Free online background checks

Are all background checks created equal? Let’s take a look at two types of criminal background checks – the free and the $35 background check.

First, you’ve probably seen online ads promising 100% free background checks. The website sweetens the offer promising instant results. In our fast-paced society, the pitch may speak to you.

So, what should you know about free background checks with instant results?

Sites offering free or super low-cost checks (under $13) typically means the results are from only a national database search.

A 2012 study found almost 50% of disqualified applicants would have slipped through the cracks if they had relied solely on the national database search.

Many “free” background check sites aren’t actually free. Once you enter your personal information, the site will offer small bits of data.

Most of the sites will prompt you to pay for additional background information.

The data’s accuracy may be questionable if not scrubbed.

Permission from the background check applicant is not needed.

The Fair Credit Report Act requires employers to gain the applicant’s permission prior to any background check. 


National Database missed crimes
  • 2002 Felony for Attempted Manslaughter,
  • 2010 Misdemeanor Public Indecency,
  • 2012 Felony for Criminal Attempt Rape of a Child, and
  • 2012 Felony Communicate with Minor for Immoral Purpose.

So how does a $35 background check compare? Click here to find out.