Do A Background Check On Yourself

Companies can order all sorts of reports on you and make judgments about you, from banks, to landlords to employers. Here’s how you can see the data they’re seeing and make sure the record is right.

Employment Report
ChoicePoint (866) 312-8075

Check Writing History Report
ChexSystems (800) 428-9623

Shared Check Authorization Network (800) 262-7771 Fax: (800) 358-4506
TeleCheck (800) 835-3243.

Residential and Tenant Reports
ChoicePoint: (877) 448-5732
Safe Rent (888) 333-2413
UD Registry (818) 785-3905

Medical History Reports
MIB (866) 692-6901

Insurance Claims Reports
ISO A-Plus Report (800) 627-3487

Thanks to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you’re entitled to one of each report below per year for free. — BEN POPKEN

The “Other” Consumer Reports [Privacy Rights Clearinghouse]
(Photo: Getty)


Edit Your Comment

  1. cindel says:

    Forget about those above and get a Lexis Nexis Report. Most companies esp credit used this and it’s scary what they know.

  2. girlfriend 6.0 says:

    I would be too scared to find out what I’ve done.

  3. dohtem says:

    @msb2: Beat me to it. I was just about to say the same thing.

  4. joyflop says:

    @cindel: Do you have a link? I’d like to check this out!

  5. Skeptic says:

    It used to be that each request for your credit report, including from you, put a an activity mark on you credit report and having a certain amount of activity on your reports actually lowered your credit score. I’m wondering if this is still the case.

    Also, I’m wondering if asking for your Medical Information Bureau file is like asking for your FBI file, if there wasn’t one there will be now… Note that the MIB tracks not just your medical history but your **lifestyle** including what sports you participate. Creepy corporate Big Brother stuff. Ought to be illegal, IMO.

  6. enm4r says:

    @Skeptic: There are two types of credit pulls, “hard” and “soft.” Apply for a loan, that’s a “hard” pull and will show up. You checking your report, that’s a “soft” that wont affect it whatsoever.

    That’s how the credit cards that report monthly, the other myfico monthly reports, etc work. They won’t affect your score.

  7. saram says:


    Actually, when you request info on your own credit report it is a “soft hit,” as opposed to a “hard hit” like when a credit card or mortgage company makes an inquiry. Soft hits don’t affect your score, so here are no penalties for inquiring. And actually, if you find out about errors and get them corrected, the inquiry can be quite good for your score.

  8. saram says:


    I don’t know how you beat me. Well done.

  9. faust1200 says:

    And don’t forget to remove those images on Myspace of you licking yard gnomes and mooning you pets. Companies are checking Myspace too believe it or not!

  10. Skeptic says:

    Thanks to both for the info.

  11. cindel says:

    Lexis Nexis:

    Don’t believe them when they say they are not a consumer reporting agency because they are; you’ll just have a hard time disputing.

    When I got mine, they got all sort of information from the time I was in college to now and they even have info on my family members in Jamaica. WTF?!

  12. smarty says:

    LexisNexus charges $8, or is there a free way to get the report?

  13. Motion says:

    Is there a Canadian Version of this =)

  14. Mr. Gunn says:

    Choicepoint said they had no information on me. I think the report they provide to individual must be different from the real one that their paying customers see.

  15. macstudent says:

    @ cindel

    Lexis-Nexis *isn’t* really a consumer reporting agency; they just compile public records. The difference is that while credit bureaus actually take information and create records for individuals (which they control, so you can change things via a dispute process), Lexis-Nexis ONLY compiles records that other – public – agencies have already entered.

    That means that:

    -The Register of Deeds will have a General Warranty Deed from when you bought a house;

    – The local Clerk of Court will have a Judgment against you from when you failed to pay your college credit card for two years;

    – The Vital Records agency in your state will have information about your birth/marriage/divorce/etc.;

    – The Board of Elections for your state will have a record of your address, date of birth, voting history, party, and (maybe even) race;

    – Your local tax office will have information on how much your house (or car, or boat) is worth, whether you’ve paid your tax bill, etc.;

    – The local government in Jamaica might have information from when your relatives left you a house (or you might just share the same name as one of them)…

    …and Lexis-Nexis will show any or all of these things. Mostly depends on what the local public agencies report. You can actually get all of these things from their original sources (if you put forth the effort); that’s the definition of “public records.”

    You just can’t dispute any of those things with Lexis-Nexis. They didn’t create the record, they don’t control it – they just report it. If you want to dispute any of this, go directly to the source. But good luck trying to change something on file with any public agency – it’s a bit of a nightmare.

    By the way, Lexis-Nexis is (from what I understand) meant to assist attorneys and others in the legal field with research. So again – not actually (or at least primarily) a consumer reporting agency.

  16. James Cooper - Chief Geek at TJSL says:

    You don’t think its worth 3 cups of coffee to find out what potential employers (lenders etc…) can learn about you?

  17. ducs says:

    The Shared Check Auth. Network link is broken.

    The UD Registry is a subsidiary of First Advantage (source: Extel Cards via LexisNexis). I can’t find a way to only poll the Registry. It’s not even offered as a product.