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Best Background Check Sites for 2020

An online background check is the quickest way to find out more about people’s past. If you’re going on a date with someone you met online or your new roommate seems suspicious, you can use these services to satisfy your curiosity. Does she have a criminal record? Is he married? Does she have a college degree? Has he ever declared bankruptcy?

The best background check sites will answer these questions.

What they won’t do is help you decide whether to hire someone, rent them a home, or sell them insurance - at least not legally. The Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1970 specifies that information used for these purposes must come from regulated consumer reporting agencies. That’s why companies that perform background checking put disclaimers like this on the homepage:

"This company is not a consumer reporting agency as defined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. This site must not be used to determine an individual's eligibility for credit, insurance, employment, housing, or any other purpose covered by the FCRA."

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The Best Background Check Companies - Top 3 Picks

Top 3 Picks

Intelius

In-depth reports

Criminal records check

Easy-to-use search options

Visit Website READ REVIEW

TruthFinder

Modern, easily navigable interface

Comprehensive reports

Identity theft protection

Visit Website READ REVIEW

BeenVerified

Most accurate information

Criminal reports included in standard plan

Free PDFs

Visit Website READ REVIEW

The Best Background Check Website - Top 4 of 2020

1. Intelius

In-depth reports

Criminal records check

Easy-to-use search options

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Intelius provides different background check services - from checking social media profiles and employment background to detailed information about a person's marital status and finances. Whether you want to reconnect with an old school friend or find out more about your blind date, Intelius can help. The company also offers a reverse phone call service, meaning that it will tell you who an anonymous caller is. You can even do your own background check before applying for a job to see if there is any inappropriate content that you should remove.

Read full review

Search options

User interface

Additional services

Security

2. TruthFinder

Modern, easily navigable interface

Comprehensive reports

Identity theft protection

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With more than 9.5 million sessions every month, TruthFinder deserves its place on our list of the top background check sites for 2020. This company offers people search, background checking, dark web monitoring, a family tree maker, and reverse phone lookup. You can easily find anything you want to know about your colleagues and family members, check out online vendors, or screen people you meet on dating sites.

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Search options

User interface

Additional services

Security

3. Instant Checkmate

Customized background search

Comprehensive criminal and arrest data

Accurate reports

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Instant Checkmate stands apart from other background investigation companies because of its detailed criminal reports. Instant Checkmate relies upon a huge database to give customers the most accurate criminal, arrest, and sex offender records. The company’s services are also used by people who want to check their own public histories, see who their neighbors are, or find out more about their partners. Instant Checkmate guarantees that your target will not be notified about your search. The company encrypts all transmitted data with the latest SSL technology, and it uses Norton technology to protect clients' privacy.

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Search options

User interface

Additional services

Security

4. BeenVerified

Most accurate information

Criminal reports included in standard plan

Free PDFs

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BeenVerified is among the best background check choices on our list thanks to its many search options, well-organized reports, and responsive customer support. The site is extremely easy to use. The BeenVerified login leads you directly to an options menu so you can specify what type of search you wish to conduct. One of the main benefits of using BeenVerified is that so many features are included in the inexpensive basic subscription. For example, criminal records are included at no extra charge. The company also provides PDF versions of background reports.

Read full review

Search options

User interface

Additional services

Security

How We Review Background Check Websites

Before we identified the best companies that provide background checks, we created a list of factors we would need to evaluate – explicit compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, search options and user interface, additional services (like criminal record searches and phone-number reverse lookup), and prices.

Many companies claim to provide reliable background check services for affordable monthly fees, but our research indicates they don’t always live up to the “affordable” part of that promise. We found scammers, FCRA violators, and inaccurate information all too common in this industry.

That’s why we developed a formal methodology, a set of rules for investigating, evaluating, and documenting candidates for the best site for background checks.

FCRA Compliance

We looked at each company’s website thoroughly to evaluate whether it follows Fair Credit Reporting Act rules. According to the FCRA, only designated consumer reporting agencies can provide official reports to employers, banks, and landlords. Other companies that provide background checks must publish disclaimers that tell users they are not consumer reporting agencies.

The information you get from these companies cannot be legally used when screening tenants, hiring employees, issuing insurance, extending credit, or other purposes specified by the FCRA.

Search Options

The next thing to keep in mind when conducting a search for the best background check services is how broad and flexible the search options are. Most sites have a search bar that lets you type in a name and surname. You can filter search results by city and state of residence too. To narrow your results, the site may ask questions about your target: age, number of siblings, profession – details like that.

In addition, you can generally conduct other types of searches. You can type a phone number and get the name of the person it’s assigned to. You can do the same with an email address, or even a car’s license plate number.

User Interface

Ideally, a background check service will deliver lots of information about your target quickly and easily. The best website for background checks would also be easily navigable, with a well-organized interface that lets you conduct your research smoothly. You should be able to conduct a simple background check of anyone you want without seeking help from anyone. If you’re looking for something specific, you can refer to comprehensive guides and articles with detailed information on how to use the services.

We include the readability of generated search reports when we evaluate the user interface. We award higher scores to sites that provide systematically organized information about targets. In some cases, companies offer visual representations of results via graphs.

Additional Services

When we created our best background check reviews, we started by assessing the types of background check services they offer. Most can give you basic information – name, address, phone number, and so on. Only the best do deeper research.

Those companies consult huge databases maintained by federal, state, and local government agencies to gather information about criminal records, for example. It is these background checkers that are able to tell you if a new neighbor has a record as a sex offender.

It is sometimes useful to run a background check on yourself. You can use the report to evaluate and improve your online presence, protect yourself from identity theft, and detect your personal information on sale in the shady markets of the dark web.

Pricing

The best background checks come at considerable cost. Although we looked for the most affordable companies, you may be dismayed at the prices. Most providers don’t disclose prices on their websites. You must contact company representatives for a consultation before you learn what the prices are.

Generally, you can purchase background check services à la carte or you can pay for a monthly subscription. Pricing plans differ based on the types of background checks you want to conduct. Some companies offer complete background checks, while others charge extra for checking criminal and other records.

Security and Protection

Finally, we don’t add a website to our list of the best sites for background checks without evaluating the measures and policies the site has adopted to protect the client’s privacy and security. These services let you compile a comprehensive background history of your new neighbors. Imagine the scene when your neighbors discover you have conducted such a check. You haven’t done anything illegal, but there will surely be more than enough embarrassment for all parties.

The best companies secure your requests with SSL technology, protect your information within a secure firewall, and adhere to privacy policies that keep your personal information safe and secure.

Best Background Check Organizations for 2020

  • Intelius

  • InstantCheckmate

  • BeenVerified

  • US Search

  • TruthFinder

In-depth reviews

Intelius is a Washington-based background check company that has been in operation since 2003. We consider it one of the best background check sites because it provides a wide range of different types of checking services – from people search, public records, and social media checks to comprehensive background checks.

The company offers identity theft protection services too. The company has access to more than 20 billion records containing information about individuals and companies, so you can rest assured that the site will provide accurate, in-depth information on your target.

The simplicity and power of the Intelius website are impressive. Even if you are using this kind of service for the first time, you won’t face any problems. Regardless of the type of check you want to conduct, there are just three ways of searching – by name, by phone number, or by address. If you are not sure which is best, the background search by name is our suggestion. You can narrow down the search by providing additional details as necessary.

Each report includes basic information about the person you check: name, age, birthdate, known addresses, phone numbers, and so on. In addition, you can request specific search reports like the reverse phone lookup, which shows everything about an anonymous phone caller. The full background check is for when you need to know if the person you’re researching has a criminal past or open bankruptcies. An Intelius background check will tell you everything you need to know.

Intelius also has the best background check app for mobile devices running iOS or Android. You can install it easily, use it to conduct background checks whenever you like, and receive information instantly.

Intelius doesn’t publish its pricing plans, preferring that potential clients have a conversation with the company’s sales team before discussing the bottom line. We learned during our evaluation that the company’s comprehensive background-checking plan costs $39.95 per month. It includes detailed information about the person you check – from educational background and marital status to criminal records.

There is also a $29.99 plan that includes unlimited background checks and reports. Intelius also offers a one-time background check that includes basic personal details, but you’ll need to contact the company for the price.

Intelius uses up-to-date federal, state, and local databases when conducting searches. If the person you’re investigating is in the United States, there’s an excellent chance Intelius can give you detailed reports with the freshest information.

Intelius reports are well organized, too, with plenty of information and graphics to make information clear.

Reasons to Buy

Monthly subscription plan and one-time services

Identity-theft protection service

Graphics make reports clear

Any list of reputable background check agencies must include TruthFinder. Like the other companies we’ve presented here, TruthFinder helps people find personal data about their targets with an easily navigated search interface.

The benefits of this website are numerous. Not only does the company gather together information from many sources – including social media profiles, email addresses, and job history databases – but it also provides information that is not easy to find. This includes criminal and arrest records, financial status history, and property ownership details.

The first question we need to answer is a serious one: Is TruthFinder safe to use? Like other top background check websites, TruthFinder is not registered as a consumer reporting agency. According to the FCRA, the information it provides cannot be used for screening tenants, hiring people, or deciding whether a candidate is eligible for loans and insurance policies. The website is completely safe to use so long as you keep those restrictions in mind.

Moreover, TruthFinder guarantees privacy for its clients. You can search for details and historical records about anyone you want, and they will not be notified about it.

TruthFinder allows users to employ its background check service on both desktop and mobile devices. The mobile application can be installed on Android smartphones and iPhones, but you don’t need it – you can always access the company’s website directly from the browser.

Our testers were impressed with the appearance and usefulness of the user interface. Like other background check websites, TruthFinder presents a visual representation of the search for your target’s background information. The display shows how far the search-in-progress has proceeded and which data sources are being checked.

You can narrow down the search by providing more information about your target. TruthFinder accesses a huge number of data records to conduct a search. To do an accurate online background check, it thoroughly reviews online profiles, current and historic address info, arrest records, convictions, and much more.

The company offers its services through a subscription plan that costs $27.78 per month. You can conduct basic searches, reveal who is hiding behind unidentified phone calls, and peek at the social media profiles of your dates with this plan. If you pay for three months in advance, you can get the same services at a discount: just $23.02 per month.

TruthFinder differs from the rest of the background check websites in one crucial area. The company provides advanced dark web monitoring services for detecting identity theft, online fraud, and suspicious activities that can jeopardize your safety. If you are a regular client at TruthFinder, you can also manage your personal background report as you wish. Other TruthFinder clients will see only the information you allow them to see.

In addition to dark web monitoring tools that are the best, this background check company has a tool that can help you create a family tree from scratch. Just type your name, add the state and city you live in, and click on the search button to get background results. TruthFinder’s family tree maker will give you a list of potential relatives. Specify the relationship between you and the people on the list, and the website will create a family tree. This service is entirely free.

Reasons to Buy

Dark web monitoring

Free family tree maker

Responsive customer support

Instant Checkmate definitely deserves a place in our review of top background check services. According to countless customer testimonials on the internet, Instant Checkmate is indispensable at helping people get accurate, timely information about new neighbors, dates, and old school friends. Instant Checkmate has an A+ score at the Better Business Bureau website, meaning this is a company you can trust.

Clients count on Instant when conducting personal background checks too, to see what information about them others can find on the internet.

This company is popular because it lets you conduct a search quickly and easily. The well-organized website lets even less-experienced users conduct searches. The site’s instructions are almost superfluous.

This candidate for the best background check website has a modern, easily navigated interface. Just type the search target’s first name, surname, city, and state. A single click starts the online background check. If you don’t have all the information to conduct the search by name, you can give Instant Checkmate’s people search directory a try.

The company offers two online background checks – the “people search” and the “criminal record.” The first allows you to find out lots of information about your target: data and place of birth, current address, occupation, job history, and more. The second provides a comprehensive criminal record.

A reminder: Instant Checkmate is not the best background check for employers. You are legally prohibited from using information from this website when deciding if someone is a good candidate for a job. The FCRA protects consumer rights by ensuring that personal information cannot be used for certain purposes unless it comes from an official consumer reporting agency. The Instant Checkmate website clearly states that the company is not a consumer reporting agency. One of the consequences is that Instant Checkmate does not guarantee that the information it provides is completely accurate or regularly updated.

Instant Checkmate recently introduced the ability to annotate records with information like eye and hair color, political affiliations, religion, and ethnicity.

Instant Checkmate may have the best online criminal background check. Searching for criminal arrest and conviction records is a breeze. The website actually starts searching your target’s records the instant you type the first and last name. You can narrow the search by providing details like the target’s state of residence. The search takes only a few minutes, during which you can follow Instant Checkmate’s progress in searching federal, state, and county databases.

You can customize the search to get a list of sexual offenders or vandals in your area if you’d like.

This background check company reviews and reports on your target. The company has a 100% guarantee that the person you are checking will not find out about your search. The company protects your privacy with 128-bit encryption, and it uses Norton security products as an extra layer of protection.

Reasons to Buy

Modern, easily navigated interface

128-bit SSL protection

In-depth background check

Established in 2007, BeenVerified is a reputable background check company offering services that include people search, reverse phone lookup, email lookup, address lookup, and social media search. The company reports that more than 100,000 people have used BeenVerified services to research people they communicate with, reconnect with old friends, or improve their own online reputations.

Countless BeenVerified reviews praise this company for its fast and affordable background checks.

Refreshingly, BeenVerified displays its pricing plans openly on the website. Before you start researching people, you must sign up for BeenVerified and choose one of its pricing plans. BeenVerified is among the cheapest background check providers. You can subscribe for $26.89 for a monthly membership or pay three months in advance for $17.48 per month. Each option includes unlimited background reports; phone, address, and email lookups; and criminal records.

This background checker even monitors your completed searches and sends notifications when information is updated.

In addition to fast and affordable service, BeenVerified prides itself on its customer support. We contacted the agents via phone and asked about the company’s services. They were nothing but polite and knowledgeable.

We learned that in addition to the monthly subscription, BeenVerified offers one-time services too. For example, if you want to conduct a legit background check of your date, you don’t need to pay the full monthly fee. You can purchase a single report on one person. That’s a handy feature that is not offered by most of BeenVerified’s competitors.

The service’s searching options are versatile. The BeenVerified interface supports standard searches by name, but you can also search by an automobile license plate number, email, or phone number.

These searches can result in incorrect information because they are less specific. You’ll guarantee yourself the most accurate, best background check if you provide as much information as you know – first name, surname, state, city of residence, and so on. Then the site will list potential matches. There can be dozens of results. Once you specify which is the one you are searching for, BeenVerified will create a report for you.

The reports you get at BeenVerified are detailed and well-organized. You can easily navigate through the pages and find the information you need quickly. Unlike other companies, BeenVerified doesn’t charge more if you want to print your report or download a PDF.

BeenVerified is a perfect choice if you want to conduct a cheap criminal background check. This type of background check is the most common among customers. Companies usually charge additional fees, but we were pleasantly surprised when we saw that the criminal record reports come with the BeenVerified basic subscription. Not only does the company provide criminal records in each state, but it also allows you to get the list of sex offenders in your area so you can protect your loved ones.

Reasons to Buy

Fast and reliable customer support

Thousands of satisfied clients

List of sex offenders in your area

Choosing the Best Background Check Service

When people think about background checks, the first thing they have in mind is looking up criminal records. While most of the services we review here include criminal checks, background checks cover much more. As more and more of our lives are conducted online, companies that research background data have an ever-richer store of data to explore. Fortunly’s best background check reviews can help you choose the right one for your needs.

FAQ

What is a background check?

A background check is a report on your target’s past, including addresses, marriages, and other personal data. The very best website for background checks would provide a detailed background educational and employment history, property records, credit reports, and data concerning arrests and convictions. The background report also includes a history of addresses, phone numbers, and even your target’s family and friends.

How to do a background check?

Background check sites give you publicly available information about any person living in the US. Even if a person lived for a short time in the US, the company will report whatever information is available.

The information you get is publicly available. You could find it on your own by searching federal and state data sources. But this requires a lot of time and energy. The benefit of using top background check websites is that they perform all those searches for you, providing a complete report on your target’s past.

Is it legal to use background check services?

The short answer is that it depends on what you do with the information you get. If you’re just checking out your daughter’s new boyfriend, or you’re curious about whether a new neighbor has a criminal record, the service is completely legal. But if you want to do employment checking, there is a problem. According to the FCRA, even top-rated background check companies can’t be used when deciding if a person is a good candidate for a job, loan, insurance policy, lease, or scholarship.

What is the most reliable background check?

There are hundreds of background check services, but not all of them are worth your attention. Legitimate companies provide services in accordance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. In most cases, these companies are not consumer reporting agencies* – which means that they are not legally authorized to provide reports that can be used for hiring people or screening tenants. The best background checks for employers come from official consumer reporting agencies.

What is the cheapest background check?

Background checks are not cheap, but some companies provide accurate and fast information for as many people as you like for less than $30 per month.
Some of the biggest and best-known background check companies don’t disclose their pricing plans. To find out how much their services cost, you’ll need to sign up for a subscription or have a discussion with their sales reps.

Which is better: BeenVerified vs TruthFinder?

Both BeenVerified and TruthFinder are well-established companies that provide reliable search and background checks, but based on your needs you might find one or the other more suitable.
If you are looking for the best criminal background check, BeenVerified is a better option than TruthFinder. The company provides detailed information on the target’s criminal records. This is an integral part of the basic subscription.

As for TruthFinder, this company offers one really interesting feature – dark web monitoring. You can type your name and find out if some of your personal information is present – or even for sale – on the dark web. The company can also help you to remove your information from suspicious sites and protect yourself from identity theft.

What are the best background check sites?

It depends on your needs. If you’re looking for the full name, address history, and aliases, you can pick any of the companies from our list. If you seek more specific or detailed information, we suggest you read our background check reviews and choose the company that fits you best.

Disclaimer

* Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) as defined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The sites listed on this page can’t be used for employment, credit or tenant screening, or related purpose.