It is possible to complete a background check free, even a criminal one, but this does come with some restrictions. While those restrictions do no mean that the background check is worthless, you do need to be aware of them. After all, if there is very specific information that you are looking for, you may need to opt for a paid for service instead.
What to Know about Free Criminal Checks
The main thing you have to be aware of is that the free checks will not provide you with as much information as you may have hoped for. Also:
- You will need to go through numerous different free sources if you want to get a full picture of someone’s background. For instance, on one site you will be able to find address records, but you will have to go elsewhere for marriage records, and elsewhere again for criminal records.
- Unless the site is one that is managed through the government, the information that they are able to provide is limited. Government sites, meanwhile, will only provide information for very specific searches and their results are incredibly narrow.
- You cannot guarantee that the information you receive is complete or even up to date. Many free sites rely on voluntary provision of information, in fact.
These are three key facts that you have to take into consideration when you want to do a background check and you don’t want to pay for it. There are some sites that offer a wealth of information completely for free, but they are few and far between. You also have to be aware of the websites that give you free information, but only in return for some information about yourself, which they can then use for other purposes. Hence, you do have to be very careful about who you deal with.
The reality is that free sites can be a headache. You will also find that many entice you by giving you a tiny bit of information and then demanding quite a substantial payment for the rest. There is a good alternative, which is to simply go to a paid for site in the first place. These don’t cost much at all, and many even have the option of paying a single flat fee, giving you unlimited searches in return. And the vast majority of these sites also have a money back guarantee should your search not come up with anything at all.
Only you can decide which of the two options – free or paid for – is best. Both have their pros and cons. If, what you are looking for, is a quick background on someone, then the free ones are likely to be more than sufficient. If, on the other hand, you are considering setting up a private investigation agency or something similar, then you absolutely have to sign up to a paid for service. Think about what you need, and base your decision on that.