Have you ever thought about conducting a background check on yourself or someone else? If you haven’t made an effort to access your personal records in the past, you should consider doing so now. Even if you know your history is free from criminal activity or major credit issues, the personal information that is available online could affect other areas of your life just as much as a shady background screening could affect an individual’s ability to gain employment or a rental contract.
One of the easiest reports to access is your credit report. The three reporting agencies (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian) allow you to check your credit report for free once every year. Even if you know you don’t have any delinquent debt or other credit concerns, accessing these reports provides a comprehensive overview of how your financial past could affect you. Occasionally, you might even find misinformation on a credit report that needs to be corrected. Monitoring credit reports regularly helps avoid and repair these errors. Certain jobs may even require a credit check as part of a pre-employment background screening. Knowing what an employer could see during this process helps eliminate any surprises when hiring decisions are made.
Credit reports are not the the only information that may reveal to others more than you want them to know. The internet contains a limitless amount of facts and opinions, and may even contain comments about you that you don’t want others to see. Maybe you made a comment a decade ago that you don’t agree with now or would find embarrassing if an employer were to read it. A little time and personal effort spent on sites like Google and Facebook can help you reduce anything that might damage your personal or professional reputation and be prepared for what others might find and bring up in conversation, whether it is with someone you met online or a prospective employer.
Cost should not be a major concern when conducting a background screening on yourself. Credit reports are freely accessible from the three reporting agencies. The National Center for State Courts is also free to use and provides civil and criminal information on a state-by-state basis. This database might be particularly useful when checking others’ histories (i.e. a potential roommate). One of the best ways to get a comprehensive picture of your personal history is to utilize a third-party background screening firm like Victig, which can provide credit, criminal, and other investigative information without taking up all of your time.
The more information you have about yourself, the more informed you can be when making important decisions and life changes (i.e. applying for a loan or new job). As long as you employ credible resources and companies to help you in your search, conducting a personal background check should be an efficient and beneficial process.