There have been plenty of times when I have wanted to run a background check on myself. Maybe you have been in the same situation when starting a new online dating profile or seeking a security clearance for the military, etc….
Knowing what’s on your record will ensure that any errors can be corrected quickly, and that you don’t have a bad record due to identity theft or an error on another party’s behalf.
Why You May Need to Run an Advanced Background Check On Yourself
You have nothing to hide, so why bother running a background check?
Many people have this point of view, and unfortunately, it is outdated.
One wrong piece of information can cause drastic harm.
Let’s take a look at a few reasons you’ll want to use background check companies:
Mistakes are common on people’s records.
With over 300 million people in the United States, errors can and do occur often. A simple misspelled name or a mistyped social security number can lead to items on your background that are not going to go away unless immediate action is taken.
Common mistakes can lead to:
- Charges not expunged
- Erroneous charges
- Erroneous loans and debt
It’s recommended that everyone perform a self-background check every year.
The longer that these errors linger on your report, the harder they will be to remove. With the case of identity theft, there are 15 million cases of identity theft each year, resulting in $50 billion in financial losses.
One out of twenty people will suffer from identity theft this year alone.
Fast action is the best way to stop theft in its tracks. First, you’ll be able to contact financial institutes and ensure that all errors are removed as fast as possible. Second, you’ll know closer to the time of theft what steps to take to get out from under the grip of identity theft. It is a long, hard road, but a background check will put you on the path to fixing errors and identity theft quickly.
Many background check services will provide information on how to correct errors on your background.
Expungement laws have been passed in nearly every state in the country. These laws work to help you conceal charges that may have been pressed against you in the past. With expungement, not all records or crimes can be expunged, but the ones that can will lead to a fresh start.
You can also receive a “certificate of actual innocence.” What this does is expunge a record and act as proof that you should have never been convicted of a crime.
Unfortunately, it can take a lot of time for the process of expungement to go through. Oftentimes, the records will not reflect the expungement, and you will need to contact the courts to have the record concealed, or to receive your certificate of actual innocence.
Background checks will include arrest records with all of this information present. This will allow you to:
- Verify that the expungement process has been performed.
- Notify the proper authorities when expungement has not been performed.
Keeping a clean record will boost your chances of getting credit, mortgages and a job. Crimes that can be expunged should be expunged as quickly as possible.
Conducting a Background Check on Myself
There are several services that allow you to conduct a background check. Instant Checkmate is a service I have used in the past, so it’s the one that I am most familiar with. When using this service or any other, you will need to provide:
- Your name
- Your social security number
These are the best ways to conduct a background check because everything is tied directly to your social security number. In terms of accuracy, it doesn’t get much better than a social security number. If a background check doesn’t ask for a social, you may receive records that do not pertain to your actual identity.
Once all of the information is submitted, you’ll receive a thorough report.
Many reports come with standard information and advanced information that comes at a higher premium. The advanced option is best and will provide the most thorough analysis of your record possible.
Basic checks include:
- Basic identity authentication.
- A crime search that is nationwide.
When checking just your criminal background, this is the absolute best option. You’ll be able to find out your criminal history and won’t have to pay for all of the extras. However, the extras are a must if you will be interviewing for a job or know that you’ll have a thorough background check performed against you in the near future.
An advanced check may include the following information:
- Basic identity authentication.
- A nationwide criminal record search.
- Advanced criminal searches.
- Education verification and search.
- Address records.
Advanced records will provide a clearer picture of your background. Some services will include all of your credit history, which may be used by employers. However, not every background search company will provide your credit history.
Running a background check on yourself will allow you to have a clear picture of all your background information from arrests to errors that are causing you to miss out on opportunities.
Checking your background yearly or bi-yearly for errors is a great way to ensure errors are removed as quickly as possible.
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