Unpaid Child Support Affecting Credit

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How Unpaid Child Support Can Affect Your Credit

Most state Department of Social Services agencies monitor monthly child support payments due and received by parents. Parents who owe back child support are given notice and an opportunity to contest overdue payments. If a parent has not kept child support payments current after this notice, state agencies send credit reporting agencies monthly lists of parents who are more than $1,000 behind in child support payments, which can appear on a credit report. Balances that are unpaid for 180 days will appear as collection accounts in a credit report. And reporting continues as long as payments are due on a child support case.


Once overdue child support payments appear in a credit report, banks and other creditors may limit or deny credit until the obligor (person owing payment) clears up the report by making a partial or full payment of the overdue balance.


What Happens on My Credit Report If I Owe Current Support But Pay Off My Arrears Balance?

If you pay back child support ("arrears") and still owe current support, your account will still be reported, but will reflect a zero balance. However, if you had a collection account that was paid off, the account will be deleted from your credit report.


What Can I Do So That My Unpaid Child Support Does Not Affect My Credit?

Short of disputing any erroneous charges, the only way to repair your credit is to pay overdue child support so that you are current.


If you do need to contest the accuracy of the reporting, you can:



Do I Need a Family Law Attorney?

An experienced family lawyer can help you understand your options and help you deal with the complicated legal system and the various agencies that can affect your credit.

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Last Modified: 05-13-2014 02:42 PM PDT

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