How to do a free online background check

Make sure you search every state that the person you’re checking has lived in.

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You can find a fairly complete list of CRAs here on my website. Being penalized for something that isn’t your fault isn’t m88cvf fun.

Luckily, most court information is public record. Keep an eye out for civil judgments, too, such as a bankruptcies and court orders to pay debts.

For checking on potential roommates or romantic partners, you can use just about any service or (legal) method.

A Google search could turn up other things about the person that might make you think twice, too. Knowing a middle name and date of birth will help you weed out people with similar names.

The simplest option for a background check is to hire a professional service. Fortunately, you can take steps to correct or remove this damaging information.

All consumers are entitled to get a free copy of their credit report once a year from the three reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian and Trans Union.

Before I continue, I should point out a tricky fact about background checks. Look around at several companies to find the average price for a background check and avoid any companies that are too low or too high.

It’s also a very good idea to do a background check before taking on a roommate or going out on a date with that new crush you met online. Note that you can request and dispute the information that these CRAs have on file for you.

The more information you have about a person, the better your searches will be. A good strategy for screening a roommate would be to ask him or her to volunteer a report.

Have you done an online background check of yourself lately? There are several reasons you should.

. To find it, go to your state’s official government website or find the information you need at the National Center for State Courts. You might also dig up information on a person’s habits or character that a professional might not consider. However, you probably won’t see important details about whether they’ve been arrested or evicted in the past.

If you do reject a potential tenant or employee (even semi-informal employees like domestic workers) based on a background check from a company that isn’t a CRA, you could wind up in trouble.

If you aren’t completely sure you’ve found the right person, don’t act on the information until you’ve verified it is actually them. You can find dozens of background check agencies online.

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you have to use a Consumer Reporting Agency. The list is helpfully divided into categories such as credit reporting, employment history, insurance, renting and so on. Fortunately, several ways won’t cost you a thing.

You will need to watch out for scam companies. They comb Google, Facebook and other information websites to find out details that the person has willingly shared.

These things will pop up and hurt your chances the next time you apply for a loan or a job.

If you want to save some money and you have some time, you can do many of the same checks yourself. If you are performing a background check as a landlord or employer – or for credit, medical or insurance reasons — you can’t use just any service.

Kim Komando hosts the nation’s largest talk radio show about consumer electronics, computers and the Internet. You never know what sort of worrying or dangerous details could be lurking in someone’s past.

There might be erroneous information about you floating around the Internet or in your credit report. To subscribe to Kim’s free email newsletters, sign-up at: http://www.komando.com/newsletters.

After that, you might want to drill down to discover any felony and misdemeanor convictions on the county and city level. To get the podcast, watch the show or find the station nearest you, visit: http://www.komando.com/listen.  Click here for four sites that can really help you learn about someone. Maybe you’ll find a picture of yourself or a comment you made years ago somewhere that’s a little embarrassing.

In most cases, a credit report can’t be pulled without a legitimate business purpose and written permission. A CRA has to maintain certain standards for data protection and offer dispute resolution.

Because checking people’s background is such a pressing need, there are dozens of ways to go about this

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