The Date of Last Activity (DLA) listed on your credit report is important to understand. This date is updated when one of three things happens on any active account:
- You make a payment,
- You miss a payment, or
- Your balance increases.
The Date of Last Activity used to include the “drop off” date, or the date the item will be removed from the report, but this is no longer the case. The “drop off date” is now a separate item and often not on the report at all.
Who sets the Date of Last Activity?
Creditors and debt collectors are responsible for reporting this information to the bureaus who then update the DLA accordingly.
Is a debt collector messing with your Date of Last Activity?
Some debt collectors sneakily make regular changes to consumers’ accounts, which triggers a balance increase to be sent to the bureaus and changes the DLA. This can hurt your credit score. Some unscrupulous creditors do this to intimidate people in hopes of pressuring them to pay.
What should you do about the Date of Last Activity?
When reviewing your credit report, pay special attention to the Date of Last Activity–especially on delinquent accounts. Make sure that the DLA reflects the actual date that a payment was made, missed, or the balance increased. If it is not, begin the basic dispute process to have the item changed or (better yet) deleted.
The Fair and Accurate Credit Reporting Act (FACTA) protects you from having erroneous or false derogatory information be posted on your credit report.
Does the DLA determine when an item will fall off your credit report?
No. The original delinquency date determines when the item will be deleted from your report. However, the DLA does influence your credit score. (This is crucial to know and a whole topic in itself. Don’t shoot down your score by updating an old derogatory DLA!)
Collection accounts are deleted seven years from the original delinquency date of the original account. Collections accounts are always associated with the original account so they must be deleted at the same time.
For more information on how credit scoring works and how to take control of your own credit, see Repair Your Credit Like the Pros here.
Book reader Paige Bellamy wrote: “This is the best credit repair book I have ever read. This book is filled with tons of useful information.”
Ashton Ammons, Senior Credit Consultant wrote: “Carolyn did a fantastic job writing this book, I’ve been in the credit repair industry for many years and through these chapters she’s provided our team with new insight, strategies and ideas to be able to produce even better results for our clients. I like a lot of the lingo and terminology she uses throughout the book. It’s true we use a lot of the same words and jargon around here at the office. She’s explains the content in very understandable step by step manner and I believe she truly wants to help the reader better understand how credit works. This book is one of the best investments I’ve made in a long time.”
Has a loan officer pulled your credit report without your knowledge or permission? If so, this is illegal.
Within the past two weeks, three people have told me that a loan officer pulled their credit report without their authorization. They were angry–and rightfully so!
One was a credit union, and when the person complained, the loan officer apologized and said she would work with her manager to try to get the inquiry off her credit report.
The other was one of the big banks, a name you would all know because there is a branch near you. Unfortunately, this loan officer plowed forward, never apologized, never did anything to reverse the inquiry. Why? Because even though the customer was furious, he proceeded to let the loan officer who had performed illegal act to close his loan. In other words, he rewarded the criminal; and in so doing, sent a message that pulling unauthorized credit is an acceptable practice that he should continue doing to others.
I find it interesting that all of these loan officers illegally pulling credit reports did not have to pass a background check or get licensed. This is because there is a gaping loophole in the law: Only mortgage brokers have to go through fingerprinting, background checks, take 20+ hours of classes, pass tests, and be licensed.
Loan officers working at banks and credit unions get to skip all the checks, classes, and licensing.
If you had your credit report pulled without your permission, there are three steps you can and should take:
1) Complain to the loan officer and insist that he or she write you a letter of apology as well as write to the credit bureaus instructing them to remove the inquiry.
2) Don’t trust the loan officer to follow through; send your own letter to the credit bureaus, along with a copy of the apology, instructing them to remove the inquiry.
3) File a complaint with the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau here. The CFPB will follow up with the lender and possibly levy a fine against them.
When we all work together to follow the law, criminals will be forced to clean up their behavior or go out of business.