How to read a transunion full credit report [2023] (1)

Updated April 2024

Congratulations! You’ve embarked on the crucial journey of tenant screening, a vital step in ensuring the right fit for your rental property. As a diligent landlord, you’ve already run a background check, and now you have your results in hand. But here’s the question: What does it all mean?

In this comprehensive guide, we will demystify the process of deciphering a SmartMove Report. We’ll take you step by step through a sample report, highlighting key takeaways that will equip you with the insights you need to make informed decisions about potential tenants.

Your rental property is more than just bricks and mortar; it’s an investment in your financial future. Understanding the nuances of a SmartMove is the linchpin to safeguarding that investment. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and delve into this report together. By the end of this guide, you’ll not only know how to interpret the report but also how to leverage this knowledge to select the ideal tenant for your property.

Ready to unlock the secrets of tenant screening through the lens of a SmartMove Report? Let’s get started!

Understanding the Results of a SmartMove Report

Let’s take a look at a sample SmartMove report

Open up the sample SmartMove Report below for notations on the key areas of the report.


View SmartMove Report Sample



SmartMove Report Sample Guide Key

  1. SSN Message: There will always be an “SSN Message” on these reports. This will tell you if what the applicant entered matches what TransUnion has on file. If there is a mismatch, it is very likely it was due to a typo – so no need to be alarmed! The applicant will be prompted to undergo a manual verification with TransUnion if their SSN was entered incorrectly.
  2. Address: TransUnion will typically provide up to 3 addresses – these will likely be the current and past 2 addresses.
  3. Profile Summary:
    1. Tradelines: How many lines of credit are extended to the borrower.
    2. Collections: How many accounts have been sent to collections due to unpaid debt.
    3. Inquiries: How many creditors have looked at the applicant’s credit file to determine the risk of extending credit.
  4. Record Counts
    1. Occurrences of Historical Negatives: Any late payments made to any tradelines.
  5. Tradeline Summary:
    1. High Credit: The most that was ever charged or due on an account.
    2. Balance: The most recent amount that is unpaid on all accounts in total.
  6. Resident Score: The Resident Score shares a lot of similarities to a traditional FICO score but is instead tailored to predict how an applicant would be as a tenant. The Score range is the same in that it goes from 350-850 with 850 being on the high end of the spectrum.
  7. Key Factors: Key Factors” describe the reasons why a particular credit score is not higher.
  8. Tradelines:
    1. Opened: When the account was opened
    2. Balance Total: How much is owed in total
    3. Closed: When the account was closed
    4. Loan Type: The type of tradeline
    5. Payment History: This is the applicant’s payment history for this tradeline. You will be able to see if they make payments on time, or if they are late and by how much.
    6. Balance: Amount that is owed on this tradeline.
  9. Inquiries: Anytime a credit report is pulled on a consumer, an inquiry will be listed. Inquiries are meant to provide consumers and creditors with insight to who is viewing the credit report. These can affect the result of a credit score because a lot of inquiries could indicate that the consumer is opening a lot of accounts in a short period of time.
  10. Collections: This section is dedicated to accounts that have been turned over to third-party collection agencies. Third-party collection agencies will often purchase accounts from creditors where consumers have stopped paying and attempt to collect the amount owed on behalf of the original creditor.
    1. Count & Balance Total: There have been 13 accounts sent to collections, for a total of $1,849.
    2. State Colls(Current Balance): There have been 13 accounts sent to collections, for a total of $1,849.
  11. Court Charge
    1. Charge Description: This is what the applicant was charged with.
    2. Charge Disposition: Indicates whether the individual was found guilty or not guilty of charges.
  12. Profile: This section will provide the basic information regarding the individual to whom the record belongs to. This information could include their name, date of birth, and physical descriptors.
  13. Eviction Related Proceedings
    1. Number of Proceedings Available: This will indicate how many evictions the applicant has had.
    2. Court File Number: Case number associated with the eviction
    3. Address: The address of the applicant was evicted from and the court that handled the proceedings.
    4. Record State: The state the applicant was evicted in.
    5. Filing Date: When the eviction was filed.

Why it’s important to understand the results of your SmartMove Report

You’ve just completed a crucial step in the process of securing the ideal tenant for your rental property. By running a background check and obtaining your tenant’s SmartMove, you’ve armed yourself with valuable information to make an informed decision. But as you’ve likely discovered, these reports can be quite intricate and filled with financial jargon.

Throughout this comprehensive guide, we’ve worked together to demystify the process of interpreting a SmartMove. We’ve dissected a sample report, highlighting the key takeaways that will empower you to assess potential tenants effectively. Your rental property isn’t merely a physical asset; it’s an investment in your financial future. Understanding the nuances of a SmartMove is the linchpin to safeguarding that investment.

We’ve taken a journey together, diving into the depths of this report, and by now, you’re well-equipped not only to decipher the report but also to utilize this knowledge in selecting the ideal tenant for your property.

Remember, the knowledge you’ve gained here isn’t just for this single tenant screening but can serve as a valuable tool in all your future rental property endeavors. Whether you’re a seasoned landlord or just starting your journey in the rental market, the ability to read and understand SmartMoves is an invaluable skill.

As you embark on the path of landlordship or continue refining your property management skills, never underestimate the importance of thorough tenant screening. Your diligence in understanding the financial health of potential tenants will ultimately contribute to the long-term success and stability of your rental property investments.