Duplicate accounts on your credit report for the same debt do serious damage to your credit score and can jeopardize your ability to receive new lines of credit. When you see duplicate accounts, it's important to dispute them and get them removed from your credit report.
Dispute the Account with Credit Reporting Agencies
If you find duplicate accounts on your credit report, you should dispute those accounts with all three credit reporting agencies: Transunion, Equifax and Experian. Send a certified letter to each agency and detail why you dispute the account. In addition to the letter, provide copies of any documents that support your dispute of the account, such as cashed checks, billing statements that reflect payments or letters that indicate the debt changed hands. Request the agencies remove or modify the account listings. The agencies must conduct an investigation of your dispute, usually within 30 days. They will typically request information from the company that originally reported the account. If the investigation reveals that the account is a duplicate or otherwise inaccurate, the credit reporting agencies either remove or adjust your credit report accordingly. The agencies must notify you in writing of the results and provide a new credit report if they make changes to your report.
Dispute Accounts with Original Organizations
You can also dispute the accounts with the organizations that reported the account. Send the organizations certified letters, along with copies of supporting documents, detailing why you dispute the account. As with the credit reporting agencies, the organizations must investigate your dispute. If your dispute proves accurate, the organization must ask the credit reporting agencies to amend or remove the listed account from your credit report.