Duplicate entries, or instances where a particular situation shows up more than one time, on your credit report can make it look as though you have more debt or credit issues than you really do, which can negatively affect your chances of getting a loan. It's a good idea to check your credit report regularly for duplicate entries and to know how to remove a duplicate entry if one shows up.
Verify the duplicated item is a duplicate. If it's listed under two slightly different names, find proof--such as a bill or other information--that makes it clear the entries are both for the same item.
File a dispute with the credit bureau that's reporting the duplicate information. If the information is reported with more than one credit reporting agency, you'll have to file a separate dispute with each agency that's reporting it. Include your personal information, including your name and address, and clearly describe the repeated item and ask for one of the entries to be removed. Include copies of any information you found for step 1.
Send your written dispute via return receipt mail. Keep a copy of the receipt for your records. Look for an updated copy of your credit report to arrive within 30 days--that's the length of time the credit reporting agency has to investigate your claim. If the credit reporting agency verifies that the entry is a duplicate, they'll remove one of the items from your report.
If the credit reporting agency can't verify your information, write a letter to the creditor who double-reported the item, asking them to remove one of the items from their report. Use the same information you used in your letter to the credit reporting agency to contact the creditor.
Keep in mind that a credit reporting agency may not consider an item to be a duplicate if it's been reported by two different creditors--for instance, if you have an unpaid bill that was reported by a creditor and later by a collection agency.
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