A credit report contains information on your credit history. According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, negative items, such as late payments, stay on your credit report for seven years.
According to the FICO scoring model, 35 per cent of your FICO score reflects how you pay your debt. It is the largest factor in the calculation of your score. As such, late payments on your debt will cause your score to drop. The degree to which it drops depends upon the other information contained in your report. The impact the late payment has will lessen as it ages.
A FICO score ranges from a low of 300 to a high of 850. It's not a stagnant number -- it changes regularly as the data in your report changes. A change in any of the following may change your score: the amount of debt you have, how you pay your bills, the length of your credit history, the types of credit you have and how much new credit is present on your report.
Never pay a company to repair your credit. According to the Federal Trade Commission, you can do that yourself for free. The Fair Credit Reporting Act gives you the right to dispute inaccurate data on your report. Bureaus cannot remove accurate negative information, however.