SmartMove by TransUnion Review

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Contributor, Benzinga
March 25, 2021
SmartMove by TransUnion
Overall Rating:
securely through SmartMove by TransUnion's website

You’ve probably heard of TransUnion, a highly-trusted name in consumer reporting and 1 of the 3 main American credit bureaus. It’s SmartMove platform is designed to help independent landlords properly analyze and choose good tenants. Signing up is free, and you pay-per-report. Select from 3 reasonably priced bundles, depending on the level of insight you need. Small property management operations and alike using SmartMove benefit from years of expertise and thoroughly-researched methods of tenant applicant analysis.

Best For
  • Landlords managing a small number of properties
  • Small property management companies
  • Real estate agents
  • Tenants who prefer to submit sensitive personal information using a secure server
  • Reports delivered fast
  • No impact on tenant credit score
  • Option for landlords to pass cost on to rental applicant
  • Better eviction prediction vs generic credit scores
  • Income Insights determine if more income verification is needed
  • Secure platform for safe information sharing
  • No clear product price listing unless you create an account

SmartMove by TransUnion Ratings at a Glance

Eviction is an unpleasant experience for all parties involved, but most people don’t consider how much it actually costs a property manager. On average, it costs a landlord or property management company between $3,500 and $10,000 to complete an eviction.

And the costs of slow tenant turnover, property damage and untold amounts of stress add more to the final total. A single bad tenant can have a significant impact on an individual landlord or small property management company. 

An accurate, reliable tenant report is the best resource to identify the right tenants. That’s why TransUnion offers SmartMove, a comprehensive tenant-screening platform for property owners. And the process offers several perks that even make it appealing for your applicants.

Benzinga did some digging and explored SmartMove by TransUnion. Read our review to find out more.

Product Offerings

SmartMove boasts a suite of useful tools and features only available on their platform. Their service makes the tenant screening process easier and faster for the property owner or manager and the applicant. Signing up for an account is always free.

For Landlords, Real Estate Agents and Property Management:

There are 3 bundles to choose from when selecting a tenant screening report with SmartMove, and each offers a combination of the following features. 

Select from these 3 package tiers:

SmartCheck Basic - $25.00

  • Credit-based ResidentScore report 
  • National Criminal Report

SmartCheck Plus - $38.00

  • Credit-based ResidentScore report
  • National Criminal Report
  • Full Credit Report
  • Eviction Report

SmartCheck Premium - $40.00

  • Credit-based ResidentScore report
  • National Criminal Report
  • Full Credit Report
  • Eviction Report
  • Income Insights

All the options are affordable and provide valuable information to your decision-making process. But if you want the most informed view of your prospective tenants, go for SmartCheck Premium and enjoy the full suite of SmartMove reports and insights.

SmartMove by TransUnion
Best For
  • Real estate agents
securely through SmartMove by TransUnion's website


This is a feature unique to SmartMove and an important one for landlords. ResidentScore is designed specifically for tenant screening by TransUnion. Unlike other scoring models, ResidentScore is built on a sophisticated analysis of more than half million actual resident records.

The end result is that it is proven to provide 15% better eviction prediction than a typical credit score. It also scores more applicants who have “thin” files, so that you can appraise their creditworthiness. Finally, it identifies 19% more skips than other scores. All told, this enables you to get a clearer perspective of what an applicant’s history looks like and how likely they are to be a reliable tenant.

Credit Report

In addition to the ResidentScore, SmartMove provides you with an applicant’s credit report. This gives you the data and story that went into calculating an applicant’s ResidentScore. While SmartMove has a proven track record of giving accurate recommendations, the final decision is yours so it’s useful to have as many details as possible. 

This level of insight about any prospective tenant gives you the same leg-up as large property management companies. You won’t be priced out of effective tenant screening with expensive tenant screening software. SmartMove does it all for you online, so you keep your costs low, get the critical information that you need and streamline the tenant vetting process.

Criminal Report

A criminal background check is included at every SmartMove package tier. A SmartMove criminal report pulls information from 44 state criminal databases, most wanted databases, the National Sex Offender Public Registry and over 370 million criminal records.

It’s your property, so you’ll be the judge of what merits disqualification and what you can let slide. But the more knowledge you have about an applicant, the more accurate your choice will be.

Eviction Report

Nobody wants to spend the time, money and energy that goes into renting a property only to have to spend more time, money and energy on evicting a tenant before their lease is up. Not only does evicting a tenant cost $3,500, it also usually takes 3 to 4 weeks to fully complete the process. 

While large properties can have the resources to absorb the cost of an eviction, this is often not the case for independent landlords who have 1-3 units. It’s important add an eviction report as part of your tenant screening protocol because prior evictions are highly predictive of future evictions. According to TransUnion’s analysis of nearly 200 properties, evicted residents have nearly three times as many prior eviction and rental-related collection records as non-evicted residents. That’s why eviction history is such an important factor in prospective tenant decisioning.

Income Insights

One of the biggest concerns for landlords is not receiving rent payment on time or at all.  A big component that goes into figuring out if you will get the rent is figuring out if your tenant can afford the rent.

Unique to SmartMove, Income Insights is designed to help landlords determine if renters can afford your unit. Using a proprietary model from TransUnion, SmartMove uses income insight reports to tell you whether an applicant’s self-reported income matches their history. Instead of chasing down employment verification from other busy business owners or risking taking on a tenant with unclear income, SmartMove does all the dirty work for you.

With Income Insights, a renter’s job and non-job income is estimated and compared to both their reported income and their financial behavior. The report also shares which applicants actually need additional income verification, lowering your risk of renter payment problems and saving you the wasted time of asking for unnecessary information from those who already pass SmartMove’s stringent standards.

Custom Tenant Recommendation

Some landlords may not be experts at interpreting credit information, so SmartMove assists them by delivering a leasing recommendation.  SmartMove examines the prospective tenant’s credit profile and will give the stamp of approval or denial to each applicant based on your criteria. Each application comes with information that includes income to rent ration and the up or down recommendation.  These recommendations are tailored to the amount of risk you are willing to allow for your tenants.

For Tenants:

SmartMove tenant screening service is also great for prospective renters. Do you really want to submit sensitive info like your Social Security number to each landlord you interact with? SmartMove provides a safe, secure way to easily verify your tenant information. 

Not only does SmartMove protect your personal information, it also puts you in control. The applicant is in charge of deciding to share their information with whom they want, when they want.  Also, this kind of screening doesn’t impact the renter’s credit score, since it is a “soft inquiry”. A credit-impacting “hard pull” occurs when someone is checking your credit for eligibility for something.

It’s free to sign up, free and easy to use, and your data is well-protected. Plus, if the landlord charges an application fee, it's easy to pay directly online using SmartMove.


Signing up for an account with SmartMove by TransUnion is totally free. From there, you’ll pay individually for each report rather than pay for a subscription. 

Pricing isn’t readily available on the SmartMove homepage, but you can view the tiers once you make an account. There are 3 tiers to choose from: SmartCheck Basic, SmartCheckPlus and SmartCheck Premium.

  • SmartCheck Basic: $25 per screening
  • SmartCheck Plus: $38 per screening
  • SmartCheck Premium: $40 per screening

Aside from the price-per-report fee, you won’t face any additional costs or hidden fees.


Mobile App

While SmartMove by TransUnion is entirely online, it doesn’t offer a mobile application for the platform. But the mobile version of its website,, is streamlined, built to be used on mobile phones and easy-to-use. 

Customer Service

You have several resources at your fingertips if you need assistance with your account or have any questions about SmartMove services. 

For general inquiries about SmartMove or general information regarding the SmartMove platform, try visiting their FAQ Section. It’s thorough and full of useful information about how SmartMove works. 

If you have a more specific inquiry or a more complicated issue, fill out a request for support. Just provide your contact information and a comment describing your issue. A SmartMove representative will be in touch with you ASAP to assist. 

SmartMove Overall Rating

SmartMove by TransUnion is a simple but powerful service that enables landlords to easily vet applicants, get critical information fast, and determine risk more accurately.  

SmartMove ResidentScore, a proprietary credit score tailored to the rental industry to call risk better than a generic score, puts you in the driver’s seat to make a better leasing choice. Income insights, only available on the SmartMove platform, gives landlords a quick way to determine if they should dig deeper into their applicant’s income levels. And the option of who pays for the service, applicant or landlord, is another feature unique to SmartMove that streamlines the screening process. 

Combining the power of consumer reporting data along with algorithms specific to rental residents, SmartMove helps small property management companies, real estate agents and landlords accurately assess your renter. And with reports delivered in minutes, trust can be achieved in the moment and enable more confidence in the transaction.

With a proven record of producing a 15% better eviction prediction than other reports, you can trust SmartMove to get the right people in your property, all at little or no cost to you. Sign up for your free SmartMove account today. Or visit SmartMove here to learn more now.

User Reviews

Mehmet Yigit

How do you use this product to boost your finances?

I dont suggest to use . I had at least 10 background check , some are world leading companies. Never failed. Now for a rental I have given many critical data here credit card, sssn etc. They reported red flags to landlord and rejected.

Jackson Gundersheim

How do you use this product to boost your finances?

Don't use it, and will never use it.

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