Running a background check on yourself has several advantages, according to screening service provider CheckPeople.com. It can help you uncover inconsistencies, inaccuracies, and errors in legal and financial records of you and make it possible to have them corrected. You can anticipate and respond to inquiries in the course of a housing or employment background check. It can give you a sharable report of your history and any additional data you might want to provide. Last but not least, it helps you save money and time, which would otherwise be spent on individually retrieving all your personal information.
What Information Can I Check?
Most of the publicly available information in your personal records is yours. You can dispute any inconsistencies or errors, and you have the right to see all of the information available. As a way to preview what a screening might reveal, you can ask your personal records to be provided to you one at a time.
You can check your credit report or have your Social Security number verified. Information you can obtain includes a debt summary, payment history details, address history, criminal background, driving records, employment and education history, and more.
Credit reports summarize debt and provide information about your history of payments, including late or missed payments. The credit bureaus TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax each offer a free credit report per annum. This report will show any accounts in collection and any bankruptcies for up to a decade after they were filed. It will list tax liens and civil judgments, loans you’ve paid back, outstanding loans, and closed or open credit card accounts.
Running a self-background check will yield a report of the name and any aliases associated with your Social Security number, reflecting legal name changes. These will include marital name changes for many women and some men. This information is available for free at the Social Security Administration website. All you need to do is set up a user account.
Screenings usually identify addresses linked to names and SS numbers. Magazine subscriptions and credit card statements are among the sources of this information. Typically, the information retrieved goes seven years back. If your employer or landlord does a background check on you, they can use these addresses to cross-reference other available records. In part, they can determine the criminal and motor vehicle check scope. Make sure your address history doesn’t include erroneous entries. Note that sources like White Pages-type directories are not fully reliable.
A criminal history search will reflect probation, parole, jail time, and criminal convictions. Arrests that didn’t lead to charges or a conviction and charges that were dropped might also show up.
To get a copy of your record, get in touch with the department of motor vehicles in your state. It’s also possible to order a copy on the internet. We recommend checking other state records if you were ever issued a license from more than one state.
You can preview how arrest or conviction records will appear in a background check by asking for a copy from corrections departments and courts in the respective jurisdiction.
Education and Employment History
Some job applicants feel a little white lie on their resume will hurt no one and help them. Many employers know this and perform education and/or employment screenings. You can run a check to see if they will confirm you graduated from or attended the schools listed on your resume or that you actually worked for the employer listed in the periods you tell them you did.
Sex Offender Watchlists
Local and state authorities maintain sex offender watchlists. The federal government maintains terrorist watchlists.
Finally, firearms sellers, manufacturers, and dealers use the NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System) to screen people who are not allowed to buy or possess firearms. Law enforcement uses this database too.