Background checks are more common than ever. While years ago they were limited to law enforcement, anyone can run one today. The most important reason why people run background checks is to mitigate risks. Why take a chance of hiring a problematic employee, or rent your place to someone with a history of late payments and evictions? No one should move forward with a legally binding contract without having enough information to make a good decision. But what happens when you are the one who is under the microscope?
If you are looking for a new job, it may be a good idea to run a background check on yourself. You need to understand what your interviewer or hiring manager is going to find and take action to mitigate consequences if the information leads to anything troubling. Using a service like Check People will allow you to find who stores and displays your information, and get leverage before an important interview. It will also alert you to mistakes on your information and give you time to correct them before it becomes a problem.
Are you ready to buy your dream house? Or are you finally moving to that fabulous rental? Congratulations! But keep in mind that sellers and landlords will probably run a background check before signing any deal. While you want to get a general view of what they can find, in this case, you need to get more specific. Specifically, you will want to get a consumer report and a credit background check. These show how you handle debt, which is extremely important before any transaction regarding money. By law, you have the right to a yearly credit report. Many people find that their credit report shows transactions they never made, or that were paid off years ago. If conflicting information appears in your credit report, you should file a complaint immediately, and ask for corrections before this becomes an important obstacle for future deals.
Before a Business Deal
If you are thinking about partnering with someone for a business, you need to be upfront and disclose any information that may affect the other party’s interests. Honesty is the base for a good working relationship. But what if you cannot disclose information, because you don’t have it? You don’t want your potential partner to find sensitive information before you had the chance to talk to them about it. A background check on yourself is the best way to mitigate this risk and start your partnership clean.
To Prevent Identity Theft
Have you noticed irregular movements in your bank account? Did you suddenly get approved for a credit card you never requested? Does your tax report show an income that you don’t recognize? You might be a victim of identity theft. Running a background check on yourself will give you information about current and prior addresses (some thieves will register a new address without your knowledge), and more information about your credit score. (A significant red flag for identity theft is a sudden drop on your credit score). Identity theft is prevalent, and if you find out about it soon, you may minimize the damages.
If you Have a Very Common Name
You may suddenly find out you were denied credit, or never get called back after a series of interviews without you understanding why. Courts are very busy places and manage a ton of data every day, so they can make mistakes. Make sure that your information did not get mixed up with someone else’s, and if it did, take the necessary steps to correct the mistakes before they affect more areas of your life.
Managing your information and protecting your privacy is a big responsibility. You will be surprised by how many people run background searches. For instance, some private schools are running searches on applicant’s parents before admitting them, and even people using dating sites may run searches before committing to a first date.
This is why you may want to consider running a background check on yourself once a year. As we already stated above, yearly credit reports are free. And a service like Check People will allow you unlimited yearly searches for a very low fee, so there are no excuses.