I have a crappy credit score. My situation in a nutshell:
- In the divorce, the ex got the home, which was then foreclosed on. My name was still on the mortgage. That was in 2009 or so.
- I attempted to buy a house earlier this year, but after being initially pre-approved, the underwriter subsequently significantly lowered pre-approval amount and attached a ton of conditions which made it nearly impossible to purchase a home. Thus the desire to raise my credit score.
- My score has generally improved since the beginning of the year. It was around 570 on all three credit rating agencies at that point. I subsequently disputed most of the entries on the credit report. On Equifax and Experian, the score slowly improved to 650 and 675, respectively. On TransUnion, the score jumped around madly, at one point reaching 720 before settling at 690. Part of fixing the score included paying off things that my ex has accumulated in the final year of marriage (but didn't pay).
- Besides the foreclosure, there is still the credit card debt (down to $15k from $60k at the beginning of the year). There is also a collection account from 2008 in the amount of $2,500. In my opinion, it's not mine, but the collection agency won't budge, so for the time being, the entry is on the credit report. I am pondering just giving in and paying it and be done with it.
- I do have a credit card that I use regularly and pay off completely at the end of the month.
Not sure what else I can share that is relevant.
So, given the situation, what can I realistically do to raise my credit score?