How do you know what's lurking in your personal history? If someone asked you today to give them a full rundown of what they might find in a background check, could you tell them? Most people don't know exactly what's lurking in those reports. They're not quite sure whether their arrest for disorderly conduct from college still shows up in a check. They don't know that their old landlord filed a false report about a broken lease out of spite over a small dispute. They're flying blind, hoping the background check doesn't include any false or unflattering report to any unsuspecting customer using the service. There's no reason to live in uncertainty. Here are three times it makes sense to use a background check service to vet yourself.
When you're applying for new jobs
It should go without saying that your new employer is likely going to perform a full background check. The company will likely pull your criminal records, your credit report, your employment records, and anything else it can get its hands on. You should do a background check on yourself so you'll know precisely what you're up against. This will give you a chance to cure anything that's false on your records. If there is something that's both true and damaging, you'll have a chance to formulate a plan to mitigate the potential damage to your reputation.
When applying to colleges
More and more, colleges and universities are looking into the backgrounds of their students. With more scrutiny being placed on universities that admit dangerous people, schools are limiting liability by putting in more due diligence. While the average university isn't likely to care that you have a few bad marks on your credit report, they may be interested in criminal records that indicate a tendency toward violence. If you're applying to schools and have the chance to seek an expungement for relevant arrests, you may want to do that. You'll only know what's on your record if you pull that record, though.
When entering into new relationships
In the digital age, people are doing more and more research on their would-be partners. They want to know what they are getting into, and they want to protect themselves from potential danger. Many relationships have been wrecked because one party did a background check on an unsuspecting partner. It pays to know precisely what you're up against so you can attempt to run interference. There may be a perfectly good explanation for why you were sued by a former business partner. If you know these things are on your own record, you'll be prepared to explain them before a potential romantic interest finds them on their own.
With a few notable exceptions, your background is what it is. You'll have to deal with it in realistic terms. Whether you're starting a business, applying for a loan, trying to get into school, or starting a new job, you're likely to encounter people who pull at least some portion of your record. Using a background check service to do a little self-scouting is a good way to get ahead of potential negatives. Shouldn't you know what other people are bound to find out about your past?