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ANSWERED: Is Transunion Smartmove Legit? (+ 5 Other Credit Reporting Questions)

The market has no shortage of options for tenant verification services. If you’re curious about Transunion SmartMove, you may wonder if it’s the real deal.

You're not alone. In the fast-paced world of real estate, making the right choices can mean the difference between a smooth, profitable renting experience and a tenant nightmare. With so many options out there, separating the wheat from the chaff is crucial. Today, we're diving deep into TransUnion SmartMove to uncover whether it lives up to the hype and if it's worth your hard-earned cash.

In this post, we’ll review Transunion SmartMove. Then, we’ll answer five pressing questions you might have about running credit checks for your property, giving you everything you need to start running and managing credit reporting for your properties with ease.

Is Transunion SmartMove Legit? Report Review 

Let’s begin with our review of Transunion SmartMove. This tool supports a seamless and efficient property management tenant screening process, offering landlords and property managers a convenient solution for their tenant verification needs. With SmartMove, landlords can request tenant background checks by creating a free account and inviting potential tenants to undergo verification. 

Once the applicant completes their application, SmartMove verifies the information and generates a comprehensive tenant screening report. This report includes the tenant's credit check, criminal history, eviction records, and Income Insights, providing landlords with a full picture of their prospective tenant's background.

Related Read: 9 Best Tenant Screening Software Solutions for Fast, Reliable Data

SmartMove's extensive database covers millions of criminal and eviction records across all 50 states and Washington D.C. The Income Insights report further streamlines the decision-making process by helping landlords identify applicants who may require additional verification to be eligible for their properties. 

Key Features:

  • Comprehensive Tenant Verification: SmartMove provides a comprehensive tenant verification process that includes credit checks, criminal background checks, eviction history reports, and Income Insights reports. 
  • ResidentScore: SmartMove uses ResidentScore, a credit scoring model specifically designed for tenant screening. This score predicts rental eviction risk more effectively than traditional credit scores, helping landlords assess an applicant's creditworthiness.
  • Tenant-Friendly Process: Traditional leasing is broken and not friendly to applicants. With SmartMove or other advanced tenant screening tools like Intellirent, property managers can mitigate this and request background checks online. Applicants complete their applications online, simplifying the process for both parties.
  • FCRA Compliance: SmartMove adheres to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), ensuring that the tenant verification process complies with legal regulations.
  • Customizable Screening Criteria: Landlords can customize screening criteria to align with their specific rental requirements and preferences.
  • Quick Turnaround: SmartMove typically generates tenant screening reports within minutes to a few hours, providing landlords with timely information.

Pricing: SmartCheck’s most basic screening package starts at $25 per screening, but for a more robust package it can cost over $60 per report. 

Transunion SmartMove offers the essential features landlords need to conduct tenant verifications at a reasonable cost. Overall, this solution is a strong option for independent landlords and property managers, though you may consider other options, such as Intellirent, which is always free to landlords.

However, your credit reporting and tenant verification tool is not the only consideration landlords must be aware of when considering applicants. Let’s now turn our attention to other commonly asked questions about credit reporting, giving you the insights you need to use your tenant screening report effectively and make the best decision for your rental properties. 

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1. What is the Difference Between a Hard and Soft Inquiry? 

One common credit reporting question is… what is the difference between a hard and soft credit inquiry?

A hard inquiry is like a deep dive into an applicant's credit history. It happens when you're in the tenant screening process's final stages and assessing their creditworthiness. But here's the catch — it requires the applicant's consent and leaves a mark on their credit report visible to other creditors.

Related Read: How to Understand an Applicant's FICO Score

On the flip side, you can use a soft inquiry for initial assessments or pre-screening to get a sense of the applicant's financial situation. The best part? It doesn't affect their credit score and might not always require consent. Plus, it's not visible to other creditors, so it won't leave any footprints.

When to Use Each:

Use hard inquiries when you're in the final stages of picking a tenant. It's your go-to for diving deep into an applicant’s credit history.

Use soft inquiries at the beginning to avoid unwanted impacts on the applicant's credit score. It's your gentle way of getting an indication of their financial health.

2. What Factors (Beyond Credit Score) Should I Evaluate? 

Credit scores are vital, but experienced property managers know they don’t show the whole story. You need more than a credit report to understand an applicant’s suitability for your rental property. 

Collect pay stubs or other forms of income verification to ensure the applicant brings in sufficient monthly earnings to afford your rent. To understand their overall financial health, you should also consider their debt-to-income ratio, which compares the applicant’s current debts with their income. 

Related Read: Property Management Tenant Screening: Tips & Tools to Improve Your Process

You should also check their rental history for past hiccups, like evictions or lease violations. Finally, reach out to the references they've provided and verify their employment status. It's all about confirming their reliability and stability.

3. How Can I Evaluate Applicants with No Credit History? 

Sometimes, applicants have a blank credit slate. Young applicants or those who have just come to the United States from a foreign country will likely fall into this category. A lack of credit history doesn’t mean they aren’t a good candidate for your property, but it can pose a challenge related to financial verification. 

How can you manage these challenges? Consider these three options: 

  • Request a co-signer or guarantor: You can ask for a co-signer or guarantor with a strong credit history to vouch for the applicant's financial responsibility. It's like having a financial safety net for you and your renter.
  • Consider alternative payment history: Look at alternative forms of payment history, like utility bills or rent payments made to previous landlords. 
  • Ask for a larger security deposit: For added security, you can request a larger security deposit from applicants with no credit history. This practice offers you a greater financial cushion in the event of an unhappy surprise. 

4. What is the Best Way to Stay Updated on Credit Reporting Regulations? 

Credit reporting rules are an ever-changing maze. It can be challenging for even the most experienced property managers to stay on top of all the changes. How can you stay up-to-date on the current regulations? 

First, you may join industry associations and online forums where professionals discuss credit reporting and regulatory updates. These forums allow you to have a community of experts at your fingertips.

You can also seek advice from legal experts or consult with an attorney who specializes in real estate and rental regulations. Visiting government websites, like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), for updates on credit reporting regulations is another strong option for staying updated. 

For a hassle-free way to stay compliant, consider partnering with a tenant screening solution like Intellirent. We ensure we are always up-to-date on the latest requirements and regulations. 

5. What Should I Consider — Beyond the Credit Report? 

Credit reporting is vital, but remember, your tenant verification toolbox isn't limited to just credit reports. Here's what else you should think about:

  • Conduct criminal background checks: For safety's sake, run criminal background checks to assess any potential risks tied to an applicant's criminal history.
  • Meet with applicants in person or conduct interviews: Sometimes, it's good to sit down with applicants or chat. It helps you understand their personality, communication skills, and overall suitability as a tenant.
  • Ensure fair housing compliance: Ensure your tenant selection process follows fair housing laws and doesn't discriminate against protected classes. 
  • Choose the right tenant screening solution: For a streamlined process that covers all these bases and more, consider a tenant screening service like Intellirent. Allow us to be your trusty sidekick, giving you the tools you need to make the best decisions regarding your future tenants.

Is Transunion SmartMove Legit? Choosing the Best Screening Service For Your Properties 

Through this post, the answer to the question, is Transunion SmartMove legit? is clear: Transunion’s solution is comprehensive and reliable. However, just because Transunion's solution is legitimate, that doesn’t mean it’s the right service for your properties. 

If you’re looking for an all-in-one, simple-to-use tenant verification and screening solution, consider Intellirent!

Our solution offers Transunion credit checks, comprehensive background checks, customizable online applications, and more. The best part? It’s one hundred percent free for landlords like you.

Check out our product tour today to see if our solution is right for your properties!

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