How Much Does A Background Check Cost?

how much does a background check cost

Background checks and background screenings are quite common. From employers wanting to avoid problematic hires to people needing more information before a date. Before paying for a background check, you should consider the following: 

1. Always use reputable companies, and prefer those which have visible reviews. 

2. Look for transparency, and a high level of detail regarding the results you will get. 

3. Always remain on legally safe ground. If you have doubts, consult with an attorney. 

Prices for background checks vary depending on the kind of information and the level of detail that you need. If you need an accurate, yet simple search, we recommend using the services of professional agencies such as Check People. They will thoroughly check online databases using highly specialized technology to save you time and money. The type of information that you can expect to get from them ranges from personal data such as relatives and marital status to court records and presence in the sex offender’s registry. Their services cost around 48 dollars a month, and you can perform unlimited searches. 

There are a lot of websites offering people checking services, and a lot of them are scams. Make sure to check for their privacy policy (as the law requires all websites to have one), and ask how they will use your personal information. Some sites are even known for phishing or identity theft, so you should always be careful. 

If you need more thorough information, you will need to perform specific searches, which may include: 

1. Criminal background checks: Federal, state, and county criminal checks usually range between $5-20 USD. 

2. Education Verification Records: Usually less than $20, but it depends on the level of detail that you need. If there is a need for manual checks or collaboration from third parties, prices may increase. 

3. Credit Background Checks: You will need a signed consent form before performing a credit check, and they usually cost less than $15. Only CRA’s (Credit Reporting Agencies) are allowed to perform credit background checks. 

Free Alternatives 

The internet has a wealth of information that is publicly available for free. To perform an online background search, you may consider the following: 

●     Search Engines:  Google, Firefox, or Safari are the most common ones. To be successful in this type of search, consider cross-checking data –for example, name and location, or occupation– and reverse lookups (such as image or phone lookups). 

●     Social Media:  Most people have social media profiles. Try comparing and contrasting the information you get from search engines to the information available on social media. Sites like LinkedIn of freelancing sites are also very useful when trying to determine how someone conducts themselves professionally. 

●     Professional organizations:  most of them offer a directory of their members, with contact information. 

Why Pay For A Background Check? 

The fast and simple answer is to minimize risks. You should never sign any kind of legal contract with someone before due diligence. Information is power, and it gives you leverage to negotiate deals, agreements, and terms. Sometimes, the risk is not only financial or professional. If you are about to accept someone as a roommate, have a date with someone you met online, or choose someone to take care of your children, the stakes are higher. A small fee may be the difference from a great working or personal relationship or a disastrous one. 

Childcare agencies or elderly care agencies often offer comprehensive background checks for very reasonable fees. Even if you are hiring through an agency, you should always opt for having a background check before making your final decision. 

Another reason to pay for a background check is to verify your own information. Knowing how your personal data is stored, displayed, and used may help you prevent problems like identity theft. There is also a chance of finding serious mistakes, such as your information being mixed up with someone else’s with a very similar name. If you had a record that was expunged or sealed, you need to make sure that it’s not publicly displayed. If you find anything conflicting about your information, you have the right to ask for corrections or for the information to be taken down. It may also give you leverage before an important job interview, or before signing a business deal. 

As you can see, background screening costs are not very high, but their advantages are big. Why should you risk something as important as your financial stability, or even your life, when you can verify data beforehand? The last thing we advise is to always have a consulting attorney. Background checks have strong and strict legal regulations, and you want to avoid any kind of liability. This includes not only the information that you can search for but also the ways in which you are allowed to use this information.

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