Background checks are a crucial step in today’s world, where trust and reliability are paramount. Whether you’re a business owner looking to hire new employees, a landlord screening potential tenants, or trying to find out if your date this weekend might have an unsavory past, running a background check beforehand can save you from unpleasant surprises.
But you don’t have to drain your wallet in the process. In this article, we’ll delve into the world of affordable background checks, explore their costs, available options, and help you strike the perfect balance between price and peace of mind.
What Does A Background Check Cost?
Regarding background checks, prices vary according to the quality of the information you’ll receive and how often you plan to use the service. Some companies charge exorbitant fees without increasing quality or speed, yet it can be hard to tell which report providers are legitimate and which ones you might want to run a background check on yourself!
The cheapest background checks will tend to take a little longer and provide a little less information than more expensive and extensive checks, but an affordable background check doesn’t mean compromising quality; it’s all about finding the right balance. A cheap background check might cost up to $25 a month, typically under a subscription model that allows you to search for information for roughly 100 people a month.
However, background checks that are this cheap won’t be usable for the purposes of denying someone a job or rental housing, as consumer advocacy groups don’t verify the results. Reports at this price could be more reliable, and the costs of using bad information could be immeasurable. Even at the lowest price point, ensure your reports can be independently verified.
What Options Are Available?
From online services to professional investigators, the market offers an array of choices to suit every budget. Online background check services often provide cost-effective solutions, allowing you to access public records, criminal history, employment verification, and more, all from the comfort of your pajamas.
Many of these online services will vary in what applications you can use the checks for, and the absolute cheapest background checks won’t be viable for official purposes like employment or housing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use them for checking a personal contact’s public records. Some of these services will even pull up the social media accounts of the person you’re trying to learn more about, which can be very helpful for understanding the overall lifestyle of a potential romantic connection or business partner.
There are options for background checks aimed at yourself rather than scanning other individuals, offering a chance to see if your information has made it into the dark web or if nefarious actors might be trying to commit fraud using your data. Scammers find new ways to get a chunk of your hard-earned funds daily, so keeping up-to-date with what the internet thinks you’ve been up to is an important service that background check providers can offer.
Types of Background Checks
Background checks come in various flavors, each catering to different needs. Employment background checks allow employers to evaluate candidates’ qualifications, references, and past employment performance. These are invaluable for any responsible business owner, as the consequences of hiring an employee who has fabricated part of their work history can be dire. Tech companies, especially with their rapid growth and complex employee roles, absolutely need to apply background checks to ensure their new hires have the qualifications they’ve displayed on their resumes.
Tenant background checks help landlords determine the trustworthiness of potential tenants, ensuring their rental properties are in safe hands. A good landlord cares about the safety and quality of their rental communities. If you allow anyone who applies to start renting from you without checking their history, you could face damage to your rental property or potential other losses of investment, including the extensive legal battle it often takes to enact an eviction. A good tenant background check will include if potential renters have a history of eviction or noncompliance with debt collection.
Personal background checks offer individuals insights into their records, just in case you want to ensure your online alter ego has no skeletons in the digital closet. This can help you catch fraud before it starts and let you monitor your record for mistakes that might be reported to the credit bureaus or, worse, to potential employers.
What Does A Background Check Get You?
A background check can unearth a treasure trove of information about an individual. From criminal records and financial history to employment verification and educational background, it can help you make informed decisions and avoid potentially problematic situations.
The more money you spend on a background check, the more precise and complete of a picture will get delivered to you. Even the cheapest background check will likely list an individual’s previous addresses, public information like birth and death records, and criminal history. You may also gain access to their social media profiles and previous phone numbers or email addresses.
You might also gain access to financial history, like judgments, liens, bankruptcies, and credit scores. While it’s never a complete picture of a person’s character, these details are especially important if you’re lending a person money or offering them employment that involves being financially secure and responsible, such as working with an investment firm or bank.
Balancing Price And What You Need In A Background Check
So, how can you strike the perfect balance between price and what you need in an affordable background check? First, assess your requirements. Determine the depth of information you need and focus on areas that matter most to you. For example, you don’t need to pay for an official consumer report verified check if you’re only trying to find out if your new Tinder match might be a felon.
Suppose you’re running a business of a limited size. In that case, you don’t need to prioritize unlimited checks from your background check service provider since you’ll unlikely need to hire more than a few employees in a year. But, in that case, you will want to get involved with a service that provides a complete picture of the employees you’re planning to hire since an inadequate employee on a smaller team will have a much more significant effect on the overall health of your business.
More comprehensive checks come at a slightly higher cost. The lower the price, the less information you’ll get, and the longer it will take you to get it. Research different service providers, read reviews, and compare prices to find the best deal. Affordable background checks don’t have to break the bank. Still, they can save you from headaches and heartaches down the road, so it’s best to do the responsible thing and find a well-respected provider that is well-established in the background report industry.