Our reviewers evaluate products and services based on unbiased research. Top Consumer Reviews may earn money when you click on a link. Learn more about our process.

US Search Review

Tuesday, May 17th

2022 Background Check Service Reviews

US Search Review 2.5 Star Rating

US Search

2.5 Star Rating
  • In business for over 25 years
  • Search by name, phone number or address
  • Unlimited basic monthly searches for under $20
  • Pay per report for background check records
  • 5-day trial for $1.99

US Search is one of four services owned by PeopleConnect that offer background check services (the other three being Instant Checkmate, Truthfinder, and Intelius). This one proudly advertises having been featured by CBS, CNBC and CNN as "America's Public Records Search Company" .

Do you have a lot of time?

Out of the four PeopleConnect platforms, US Search strikes us as the most cumbersome. There isn't even a search box on the landing page. Instead, they put a "get started" button there and then you can click to the part where you enter a name, phone number, or address (which also took a long time to load). Buckle up for a long process: you'll have to answer questions about why you're trying to do a background check, who you're looking for, and so on - and every click seems to take more and more time. When you finally get to the place to enter your name and email, you land on a report preview that tells you very little.

Not as expensive as its partner sites

Despite being tedious to use, US Search is the least expensive of the four sites in the PeopleConnect portfolio. There's no need to wait for big discounts: you'll automatically get a $1.99 five-day trial and/or a monthly membership with unlimited searches for $19.86. Given that all four services return results from the same databases, you might as well pay less for it.

Best Background Check Services

Get ready for the upcharge

Wondering what the catch is? We'll tell you: US Search (and the other three sites) only perform a basic people search at the outset, even if you enter the target information as a background search. To get the kinds of detail most clients expect, you'll have to pay extra for "premium" reports. At no point during the signup process does US Search tell you what that will cost: it's only revealed after you've paid to access the basic results and are left wanting. If our research is accurate, it's safe to expect per-report fees around $20. In other words, every time you run a background check here, you're paying for the monthly membership and a surcharge for additional items such as court records and criminal history.

Costs

  • $19.96 for month-to-month membership
  • 5-day trial for $1.99
  • Per-report fees for detailed background check info

Needs to be more transparent

US Search would benefit from being more direct with prospective site users. With no preview of matching reports, hidden fees for "premium" data, and a more challenging search process, is it any surprise that people are disappointed? We didn't find a ton of glowing praise from customers that used this site for background checks.

Top of the bottom?

Is there any honor in being the best of the worst? Maybe. You won't spend a ton of money to check out the background check capabilities here, if you're mindful of the trial period and cancel it before it renews. That would let you see if there's enough details returned for the purposes of your background check, or if you need to purchase the one-off, comprehensive report. We'd recommend looking at US Search's competitors before spending your energy (and money) here.

Where Can You Get the Most Accurate and Affordable Background Checks?

You're already well aware of the fact that you can find out lots about people with a simple Google search, but what if you need to know more? There are plenty of reasons to pay for a background check, from vetting your newest love interest to making sure a childcare provider doesn't have a criminal past.

These paid platforms can access records that won't show up in a traditional search - and they save you time by pulling together information from thousands of databases into one place. When you run a background check, most services will give you two tiers of pricing: basic and "premium" . What's the difference? A basic search typically renders results showing a person's known aliases (like maiden names) and relatives, address history, phone number, email addresses, and possibly social media accounts.

The Best Background Check Services Compare Background Check Services Compare Background Check Service Reviews What are the best Background Check Services Best Background Check Service Reviews

Background Check Service FAQ

The information provided by a background check is determined by the service you select. Common details include traffic offenses and arrest records, known addresses and phone numbers, property ownership and court cases. Some of the more thorough services even attempt to track social media profiles and look for the individual's presence on the Dark Web.
That also depends on which provider you use to run the check. Most services make it more affordable to pay for a month of access than to run a one-off report. For example, one service charges $29.95 for a single background check, but $29.89 for a month of unlimited reports! You can take advantage of the longer subscription terms to research to your heart's content!
There are lots of reasons you might want to do a background check. Maybe you're in charge of a membership list that has outdated information and you need to track down the new contact details for a few people. Or you might be curious about your new neighbors and want to get some insights before you reach out (though, honestly, that might be a little creepy!). Background checks can also give you some peace of mind if you're into the online dating thing, to make sure that seemingly nice man or woman really is who they say they are before you meet in person.
Usually just a few minutes. You'll enter the information you have, like name and any known addresses, and then you might be asked to provide other details or confirm preliminary results as a match.
Absolutely! It's a great way to determine what someone else might find if they check YOU out! It can also give you a heads-up if you're going to have a background check done for some official purpose, like applying to be a foster parent or for a job that requires one. If you find something in your results that's inaccurate, it gives you time to get it fixed or to prepare an explanation for your agency or prospective employer.
Yes. You may not use consumer background check services to gather information to make decisions about tenant screening, insurance, employment or consumer credit. These all require FCRA-compliant platforms, which typically involve the consent of the person being screened. If you need a background check for any of these purposes, be sure to choose a service specifically designed to be legal and compliant.
This varies widely by service. Some providers really go to great lengths to return accurate results, while others seem to just scour the internet and dump every remotely-possible match they find. It's a good idea to read reviews and check out a background check provider's reputation before paying to run reports.
Most of the time, there isn't. However, many background check services give you a free trial, ranging from a day or two to a full week. Who knows, you might even be able to get the information you were looking for in that timespan and not need to continue on as a paid subscriber!
Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

To get to the kinds of records you've probably got in mind, like criminal and court proceedings, you'll have to upgrade to the premium service. That may be included as an add-on to a monthly subscription cost or as a one-off fee each time you conduct a search.

As you consider whether or not to conduct a background check, it's important to understand that some uses are strictly prohibited - and every service will require you to acknowledge those limitations at some point during the process (usually with an "I accept" or "I agree" checkbox). Identified as FCRA (short for Fair Credit Reporting Act), this regulation means that you can't use a background check service to influence decisions on employment, tenant applications, insurance, and several other scenarios. There are a small number of services that offer FCRA compliant searches, but expect to pay accordingly.

No matter which background check service you ultimately select, there's one good reason to visit more than one site: to protect your privacy by requesting that your own records be removed from their listings. Look for a link at the bottom of the site that says "Opt Out" or "Do Not Sell My Information" . From there, you'll either conduct a search for your own records (at no cost) or provide the URL you got when you looked up your own profile previously. Once you click the link sent in a confirmation email, it can take several business days for your info to be deleted (though we've seen it happen almost instantly as well).

With so many platforms offering background checks, which one is right for you? Keep in mind these criteria as you make your decision:

  • Accuracy of Information. Background check services don't guarantee that their reports are accurate: public records can have errors, and with common names it's not unheard of to have incorrectly-attributed results. However, some services have a better reputation for quality data. You may want to search for your own report to get a feel for how on-target your results will be if you do a background check on someone else.
  • Value. What will you get for what you spend? Is there a trial period that lets you test out the background check service before committing to a paid plan? How does that monthly fee compare with rival services?
  • Reputation. What do other customers say about their experience with running background checks with the service? Has the Better Business Bureau given the provider a favorable rating?
  • Customer Support. Some background check services let you get one-on-one help to find the information you need. Are support reps easily reached if you have questions or issues with billing?

To help you get all of the information you need. TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the most popular background search providers available today. Are you ready to find out more about your neighbor, date, or coworker? Choose one of our highest-ranked services and see what you discover!

Compare Background Check Services

Select any 2 Background Check Services to compare them head to head

best-background-checks
See the Best Background Check Service
The Best Reviews of Background Check Services