How Much Does it Cost to Do a Background Check? A Complete Guide

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Are you mulling over how much a background check might set you back? With costs ranging anywhere from $10 to an upward of $500, it can seem daunting. This comprehensive guide will demystify those expenses, breaking down the cost structure for different types of checks – be it for employment or personal use.

Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty and figure this out!

Key Takeaways

  • The cost of a background check can range from $10 to $500, depending on factors such as the type of check, level of detail required, and provider chosen.
  • Different components of an employment background check have varying costs, with criminal history checks ranging from $10 to $50, education verification costing around $15 to $30 per degree or credential verified, and employment verification ranging from $20 to $40 per employer.
  • Personal background checks can range in price from free online resources to paid services starting at around $20-$50 for basic packages that include criminal history checks and identity verification.
  • When determining the right budget for background checks, factors to consider include the types of checks needed, level of detail required, provider pricing and discounts offered for bulk orders. Balancing cost and quality is important when choosing a background screening service provider.

Understanding Background Check Prices

Factors that influence the cost of a background check include the level of detail required, the number of searches conducted, and the complexity of the information being sought.

Factors that affect the cost of a background check

The cost of a background check can change due to various things.

  1. The type of info you want: If you only need a basic check, your cost could be low. But if you need more detail like a criminal history or credit score, it will cost more.
  2. The place where the person has lived: Searching in many places for information can add to the price.
  3. How often you do checks: Some companies reduce the fee if you do a lot of checks.
  4. Who is doing the check: Prices can change from one company to another. Some may offer deals or packages.
  5. Laws and rules: Some states limit what info a background check can show and how much it costs.
  6. Job type: For some jobs, employers must do detailed background checks by law.
  7. Check speed: If you need results right away, it will cost more.
  8. Using many services at once: If an employer wants to search many databases at once, the price goes up.
  9. License checking: To find out if someone has a professional license, there is usually an extra fee.

Different types of background checks and their pricing range

There’s a wide range of background checks available, each with its own price tag. Below is a table outlining some of the most common types of background checks and the associated costs.

Type of Background Check Price Range
County Court Criminal Background Check $15 – $20
Professional License Verification $20 per license
Standard Background Report (includes basic info and global database search) $39.95 per report
Federal Background Check (Criminal search) $8 – $15
OFAC Terrorist/Watch List Search $0 – $5
Credit History Check Varies

The cost of each check can fluctuate based on the provider and the specific services included. Some providers offer packages that bundle multiple types of checks, providing a more comprehensive view at a discounted rate. The value of each check must be balanced against its cost, particularly for cost-conscious buyers.

The Cost of Running an Employment Background Check

Running an employment background check includes various components such as a criminal history check, education verification, and employment verification, with costs varying for each component.

Cost breakdown for different components of an employment background check (criminal history check, education verification, employment verification, etc.)

An employment background check usually consists of several components, each with its own cost. The price for a criminal history check can range from $10 to $50, depending on the depth and scope of the search. Education verification may cost around $15 to $30 per degree or credential verified. Employment verification, which involves contacting previous employers for information, can range from $20 to $40 per employer. Other components such as credit history checks or drug screenings may also incur additional costs. It’s essential to consider these different factors when determining the overall budget for an employment background check.

Average cost range for employment background checks

The average cost range for employment background checks can vary between $20 and $100, depending on the specific services included in the check. This price may include criminal history checks, education and employment verifications, reference checks, and drug screenings.

It’s important to note that additional fees may apply for specialized searches or more extensive investigations. Keep in mind that the cost of a background check is influenced by factors such as the provider you choose and the level of detail required for the check.

So it’s always a good idea to compare prices and services before making a decision.

The Cost of Running a Background Check on Yourself

Running a background check on yourself can provide valuable information and peace of mind, but it’s important to consider the cost. There are different pricing options available for personal background checks, ranging from free online resources to paid services that offer more comprehensive information.

The cost of personal background checks and why you might want to do one

If you want to do a personal background check, it’s important to know how much it might cost and why you should consider doing one. The price of a personal background check can vary depending on the provider and what specific information you’re looking for.

It could range from $10 to $500. Conducting a personal background check can be beneficial because it allows you to gather information about yourself that others may see when conducting their own checks.

This can help you identify any potential errors or discrepancies in your records, allowing you to take steps to correct them before they become a problem. Additionally, knowing what information is available about you can help with job applications, housing rentals, and other situations where your background may be checked by others.

Different pricing options for personal background checks

Personal background checks can have different pricing options based on the level of detail and scope you require. Some companies offer basic packages that include a criminal history check and identity verification, which usually start at around $20-$50. If you need more comprehensive information, such as employment verification or education verification, the price may increase to around $100 or more. Additionally, some background check services offer subscription-based plans where you pay a monthly fee to access unlimited reports. These plans are typically priced between $20-$40 per month. Keep in mind that prices can vary depending on the provider and specific services included in the package.

How to Determine the Right Budget for Background Checks

To determine the right budget for background checks, consider factors such as the level of thoroughness needed, industry standards, and the risks associated with your specific hiring or screening process.

Factors to consider when setting a budget for background checks

Setting a budget for background checks? Here are some important factors to consider:

  1. Types of Checks: Different types of background checks have varying costs. Determine which components you need, such as criminal history, employment verification, or education verification.
  2. Level of Detail: The depth and comprehensiveness of the background check can affect the price. Decide how extensive you want the report to be based on your specific requirements.
  3. Provider Pricing: Background check services may offer different packages at varying prices. Compare providers and their pricing structures to find the most cost-effective option for your needs.
  4. Volume Discounts: If you anticipate running multiple background checks, ask if the provider offers discounts for bulk orders. This can help save costs in the long run.
  5. Legal Compliance: Consider any legal requirements or industry standards that must be met when conducting background checks. Factor in associated costs, such as fees for accessing certain databases or complying with regulations.
  6. Turnaround Time: Expedited results may come at an additional cost. Determine how quickly you need the information and whether paying extra for faster turnaround is necessary.
  7. Ongoing Monitoring: Some providers offer ongoing monitoring services that alert you to any new criminal records or changes in an individual’s background. Assess whether this continuous monitoring is worth the added expense for your specific situation.

Balancing cost and quality in background screening services

When it comes to background screening services, balancing cost and quality is important for cost-conscious buyers. While it’s understandable that you want to keep expenses low, it’s equally crucial to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information provided in the background check.

Cheaper services may not offer comprehensive reports or utilize reputable sources, which could result in incomplete or inaccurate information.

To strike a balance between cost and quality, consider factors such as the reputation and experience of the background check provider. Look for providers with a track record of delivering accurate and reliable results.

Additionally, read customer reviews and testimonials to get a sense of their service quality.

It’s also essential to evaluate the components included in the background check report. Determine which elements are crucial based on your specific needs. For example, if you’re conducting employment screening, verify if criminal history checks, education verification, employment verifications are included in the package.


In conclusion, the cost of a background check can vary depending on various factors such as the type of check, provider, and specific services included. While prices can range from $10 to $500, it’s important for cost-conscious buyers to carefully consider their needs and budget when deciding on a background check.

By understanding the components and pricing options available, individuals and employers can make informed decisions to ensure reliable screening without overspending.


1. What is the average cost of a background check?

The price of background check services can vary, but on average, the cost of conducting a background check for employment might range from 20 to 100 dollars.

2. Is there any difference in background check cost for companies and individuals?

Yes, expenses for a comprehensive background check can change based on whether you are an individual or company because different types of checks need different work.

3. Does the price range for criminal record checks differ from other types of checks?

Indeed it does! Criminal record search may carry its own separate fees which influence the total cost of a background investigation.

4. Are there affordable options available for tenant screening and financial background checks?

Certainly! Several companies offer various pricing options that make tenant screening and financial checks accessible within reasonable costs.

5.What factors can change how much I pay for preemployment screenings?

The extent of information sought, like criminal records or financial history could affect your overall cost. The selected company also plays part in determining your final bill.

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