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How to Find Social Security Numbers

Updated on August 13, 2016
How to verify a social security number, check credit, and view criminal history.
How to verify a social security number, check credit, and view criminal history.

Reasons You May Need Someone's Social Security Number

Businesses or individuals may have different reasons for needing a certain person's social security number (SSN). If you are a business owner or landowner who needs to know the credit and criminal history of an individual, there are online services available that can help you check that information for free or for a small fee. However, you need to be sure that your intentions for using someone's SSN are legitimate; otherwise, you may be charged in court for invading someone's privacy.

Common legal usage of SSN search services is for checking a potential employee or tenant's background—information such as his or her employment background, past and present residence, criminal records, etc. The social security number of a person may also be used in official government functions, such as in identity theft or electronic fraud inquiries. The court may also request for an SSN search for purposes of debt collection recovery. If you are thinking of doing your own search, there are several online search services which can help you do this.

Depending on what information you would like to verify, there are different websites that you can use. Here is how to use someone's social security number for the most common reasons.

How to Use Social Security Numbers to Verify People's Identities for Payroll Reasons for Free

Businesses may need a social security number for payroll verification purposes.
Businesses may need a social security number for payroll verification purposes.

If you are a business owner, you will want to verify the SSNs of your new employees because it is essential to have the correct numbers to successfully submit your annual wage reports.

To make this easy, the official Social Security Administration offers social security number verification as one of its services. This site has two verification options:

  • The first option will allow you to verify up to 10 names and SSNs. This option is ideally used when verifying new employees.
  • The second option permits you to upload files of up to 250,000 names and SSNs and receive the results on the next government working day. This option probably does not apply to you unless you have a very large number of new employees.

How to Run a Credit Report

All three major credit score providers no longer need the homeowner to know a tenant's credit score.
All three major credit score providers no longer need the homeowner to know a tenant's credit score.

The times are a-changin'! You no longer need a SSN to run a credit report—all you now need is an email.

However, a credit check typically has a fee involved. Between $9.95 and $35 per credit check is common—however, some people will recommend that you check all three main credit reporting bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion).

  • Experian—With Experian, it is free to view someone's credit report—however, he or she will have to pay $14.95. For this, you do not even need the tenant's SSN; all you need is an email address. Simply create an account with Experian and send a request to your tenant. Tenants will have to purchase their credit reports (they can grant multiple people the right to see it, so this is a cheap option if they are applying for multiple apartments) and give you access. You will get an email with a link to the report when they have done so.
  • Equifax—With this option, you can decide whether you or your tenant will pay for the report—it's $9.95. It's a subscription by month, so if you are planning to send or request more than one report, try to plan for them all to be in the same month. Again, you actually do not need a SSN, only an email.
  • TransUnion—In order to get the full credit report and eviction search, you need to pay $35. Once again, you send the rental applicant a request and they fill out the information, so you do not need a SSN, only an email.

How to Do a Background Check or Screening

A few background checking services require a SSN. If they do, you will also need signed consent to perform the background check.
A few background checking services require a SSN. If they do, you will also need signed consent to perform the background check.

You can check everything from criminal history to employment and education. A background check typically costs between $10 and $50. If you are a landlord, often a credit report will offer you all of the information you need. Whether you are an employer or a landlord who still wants to take this extra measure, you will want to use a Consumer Reporting Agency for legal reasons.

Many of these services do not require a SSN. For those that do, you will also need signed consent to perform the background check. Below is a list:

On a prospective tenant:

  • Contemporary Information Corp.
  • First Advantage Resident History Report

On a prospective employee:

  • Accurate Background
  • American DataBank
  • First Advantage
  • GIS
  • HireRight
  • Intellicorp
  • Pre-employ
  • Sterling Infosystems
  • Trak-1 Technology
  • Verifications Inc.

Comments

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    • maria.rose profile image

      maria.rose 

      7 years ago from Florida

      Excellent, clear. And accurate information. You release the information at a very good rhythm and speed and are perfectly understandable .thanks a lot for sharing this.

    • Leptirela profile image

      Leptirela 

      7 years ago from I don't know half the time

      Good hub :)

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