Why You Should Avoid “Free” Background Checks
Free background checks may seem like a good deal, but they may not be quite as good as they appear. In fact, you should probably avoid these. Chances are that you have probably seen these free background checks advertised frequently, but if you check them out, chances are that you’ll find they’re not really worth it.
The data you receive from these background checks can be less than reputable. It may not even be appropriately checked for accuracy by the third party you are receiving it from. So before you decide to use a free background check, we are going to discuss a few things to look out for to allow you to get as much as you can expect from this free service.
The largest use for a self background check is to allow you to learn about what your potential employer or landlord may see about you on a background check. This can allow you to correct any inaccurate information and potentially even show them the background check you have already received. But, this makes it essential that the information you receive is accurate in order to correct any mistakes and avoid having your potential landlord or employer see any inaccurate negative information about you. Although you can have inaccurate information corrected, if a landlord or employer sees this information, it could still hurt their impression of you.
Unfortunately, these free background checks often contain inaccurate information, which may fail to give you the right idea of what a potential employer or landlord may be seeing. It may also contain lower quality information than what consumers would find in a paid background check due to the fact these free background check providers often do not follow the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which regulates more reputable providers. However, it could also lack information that would be in a higher quality background check, as your future employer or landlord may acquire.
Some free background checks even make users agree that the information they provide will not be used for tenant screening, employment decisions, or credit decisions. This is often their way of indicating that these checks are not guaranteed to be accurate enough for these purposes.
You could even end up with a background check on another person altogether. Free background checks don’t always ask for a birthdate or Social Security Number, and this means you could end up with the background check of someone with the same name as you. It may surprise you to know that this happens quite a lot and can cause quite a lot of confusion.
So, before you settle on one of these “free” background checks, consider whether or not it is worth it to choose a more reputable provider. These can let you know exactly what a landlord or employer will see if they choose to perform one of their own down the line.