The Best Background Check Services

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Criminal background check application form with glasses and ballpoint pen.

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The world seems less safe now than ever before, and it can be hard to trust someone whether you’re meeting in person or online. Fortunately, the best background check services exist to eliminate any guesswork about who you’re talking to or to help you find an old friend. This article takes a look at those top background check services available today.

  • TruthFinder$23.28 or $28.05 per month – Very accurate + Unlimited reports per month

  • Intelius$21.12 or $24.86 per month – Access 20 billion+ records.

  • Instant Checkmate$27.82 or $34.78 per month – Breakneck search speeds

  • Spokeo$14.95 or $19.99 per month – Search using email addresses

  • PeopleFinders$24.95 to $159 per month – Customization tools + Deep searching

  • GoodHire$29.99 to $79.99 – FCRA compliant for employment searches

The best background check services will provide detailed reports, update your searches automatically with new information, and get you the data you need quickly. We’ve compiled our list of the top five and have categorized each for what we believe it is a good fit for. Let’s take a look at which one might be right for you.

Best Background Check Services

As you can see, all of these options are great potential fits for individuals looking to complete personal background checks. Now let’s dig into the details behind why each background check service has been rated the way we’ve decided.

TruthFinder: Best Overall

Truthfinder packs a ton of information into its easy-to-use web interface. The app uses a person’s name and city, phone number, or address to dive into hundreds of millions of public records to generate a detailed report for your eyes only. This abundance of records helps ensure the data is as accurate as possible.

One search can access public records on an individual’s birth, weapons permits, and education history. A background check can pull in criminal and arrest records for the person you’re inquiring about. Truthfinder also includes dark web monitoring to keep tabs on cyber risk.

The service has two price points to consider depending on how long you plan to use it. A one-month membership costs just under $28.05, whereas two months of TruthFinder will set you back around $46, offering a decent amount of savings. Unlimited reverse phone searches are an additional $4.99 monthly fee.

Each tier allows a limitless number of searches within your subscription window. It takes minutes to get the information you’re looking for, and customer service is always a phone call away if you’re having issues.

Intelius: Best Background Check Service for Accuracy

Intelius can locate information on a love interest or neighbor in question by entering a name, phone number, or address. To help expedite data collection, you can search specifically for criminal records or a background check.

The software will flip through nearly 20 billion sources or public records to gather the information you need. This extensive database helps Intelius provide some of the most accurate results of any service. You’ll have the results in front of you in a matter of minutes.

With the world interacting digitally more than ever before, relationships often kick off over websites. Verifying that someone is telling the truth before you meet in person can alleviate stress and concern.

Pricing isn’t terribly transparent, but a look into Intelius’s terms of use reveals a month of unlimited searching runs $24.86 per month. A 60-day plan costs $42.25, saving you $2.50 per month.

One thing to keep in mind is customer service hours. Intelius’s team is available 10 hours a day during weekdays but is unable to handle calls on the weekend.

Instant Checkmate: Best Background Check Service for Speed

Instant Checkmate performs lightning-fast checks on individuals you need to know about on the fly. You can look up that annoying number texting you or uncover if a former inmate just moved in down the street. The platform even has an Android app you can use to look up information no matter where you are.

There are two membership tiers depending on the length of time you wish to subscribe for. One month of service sits at $34.78, and buying a three-month membership incurs an $83.47 fee at the end of every cycle.

You can do as many searches as you wish during your active membership when you sign up. Instant Checkmate pulls its data from public records but provides accurate results for the speed it runs.

Searches only require a name, phone number, or address to locate information. Should you encounter issues along the way, Instant Checkmate’s customer service is available 12 hours a day during the workweek.

Above all, Instant Checkmate prides itself on security. Not only are your searches safe, but the person you’re looking into will never find out. Plus, your personal information is about as safe as it can be whenever you’re paying for anything online.

Spokeo: Best Background Check Service for Email Searches

Spokeo goes one step further than most background check sites by providing a means to look friends or even yourself up with an email address. The site also allows for searches via name, phone number, or physical address.

Having access to an email address search opens the door to verifying potential threats in your inbox. If you don’t have someone’s full name on a dating site, you can still use an email address to gather details.

The service sifts through billions of property, historical, and even social media records to uncover pertinent information. With this information in hand, you’ll discover facts about the individual’s personal details, associates, criminal activity, and more.

Spokeo delivers some of the lowest membership fees among background check sites. A single monthly membership is just $19.99, whereas three months of the same service is $44.85. If you expect to use the service for a long time, a three-month subscription is a great way to save money.

You can perform searches straight from the landing page, making results easy and quick to obtain. It’s possible to get in touch with someone from customer service 15 hours a day, seven days a week.

PeopleFinders: Best Background Check Service for API Integration

PeopleFinders is a fast, accurate tool for tracking down information on people in your life. As a data-as-a-service solution, you can use API to customize PeopleFinders and integrate it with other apps. This flexibility allows you to search for precisely what you need and save time doing so.

The service has two unique membership tiers that scale in features with price. A regular membership costs $24.95 per month but only contains basic information. Paying $29.95 a month gives access to criminal records, bankruptcies, business information, and the like.

Although PeopleFinders isn’t FCRA compliant, the company offers two plans for enterprises used for lead generation and customer verification. A monthly fee of $72 allows 1,000 searches per month, whereas spending $159 per month will give you 5,000.

Searches dive deeper than the average background check site, grabbing data from over 120 billion public records. Even so, getting results won’t take all day. If you want to search while not at the computer, PeopleFinders has mobile apps for Android and iOS.

GoodHire: Best Background Check Service for Small Business Owners

GoodHire stands out as a background check service thanks to its FCRA compliance. With this software, it is perfectly legal to perform background checks for the sake of screening employees or tenants.

Depending on your search criteria, GoodHire can provide results anywhere from instantly to seven days later. Simple identity checks using a social security number are almost immediate, but a criminal record search can take up to three days. It may require up to seven days for an even deeper civil records search.

When using GoodHire’s background check services, you’ll end up paying a fee for every search you do. The prices listed below are for individual inquiries with a limit of 25 per year. Businesses needing more checks will have to contact GoodHire for pricing options.

A basic search for $29.99 will trace a social security number and check the national database for criminal activity and sex offenses. Paying $54.99 runs a national search alongside a criminal court search in up to three counties. Lastly, you can perform a premium search for $79.99 to also collect education and employment data.

What You Need to Know About the Best Background Check Services

Not all background services are created the same, so it’s important to locate the best one for you. While you may not be able to go wrong with any of the selections on our list, we’ve put together a list of several key factors to consider before making a final decision.

Here are the most important factors to consider:

Cost

Some background checks are cheaper than others, but having peace of mind about a new neighbor or someone you met online can be well worth the investment. It’s important to consider how long you expect to use the service, as many companies offer discounts if you sign up for more than one month at a time.

Decide what you can afford, and then confirm that the number of features available meets your needs for whatever search you’re performing. Keep in mind that most plans will put you on automatic billing after you’ve signed up, so you’ll need to manually cancel if and when the time comes.

Accuracy

There’s little good to a background check site if it doesn’t bring back any accurate data. Not only do you want correct information, but you also want to have confidence before searching that you’re going to obtain the data you need.

The best background check services pull in data from millions (if not billions) of public records in a short length of time. It then corroborates the information it shares with you among all these data points to offer the most accurate information possible. Verify the background checker you use looks through enough record data to be able to do the same.

Accreditation & Compliance

While there’s an understandable desire to use background check software for looking up information on potential new employees, such a move may be illegal. Any tool you use to look up possible hires or new tenants must comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) established back in 1970.

Legislators passed this Act to limit who can obtain credit information and how long that data can be kept. You can still use software without this compliance to look into personal background checks, such as new neighbors or a partner’s ex.

Ease of Use

Most background check sites have an easy-to-navigate landing page you can search directly from once you’ve logged in. However, some keep search boxes hidden away or hard to find through needless clutter. Some services offer mobile apps so you’re not stuck searching from behind a computer screen.

Once you’ve initiated your search, there will always be prompts along the way that you’ll need to address to get your results. The app may ask questions to help narrow down search results or ask you to confirm the delicateness of the information you’re going to see. These prompts often unnecessarily add time to searches and can make the process cumbersome.

Turnaround Time

If you’re invited last-minute to have dinner with the new neighbors, you have little time to uncover who you’re going to be eating with, or who’s home you’re entering. Not only do background check sites pull in information from several sources, but they can also typically do so very quickly. You can put your mind at ease in a matter of a few minutes.

For apps running a deep FCRA-approved dive into a potential employee’s history, the results may take upwards of a week to obtain. Make sure the service you choose will give you the data you need in the timeframe you need it.

Customer Support

When you pay a significant amount for such a service, you expect to be able to use it as you need to. Should things not work as planned, it’s crucial to be able to reach someone who can help get things back on track. Some background check apps have around-the-clock customer support for issues, but others limit call times to a set range during the day.

Final Thoughts on the Best Background Check Services

Background check services offer insight into the otherwise closed door of those around you. Whether it’s a new neighbor, random text, or tonight’s blind date, these tools can provide peace of mind that you’re not in a dangerous situation. However, these tools are not all the same.

We chose TruthFinder as the best background check site for its unlimited fast and accurate searches. In addition, this app allows checks with nothing more than a name, phone number, or physical address. It comes in at a reasonable price point and even offers tools to help protect your identity.

Best Background Check Services Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

There are many uncertainties about the best background check services out there, mostly because many are just unfamiliar with what is legitimate and what is not. Below are answers to some of the most common questions surrounding these services that we’ve come across.

What Is Better Than TruthFinder?

In our opinion, TruthFinder takes the cake as the best background check service currently available. Its fast and accurate searches go hand in hand with all the ways you can locate data. Above that, TruthFinder allows for unlimited checks and can even be used to monitor your own identity on the dark web.

How Accurate Is Intelius?

Intelius gathers its data from no less than 20 billion public records scattered all over the country. Through a few user prompts, it quickly sorts through data, cross-referencing similar information to ensure information is correct. At the end of the search, you can be confident that the information you see is the best out there as long as data is available.

How Much Is TruthFinder a Month?

TruthFinder’s monthly price point changes depending on whether you sign up for one or two months of service at a time. A standard monthly rate is $28.05, but a two-month membership will only cost you $23.28 per month.

Is Instant Checkmate the Same as Intelius?

No, Instant Checkmate and Intelius are two different services. Intelius was founded in 2003, where Instant Checkmate came to be in 2010. Both platforms bring with them some of the most comprehensive background check services on the market today.