14:49 PM

TransUnion Reveals Almost Half of Landlords Consider Renters' Credit Health as a Key Factor in Leasing Decision

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - May 12, 2014) -  When considering which dream property to rent, tenants may weigh the distance between their new home and their job, the amenities, the area's crime rate and local attractions. But TransUnion's SmartMove, which celebrates its one millionth renter and is powered by TransUnion -- the national credit reporting company -- reveals that renters should also understand what factors landlords may be weighing when reviewing renters' applications. And that includes their credit report. 

According to a recent survey conducted by TransUnion, 43 percent of landlords surveyed said they perform credit checks as part of the leasing process and 48 percent of landlords surveyed said the results of a credit check are among the top three factors used when deciding whether or not to accept a tenant's lease application. Additionally, more than two-thirds (69 percent) of renters surveyed said they will not purchase property in the next four years. 

"It is important for current and future renters alike to understand that landlords may review their credit profile to better understand a potential tenant's ability to make on-time rent payments and determine if their current debt situation may make them a risky tenant," said Mike Doherty, Vice President of TransUnion's Rental Screening Solutions. "TransUnion reminds anyone that currently rents or may someday rent property to regularly review their credit and look for areas that may be a warning sign to landlords."

TransUnion provides the following information to current and potential renters. 

Step 1: Get the facts

To see a clear picture of your credit profile, order your credit report, credit score and debt analysis online. Look for incorrect mailing addresses, inaccurate Social Security numbers, errors in your credit accounts and inquiries that you don't recognize.

Step 2: Dispute inaccurate information

You have the right to contact your creditors and file a dispute with the credit reporting companies asking them to correct inaccuracies. The credit companies generally have 30 days to investigate your claim and make appropriate corrections.

Step 3: Identify problem areas

Look for troublesome areas on your credit report and plan how you can better manage those accounts and behaviors. If it's tough for you to pay your bills on time, sign up for an automated payment service. If you carry balances of more than 35 percent of your available limit on any credit cards, consider creating a payment plan. Set goals and celebrate milestones.

Step 4: Follow up

Check your credit again 30-60 days after you pay off debts. If you feel you need to explain anything, consider adding a consumer statement to your credit report.

Step 5: Monitor your credit

To minimize your exposure to identity theft and monitor your credit health, enroll in a credit monitoring program that will notify you of critical changes in your report. Save copies of your credit reports and letters of dispute in a safe place. Evaluate your progress.

To learn more, visit www.mysmartmove.com.

Methodology: Results are based on a survey of 1,902 landlords and 2,097 current renters. Both surveys were executed in Dec 2013 and are considered to be 95 percent statically significant. 

TransUnion SmartMove

TransUnion SmartMove is an easy, reliable online tenant screening solution designed to give independent landlords the results they want -- and renters the security they need. Landlords receive a TransUnion credit report formatted exclusively for rental screening purposes, a criminal report drawing from hundreds of millions of national and statewide criminal records, and a clear, reliable and customized leasing recommendation. Renters get the peace of mind that only TransUnion, and not their landlord, will have access to their sensitive personal information. SmartMove is powered by TransUnion.

About TransUnion

As a global leader in credit and information management, TransUnion creates advantages for millions of people around the world by gathering, analyzing and delivering information. For businesses, TransUnion helps improve efficiency, manage risk, reduce costs and increase revenue by delivering comprehensive data and advanced analytics and decisioning. For consumers, TransUnion provides the tools, resources and education to help them manage their credit health and achieve their financial goals. Through these and other efforts, TransUnion is working to build stronger economies worldwide. Founded in 1968 and headquartered in Chicago, TransUnion reaches businesses and consumers in 33 countries around the world on five continents. www.transunion.com