Can Unpaid Child Support Affect Credit Score?

January 17, 2020 | Uncategorized | By Personal Injury Legal Directory | 0 Comments

According to a report by National Public Radio (NPR), over 110 billion dollars in child support payments were owed in the United States. Something many do not know is that skipping out on child support payments does not just affect those who receive it, it also can affect the individual paying it. More specifically, it can affect their credit. Missed payments may be listed as an account or trade line on their credit report. This means that missed child support is reported straight to credit bureaus by whatever company or municipality collecting on the child support debt. Also, missed child support will go on their record and will have a very negative effect on their credit score, thus leading to increased interest rates and a higher chance of being declined for a loan. In most states, missed or late child support payments are considered a crime and work in a way as if one may have missed a mortgage payment or credit card payment. It is crucial that an individual looks at their state’s specific laws, regulations, and rules regarding missed child support payments because they can vary. Very few states require missed payments to be reported until they pass a certain amount. However, even in these events, a negative impact on an individual’s credit report is to be expected.

Letter of Delinquency

Individuals should expect to receive a letter of delinquency from their state agency. It is advised that contact with the agency is made as quickly as possible because many state agencies have a concise time frame on how soon one has to respond. Individuals would be better off working out an agreement with the other parent regarding child support payments because rules are a lot looser that way. If one chooses to make payments through a state agency, rules will always be stricter and the risk that credit score will fall will increase because they will be going directly through the government. If individuals do miss one or more payments but pay them off in a timely manner, a note will be put into their credit report. Once the payment is paid, the child support note will reflect this but will most likely remain on the credit report for about seven years, if not longer. If individuals have any form of missed child support and his or her ex-partner chooses to sue for it, the court may rule in the ex-partner’s favor and a judgment will be placed on the late payer’s credit report. Judgments are formal decisions made by a judge and are extremely detrimental to one’s credit. 

Contact an Attorney 

It is common for individuals to fall behind on child support payments because of unemployment or cut hours, but an attorney should be contacted in this case. A family law attorney,  like a child custody attorney in Frisco, TX, can appeal to the court and ask for payments to be paused or reduced until income becomes steady again. 

Thank you to the experts at Scroggins Law Group, PLLC., for their input into family law.