Landlord reviewing a TransUnion credit report provided by TurboTenant

How to Read A TransUnion Credit Report: Landlord Edition

Finding the right tenants for a property is no easy task. That’s why utilizing credit reports as part of your tenant screening process is so important. Critically, credit reports show tenants’ ability to pay rent and any financial roadblocks that could get in their way. 

Below, we’ll cover how to read a TransUnion credit report (as presented by TurboTenant) and some of the key pieces of data that landlords analyze when running a credit check. 

Let’s jump right in. 

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TransUnion Credit Reports: What makes them unique?

Like most credit reports, TransUnion reports include personal information, tradeline accounts, and other relevant data. But what makes TransUnion reports unique is their proprietary Resident Score. A Resident Score looks like a credit score, but it’s designed to prevent evictions.

According to TransUnion, Resident Scores can determine if an applicant will face eviction 15% better than competitor reports. For landlords who want to protect their cash flow, a TransUnion credit report, as part of a thorough tenant screening process, can help mitigate financial harm.

With a TurboTenant screening report, you’ll get additional information in excess of what you’ll find on a traditional credit report, including background check information, eviction histories, and other critical data. 

Let’s examine the key portions of a TransUnion credit report, which you’ll find in a TurboTenant screening report, so you know what you’re looking at. 

Breaking Down the TransUnion Credit Report

Below, we’ll go over the main components of a TransUnion credit report.

Credit/Resident Score

A credit score, or Resident Score on a TransUnion credit check for tenants, is comprised of three numbers. It provides a numerical glimpse at a renter’s creditworthiness in the context of paying rent on time. It is calculated using amounts owed, credit history length, new credit accounts, credit mix (different types of loans and cards), and payment history. 

Factors that TurboTenant highlights in a given report include recent retail account information, loan balance proportions, inquiries, balance decreases, and more, depending on the types of accounts and transactions.

Identifying Information

The personal information on a TransUnion credit report, as formatted by TurboTenant, includes a tenant’s name, current address, past addresses, phone number, and place of employment. Depending on whether the applicant-provided information matches what TransUnion has on record, the report will display an icon showing whether the applicant’s identity is verified or not.

If there are any discrepancies, the report will highlight them as fraud indicators. Reasons for a fraud indicator callout include mismatched addresses or Social Security numbers (SSNs). TurboTenant doesn’t display applicant SSNs to landlords, but it will confirm if the SSN provided by the prospective tenant matches TransUnion’s data. 

Profile Summary

In the profile summary section, landlords will find the number of tradelines (credit accounts), accounts in collections, credit inquiries, negative tradelines, and tradelines with historical negatives. 

Historical negatives indicate how often an applicant missed payments in the past. 

Tradelines Breakdown

Tradelines are credit accounts. There are three types, including collections accounts, though TurboTenant breaks those out into a separate section on its reports. Tradeline types include:

  • Revolving: credit lines and credit cards without fixed payments
  • Installment: mortgages, auto loans, personal loans, and student loans with fixed payment amounts
  • Collections: revolving or installment accounts that have been sold to a collection agency

The report displays which accounts have been opened or closed and the remaining balance in existing accounts. Further, you’ll see records of on-time and late payments displayed on a calendar of payments. 

Collections

You guessed it: In the collections portion of the report, landlords will find information about accounts that a collections agency purchased. If the applicant has accounts in collections, you’ll see how many, the amount owed, and the credit grantor’s name. 

Public Records

Public records are critical information that landlords should consider before moving forward with a tenant. Public records information includes tax liens, civil judgments, and bankruptcies. 

Additional information includes plaintiffs and reported dates. 

How TurboTenant Uses TransUnion Credit Reports

At TurboTenant, we conduct an extensive tenant screening process, with TransUnion supplying essential credit information to help you find the most qualified tenants for your property. It takes less than five minutes to run the credit check. 

We then go one step further by performing thorough background and eviction checks and include it in one easy-to-read tenant screening report

Now that you know how to read a TransUnion credit report and what it includes, we hope this process feels less intimidating. If you’ve been looking for property management software that takes these items, rent payments, and more off your to-do list, we’ve got it handled! 

Interested in a mailed TransUnion credit report? TransUnion’s mailing address for a credit report is as follows: 

Annual Credit Report Request Service

P.O. Box 105281

Atlanta, GA 30348-5281

You can also contact TransUnion for a credit industry insights report. Finally, If you’re worried that your child has an account in their name, you can request a TransUnion child credit report. 

FAQs about TransUnion Credit Reports

What credit cards report to TransUnion?

Many credit card companies, including Bank of America, Capital One, American Express, Citi, Discover, Wells Fargo, and Chase, report to TransUnion. 

What does a TransUnion credit report show?

It shows an applicant’s name, address, employer history, payment history, outstanding balances, a list of opened and closed accounts, public records, and accounts in collection.

What’s a good TransUnion score?

A good TransUnion score ranges from 721-780. For rental applicants, we recommend considering those with scores above 560. 

What does “e” mean on a TransUnion credit report?

E means “educational organizations and employment services companies.”

Can I trust TransUnion's credit score?

Absolutely! As one of the big three credit reporting agencies, TransUnion is trusted by landlords across America to make informed decisions about applicants. 

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