At some point, you are likely to have a dispute with a vendor or creditor. It may be that the new television you bought stopped working as soon as you got it home or there were extra charges on your credit card statement that you don’t think belong to you. Unfortunately, most companies have leverage when it comes to coercing you to pay. They may threaten to report the outstanding amount as a negative item on your credit report, thereby dropping your credit score. While there are ways to handle such disputes with creditors, the disputed amount may show up on your credit report in the interim. If the credit bureau receives enough proof from your creditor that you owe the amount, it will remain on your report for 7 years. Try to resolve disputes with your creditors quickly to avoid this situation. It may take repeated letters or phone calls to the company but it is worth the time and trouble.