Does this mean I have to wait 7-10 years before I can get a loan if I have bad credit?

Although negative information stays on your credit report for up to ten years, it is possible to be approved for credit in the meantime. Creditors are much more interested in your present circumstances than what happened to you five or ten years ago. Therefore, rebuilding your credit can be done relatively quickly through a systematic plan and a little perseverance. Keep in mind that positive credit information stays on your credit report indefinitely!