Q: I’m a single mother, and have worked for several years to save up enough money for the down payment on a house. I’ve paid every single bill on time for years now, and my credit score is in the high 700s. However, about four years ago, my now-ex-boyfriend abandoned a car I had helped him buy. My credit was better than his, so we put both of our names on the title and the loan so he could get a better rate and lower payment. When we split up, I took my car, and he took his, and he promised to keep the payments up. Of course, he didn’t pay the bill and the car was repossessed.

There is an open, but old, collections account for the $2,000 he failed to pay. I’m not paying it, as a matter of principle …

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