before engaging in a professional or personal relationship. This guide will explain the concept of background checks, their process, and the types of information that can be obtained through them.
What Does a Background Check Involve?
A background check service searches the internet for information about the person in question. The records the service can access are available to the public, but it would take a significant amount of time and effort to find them all. These services can quickly compile a comprehensive report by scanning millions of files.
Background checks not only include criminal records but also reveal credit history, work experience, financial information, and other details about an individual’s past and identity.
What Are the Different Types of Background Checks?
There are various levels of background checks available. Understanding the distinctions can assist in selecting the appropriate one and interpreting the results.
- Level 1: Confirm personal information (such as name, address, phone number, birth date, and social security number)
- Level 2: Conduct criminal background investigations (through local law enforcement or government agencies)
- Level 3: Assess credit history and score
- Level 4: Review motor vehicle records
- Level 5: Investigate educational and employment background
- Level 6: Perform fingerprint analysis
- Level 7: Validate US employment eligibility
What Is Included in a Background Investigation?
Different levels of background investigations are available, ranging from basic information to extensive criminal checks.
The extent of the investigation depends on the purpose. For instance, a less thorough investigation may suffice if checking on an ex-boyfriend, while a more in-depth one may be necessary for a high-security firm job applicant.
Currently, the most popular background checks companies conduct are:
- Criminal history checks
- Employment background verification
- Educational credentials verification
- References examination
- Universal background screenings
- OIG screenings
- E-Verify screenings
- Credit history checks
- Social Security trace
- Personal history investigation
- Professional licenses verification
- International background screenings
- Social media profile review
A typical background check includes general information about the individual, such as their phone numbers, past addresses, age, and date of birth. Moreover, it includes more specific information, like criminal records, arrest records, employment history, and educational background. Additional items that may be included in a background investigation are:
- Civil court records
- Associates and relatives
- Marriage certificates
- Professional licenses
- Personal references
- Driving records
- Sexual offender registry
- Credit history
- Military service records
- Bankruptcy filings
- Firearm permits
- Alternate identities
- Online profiles (Social media, Wikipedia, personal websites, blogs)
- Legal judgments and liens
You might also get additional information depending on the background check provider and their procedures.
Background Checks for Employee and Tenant Screening
We do not include the following companies in our list as they primarily cater to business clients rather than individual consumers. However, it’s advisable to research their reputation on TrustPilot and the Better Business Bureau.
These companies provide credit reporting and other confidential government records for business use only. Some examples include Universal Background Screening, GoodHire, EBI, Sterling, and Checkr.
Finding Quality Background Checks: A Guide for Savvy Consumers
Individuals seeking personal protection also have access to similar records and information. While a quick online search will reveal numerous legitimate background check companies, it’s essential to consider certain factors before choosing a service.
Access to public records online is a relatively recent development. In the past, employers and creditors relied solely on personal references to verify a candidate’s credentials. However, over time, obtaining objective information has become crucial for businesses and homeowners looking to prevent theft, crime, and poor job performance.
Nowadays, even when employers or government agencies conduct background checks, they typically check for the following information:
- Criminal charges, particularly those listed on the sex offender registry
- Drug use history
- Work performance issues
- Debt and significant financial problems
- Civil records or lawsuits
Best Background Check Services – Frequently Asked Questions
1. Which Site Offers the Most Precise Background Checks?
TruthFinder reigns as the leading provider of accurate background checks. It delivers “Sensitive Information” such as national criminal records, addresses, phone numbers, property records, civil judgments, photos, and other court documents.
2. Why Conduct a Background Investigation?
Verify an individual’s past, present, and future history by conducting background investigations. For instance, identify criminal records or any legal issues by performing background checks.
Additionally, confirm employment history, marital status, and other relevant information when assessing job applicants. A background investigation covers both criminal and non-criminal records, such as driving violations.
3. How Long Does a Background Investigation Take?
The duration of a background investigation varies based on the service provider, it can take from several hours to several days. They often get conducted by an external organization with access to public and court records.
The urgency of the report and any additional charges associated with the background check influence the turnaround time. Some providers offer immediate results, but this may not be possible for all types of investigations.
4. Is It Legal to Use Background Check Services?
Most states permit background checks, but each state has its own regulations for conducting them. Background checks are also permissible for many federal and state positions.
Certain areas may have restrictions on who can access background check services and what information can be obtained. Therefore, it is advisable to consult a lawyer for any questions about your state’s background check laws.
Before hiring a new employee, it’s recommended to check with your state’s unemployment office and your company’s HR department.
Conclusion – Best Background Check Services
Today, we can access vast amounts of data on the internet. However, acquiring relevant reports can prove challenging. Utilizing background check services and applications can simplify the process and provide reassurance.
Background and identity checks make it challenging to conceal past actions. By examining new people in your life, such as potential employees or romantic interests, you can prevent problematic scenarios. Reverse phone lookup tools can also assist in identifying and halting fraudulent activities.
Conducting background checks is not limited to others. You can also screen yourself. With the vastness of the internet, it’s uncertain what information is available. By examining your own profile, you can prepare for significant meetings and safeguard your personal information.
Out of all the background check services we reviewed, TruthFinder stood out as the most comprehensive. It provides not only criminal records and sex offender searches but also searches beyond the surface web, dark web, and deep web, which are not typically included in the free WhitePages type searches that many people commonly use.
If you have any uncertainty about someone new in your life, such as a friend, date, acquaintance, co-worker, family friend, or even someone who frequently visits your home, it’s worth conducting a background check today. This can give you peace of mind and protect you from potential problems.