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Foreclosure generally stays on your credit report for about 10 years, and will have a real impact on your ability to buy another home for about three years. It will probably lower your credit score quite a bit. How much depends on the rest of your financial situation, but could be anywhere from 100 to 200 points. But foreclosure won’t hurt you forever, and you will be able to buy a home again in the future. Before you go into foreclosure though, evaluate whether there are any alternatives. Don’t just assume that foreclosure is the only option. Contact an attorney to determine whether you qualify for any foreclosure prevention programs offered under some of the new federal or state legislation designed to help homeowners avoid foreclosure.