How To Obtain a Free Background Check in The State of Iowa?
Whether you're an employer, a concerned partner or even wanting to run a background check on yourself, here's everything that you need to know in a simple question-answer format for you.
Q: Is it even possible to get a free background check in Iowa?
A: Yes and No. According to Sophie Wright on freebackgroundchecks.com, official background checks (which are used for employment, giving loans and tenancy, and by social workers and law enforcement agents) are done by requisitioning criminal records or court documents. Unofficial background checks (done for personal reasons, often involving lovers, friends, neighbors, etc.) can be done by accessing public records.
Fortunately, many records are public in Iowa, but getting to them is a hassle unless you know exactly what kind of record you're looking for (as there is a different registry for each type of background, from financial to criminal). Some websites offer "free" background checks but these sites often charge a fee or subscription to reveal the whole information. Even if you requisition records at the DCI, background checks cost $15 and above, and cannot be used for employment purposes.
Q: How much will a background check cost?
A: If it's an unofficial check, you can look up previous records in the Supreme Court website or criminal databases without any fees. However, know that this does not include sealed records. If, however, the background check is for loan-giving or employment purposes, it costs between $10-$20 for a preliminary search, done mostly by third-party companies that charge a fee for the complete results. Depending on the type of background check you order (criminal, financial, etc), it can cost anything upwards of $20.
Q: What can be seen in a background check?
A: Background checks consist of three major things: Identity and social security checks (which includes your passport and immigration documents if you're an immigrant who was not born on American soil), credit scores (mostly requisitioned from credit card companies) and criminal records (including all misdemeanor or felony convictions and charges in a 7-10 year period during a preliminary search).
Q: Can I do a background check on myself?
A: Yes. Running a background check on yourself from time to time is a good way to make sure you're aware of any red flags in your own records. As mentioned earlier, your background can be checked if you're applying as a tenant to rent a place, or getting a new job, or apply for a loan. It's important to know what exactly shows up in your criminal record so that you can contest or fix any errors. You can check the court records anything that might be public information, including all arrests. Every court, from county to state to federal, has an online database that can be searched by name or case number.
However, your future employers probably shouldn't be able to see an arrest without a conviction in your report 7 years after it has been made. For finding out your credit reports (which are different from credit scores), you can check your credit report for free once every year from the three main credit unions under the FACT Act, which means you can get three free credit reports a year. Your credit reports will tell you the amount of debt you have stacked up, your debt-income ratio, and even how many times people have asked for your credit report before.
Many employers also ask for transcripts from your high school and college, so make sure you have a copy of those (which you can acquire from the institute itself) and correct any errors.
Some websites for preliminary searches are www.recordsfinder.com, www.instantcheckmate.com, www.backgroundsearch.com, www.usatrace.com, etc.
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