PeopleFinders doesn’t require users to sign up for a membership. It has detailed, easy-to-understand reports. Drawbacks of choosing PeopleFinders are limited transparency about how reports can be used and membership cancellation fees that other companies don’t charge.
PeopleFinders Review 2020
What do you do when a Google search doesn’t turn up what you need?
If you’re trying to reach an old high school friend or long-lost cousin, you’ll need their contact information. If you’re going to meet a stranger for a business lunch or to buy their antique armoire, you may want to ensure everything is on the up-and-up. Using a background check service is a comprehensive way to get this information.
PeopleFinders is one of the best-known background check services. It doesn't require a membership, but we're less impressed with it as an option for users who need ongoing service.
PeopleFinders pros and cons
- Doesn't require a membership
- Offers an affordable three-day trial
- Provides detailed, easy-to-navigate reports
- Allows for multiple search parameters
- Has an app for easy mobile use
- Lacks transparency about legal uses of info
- Charges small membership cancellation fee
- Doesn't include social media accounts
What we like about PeopleFinders
The thing we like best about PeopleFinders is that you don’t have to sign up for a monthly membership—most competitors don’t let you purchase individual reports. If you don’t want to run multiple background checks and you aren’t comfortable signing up for a membership, PeopleFinders is one of your best options.
The other big difference between PeopleFinders and the competition is its inexpensive trial membership. While a few other services offer trials, most don’t. If you’re sure you want to run background checks only once, sign up for the trial, run the reports you need during the three-day period, and cancel your membership before time’s up.
Downside? PeopleFinders charges you $2.95 to cancel a membership. And if you forget to cancel or decide you want to keep using the service, you’ll be charged monthly for an ongoing membership.
How PeopleFinders could improve
PeopleFinders didn’t make the top few in our list of the best background check services. The background check company’s one huge drawback is its lack of transparency.
There are lots of legal restrictions about how you can and cannot use information obtained in a non-CRA (Consumer Reporting Agency) background check. For example, PeopleFinders can’t legally be used to look up tenants or potential employees. When a site that offers background checks doesn’t state that up front, that’s sloppy customer service.
PeopleFinders keeps its non-CRA designation and the related rules in a tiny disclaimer at the bottom of the screen. Competing background check companies do a better job of clearly providing that information to potential customers.
|Three-day trial membership||Three-day trial premium membership||PeopleFinders Membership||PeopleFinders|
|Reverse phone lookup|
|People search report|
|Background check report|
|Marriage and divorce records|
|Birth and death records|
Remember, PeopleFinders charges a small cancellation fee ($2.95) if you don’t want to keep your membership. The membership won’t automatically cancel, so make sure you follow through if you don’t want to pay for a full membership after three days.
Want to get a one-time service? Unlike some background check brands, PeopleFinder allows customers to buy the results of just one search:
- One-time people search report is $1.95
- One-time reverse phone lookup is $3.95
- One-time background check report is $39.95
The PeopleFinders interface is one of the quickest and easiest to use of the background check sites we’ve reviewed. You can complete a search in just a couple of minutes.
Compared to TruthFinder and BeenVerified, PeopleFinders has standard features. You can reverse-lookup a phone number, turn up an address or other basic information through a people search report, or pull more comprehensive details using a background check report. Basically, if you need to get the scoop on someone, PeopleFinders can help you out. Just keep in mind that you need premium service to view detailed records.
You can’t look up people using their Social Security numbers or find a Social Security number using a PeopleFinders search. Keep in mind: a person can contact the site to get their information removed. That may affect what the PeopleFinders search engine turns up.
If you’ve never used a background check service before, you might have questions. Below we’ve answered some frequently asked questions about background check companies.
How much does a background check cost?
PeopleFinders offers monthly memberships or individual reports. An individual report costs about $40, so if you want to run more than one background check in a month, you’ll save money by choosing a membership.
What turns up in a background check?
The results of a background check will vary dramatically from one person to the next and from company to company.
The exact report will depend on what information is publicly available, but there are a lot of things included in a standard PeopleFinders report:
- Phone number
- Email address
- Physical address history
- List of associated people (e.g., family members)
- Property ownership information
- Basic info about criminal history and civil history (bankruptcies, judgments, liens, etc.)
Some PeopleFinders reports include marriage/divorce records—but that service is available only for certain states. These records didn’t turn up when we ran our checks, but those results will vary by location of the person you’re looking up.
You’ll notice that PeopleFinders also offers additional information related to background checks (such as more details about criminal records) through its Premium membership. A background check should generally be enough, but if you’re concerned about someone you know, you may benefit from pulling as much information as possible.
For the most part, PeopleFinders includes the same kind of information you’d get with almost any other background check service. There’s one major exception—other background check services give you information about a person’s social media accounts, but PeopleFinders doesn’t.
This is a small drawback because social media is a great, less invasive way to get in touch with old friends, classmates, or distant relatives. For example, reaching out to your college roommate through a Facebook message might be less awkward than calling them if they haven’t given you their phone number.
What do customers have to say about PeopleFinders?
Most of the positive reviews we read talked about people finding the information they needed to contact people.
Negative reviewers complained about a frustrating interface and inaccurate information. While the frustration is understandable, we should point out you shouldn’t expect a background check to turn up perfectly accurate information every time. PeopleFinders, like its competitors, depends on information that is in public records—if public records are incorrect or out of date, the information that turns up in a background check will be incorrect too.
While PeopleFinders didn’t quite crack our top background check services, it’s your best option if you don’t want to sign up for a monthly membership.
>>Sound good to you? Give PeopleFinders a chance.
Otherwise, we suggest using BeenVerified or PeopleLooker, since both companies offer detailed reports and more transparent explanations of how background check services can be used.