Should I Do a Self-Background Check

If you are seeking employment, a new apartment or home, or if you need to get a loan, there’s a very high likelihood that the people in charge of deciding whether or not you will get what you want are going to do a background check on you.

Why should you care? Because background checks contain all kinds of important information about you. Personal information. Employment information. Financial information. They also bring up your criminal record. No big deal, though, right? After all, you don’t have a criminal record… right? You’d better be sure, because if you do have a record, it can drastically impact your chances at getting any of those things mentioned above. How can you discover whether or not you have a criminal record? One surefire way is to run a background check on yourself.

When you run a thorough background check on yourself, you get to:

  1. Uncover errors and inaccuracies in the legal and financial records compiled about you so that you can address and rectify these errors.
  2. Anticipate and prepare yourself for some of the questions that may arise during your housing or employment screening.
  3. Get a comprehensive report that you can share with prospective employers and housing agents about your financial and legal history.
  4. Discover criminal records that are eligible for sealing or expungement.

You have the right to view most, if not all, of the records compiled about you in background checks. You also have a right to dispute and seek correction of any inaccuracies that may be contained in those records.

The critical information that you should check during a self-background check includes:

  • SSN (Social Security Number) verification
  • Credit Report
  • Address History
  • Driving records
  • Criminal background
  • Education history
  • Job history

Special records such as sex offender watchlists, Terror watchlists, NCIC (National Crime Information Center), NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System), and so on. A lot of your information is available online, and accessing it is often free. Some of the most popular sites for do-it-yourself background checks include the following:

  • – This is an accurate tracking site that shows you where you have lived as well as your relatives. It will tell you your addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses.
  • Credit Karma/Credit Sesame – these are free credit reporting services that can give you your credit information.
  • NSOPW – This site gives you sex offender data that’s been provided by the National Sexual Offender Public Registry.
  • – This site provides you with data from social media and several other public records.
  • – This site provides your background information, including some of your criminal records.

Though criminal records are not routinely available online, during your self-background check, you may stumble upon a record that’s eligible for expungement. As such, you may want to petition the court to expunge or seal such a record.

Examples of criminal records that might be eligible for full expungement include:

  • A case that was dismissed
  • A case in which you were found innocent
  • Certain offenses committed by a juvenile but were tried in adult courts
  • Misdemeanors
  • Some first-time drug possession crimes
  • Some felony crimes

Even if you do not qualify for full expungement, you might still be eligible for partial expungement. To find out exactly where you stand, the best thing to do is contact a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney who can take a look at your records and make a professional assessment.

Would you like to know more? Contact Jake Johnson at or 877-259-5693.


From the January 2019 Pollart Miller Newsletter