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Run a Background Check on Yourself



Why You Should Run a Free Background Check on Yourself


The idea of running a background check on yourself probably hasn't occurred to you before. After all, you know better than anybody else what is in your history, including whether you've ever been convicted of a criminal offense. So why would you need to do a background check just to verify what you already know? Although it may sound counterintuitive, there are many instances when running a free background check on yourself makes a lot of sense. In fact, failing to do so could end up costing you a job, loan, or admission to college. Here are a few reasons why you need to run your own background check.

Mistakes happen

You may not like it, but mistakes can and do happen. For example, mistakes on credit reports are relatively common, especially if you have a name that is quite popular. These mistakes could lead to blemishes on your credit score that you are not actually responsible for. Therefore, you should routinely check your credit report by contacting a credit reporting agency. While mistakes on your criminal record are rarer, they can happen too, such as an offense that was supposed to be expunged from your record but never was.

Identities can get stolen...

Identity theft is a major problem today. From credit cards to social security numbers, there are plenty of ways that criminals can wreak havoc with your life by stealing your identity, such as by charging items to your credit card without your consent. In fact, you may not even realize your identity has been stolen! Again, get your credit report to verify that your financial history hasn't been hijacked.

...and confused

While identity theft doesn't usually lead to you getting a criminal record that is not actually yours, there are plenty of cases where one person's crime was confused for another's. Do a criminal background check on your name, especially in your local jurisdiction, to see if you get any results. If you have a common name, then there is a good chance that somebody with your name will have a criminal record. You may want to bring this to the attention of a prospective employer so that they don't wrongly assume that you are the one with the conviction.

Records don't tell the whole story

Many people wrongly believe that only convictions turn up on a criminal background check. The fact is that thousands of court records can be looked up online and these records may also show if you were ever charged with a crime. The problem, however, is that such records may not show whether or not you were actually convicted. Again, you may want to clarify with a possible employer if your name pops up in a court record.

Running a free background check on yourself may sound unusual, but it is a great way to protect yourself from unwanted surprises. By conducting your own background check, you will be giving yourself greater peace of mind when applying for a job, taking out a loan, or doing anything else that may require a look into your past.

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