June 28, 2024

Date of Last Activity (DLA): What Is It and Does It Really Matter?

The “date of last activity,” also known as the DLA, is often discussed within the field of credit repair in a way that is inaccurate or misleading. Because of this, many consumers do not understand the DLA as it relates to their credit reports and credit scores.

Credit expert John Ulzheimer busted some myths about DLAs in a Credit Countdown video on the Tradeline Supply Company, LLC YouTube channel. Here’s what he had to say about DLAs on your credit report.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are strictly those of John Ulzheimer and do not necessarily reflect the official stance or position of Tradeline Supply Company, LLC.

What Is a DLA (Date of Last Activity)?

The date of last activity is exactly what it sounds like: it is the most recent date on which activity was reported for an account.

It is a “legacy” data point that used to be included on credit reports for users (lenders), but this is not the case anymore. In fact, DLAs have not been shown on credit reports for lenders in decades, according to John.

Why Does a DLA Appear on Your Credit Report?

If John is saying that DLAs do not appear on credit reports, then why do you see DLAs when you pull your own credit reports?

Two Types of Credit Reports

If you’ve watched our other Credit Countdown YouTube videos, then you may recall that there are two types of credit reports: “real” credit reports and credit report disclosures.

Credit Report Disclosures

When you check your own credit report from annualcreditreport.com or the credit bureaus, you are actually looking at what’s known in the industry as a credit report disclosure.

Disclosures are provided to consumers and presented in a format that consumers can understand.

This is not the same as the version of your credit report that lenders see, and it contains different types of information, such as DLAs, that may be helpful to you as a consumer.

Credit Reports

Real credit reports are written in code using software known as Metro 2 and these documents are provided to “users” such as lenders, insurance companies, collection agencies, credit unions, credit card issuers, and mortgage brokers. These types of credit reports are made for businesses to be able to analyze your credit information, but they are not legible to the average consumer.

Actual credit reports do not contain DLAs. If you were to search the Credit Reporting Resource Guide (CRRG), which is essentially the Metro 2 manual, you would not find any information about DLAs because they do not exist within this credit reporting system.

Conclusion: Do DLAs Affect Your Credit?

You can rest assured that you do not need to worry about DLAs as they pertain to your credit reports and credit scores (although they may be important for legal reasons, such as determining the statute of limitations for collection accounts).

Since DLAs do not appear on your actual credit reports that your credit scores are based on, they cannot impact your credit.

If you’d like to watch the video version of this post, hit play below. You can find the rest of our Credit Countdown videos over on YouTube!