Missed child support payments, like any other missed debt payment, will damage your credit report. Negative marks remain on your record even after you pay off past-due child support obligations.

Child support arrears must be listed on your credit report, where they can stay for up to seven years. Having said that, you can submit a dispute with the credit bureaus to possibly have the information corrected if you have fully satisfied your child support obligation but the account is still listed as having a negative status on your credit report. We’ll describe how it operates.

HOW DOES CHILD SUPPORT AFFECT YOUR CREDIT SCORE?

In other words, paying child support only lowers your credit score if you’re past due. According to Miranda Vance, a financial advisor for AAA Fair Credit, if your child support account was never past due, it will never show up on your credit record.

Credit can only be established by borrowing money and promptly and fully repaying it, according to Vance.

Because you never really borrowed money, your monthly payments for things like auto insurance, energy, and phones usually do not help you raise your credit score. However, if you don’t make a payment on one of these accounts, it may show up on your credit record and lower your score. Child support functions similarly.

If you don’t make a child support payment on time, the credit bureaus may report this to them, and they may keep a record of it on your credit report for seven years.

The fact that you must pay child support can make it more challenging for you to get approved for a mortgage or other loan, even if your payments are always on time. This is because it raises your debt-to-income ratio and indicates that you might have trouble making your loan payments.

WHAT OCCURS WHEN A CHILD SUPPORT ACCOUNT IS ADDRESSED AND PAID IN FULL?

The negative mark associated with a late child support payment will remain on your credit report even if you pay it off. However, since the account should show up on your credit reports as fully paid, it may assist raise your credit score.

According to Martin Lynch, director of education and compliance management at Cambridge Credit Counseling, lenders are primarily interested in your recent credit activity, thus recent marks indicating that an account was paid in full might lessen the impact of older marks indicating that it was once past due.

Can you remove child support payments from your credit report once you have paid or caught up on payments?

CAN YOU REMOVE CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENTS FROM YOUR CREDIT REPORT ONCE YOU HAVE PAID OR CAUGHT UP ON PAYMENTS?

Accurate information on your credit record cannot be deleted unless it cannot be validated. You can, however, challenge the inaccuracy with the credit reporting agencies if you’ve paid off your child support but it’s still listed as owing on your credit report. Child support collection agencies collect and monitor your payments, but occasionally they don’t properly report them.

Some credit files McKenzie Walsh has pulled from the nonprofit AAA Fair Credit Foundation don’t show current child support payments from years ago, according to the certified financial counselor. She suggested calling the credit bureaus the proper way if it occurs.

Consumers are responsible for reporting their payments to all three credit bureaus, according to Walsh.

In that case, follow these steps to have the credit error fixed.

 

FIRST: GET PROOF THAT THE ACCOUNT IS PAID OFF.

Get in touch with the child support collection agency you’ve been paying to make sure the account is indeed paid off before you contact the bureaus. then compile evidence of such payments.

When it comes time to dispute inaccurate information on your credit report, Val Kleyman, a divorce attorney and founding member of the Kleyman Law Firm, “advised keeping meticulous records” because you’ll need to show proof of your payments.

You can ask your child support collection agency for a report outlining your payments if you haven’t been maintaining receipts.

NEXT: FILE A DISPUTE WITH THE CREDIT BUREAUS.

It’s time to dispute the delinquent account with the credit reporting agencies if you have proof that the account has been paid up in full. You must alert the three main credit bureaus to the problem and dispute it with them. You can do this by contacting the bureaus directly through their websites, by phone, or by mail.

It’s a good idea to put your conversations with them in writing whenever you can so you have a record of them. Always send copies of your papers to the credit bureaus rather than the originals.

These credit reporting companies typically have 30 days to look into your claim, following which you’ll get a written report of the findings. You will get a free, updated copy of your credit report if the dispute led to changes.


Additionally, the credit reporting companies are required to provide you with the contact details of the lender or collection agency who gave them details about your account during the investigation. You can get in touch with this information provider, which is probably your child support collections unit, to review your payment history if you believe your dispute wasn’t handled properly.

FINAL STEP: FILE A DISPUTE WITH THE CREDIT BUREAUS.

It’s time to dispute the delinquent account with the credit reporting agencies if you have proof that the account has been paid up in full. You must alert the three main credit bureaus to the problem and dispute it with them. You can do this by contacting the bureaus directly through their websites, by phone, or by mail.

It’s a good idea to put your conversations with them in writing whenever you can so you have a record of them. Always send copies of your papers to the credit bureaus rather than the originals.

These credit reporting companies typically have 30 days to look into your claim, following which you’ll get a written report of the findings.  you’ll receive a free and updated copy.

Additionally, the credit reporting companies are required to provide you with the contact details of the lender or collection agency who gave them details about your account during the investigation. You can get in touch with this information provider, which is probably your child support collections unit, to review your payment history if you believe your dispute wasn’t handled properly.

Any late payments will continue to appear on your credit record for seven years following the date of the initial delinquency once the problem is remedied and the account is fully paid, but the child support account will now appear as paid in full. If you never actually fell behind on your child support obligations, the account should be completely removed from your credit report once your dispute is properly resolved.

IMPROVING YOUR CREDIT SCORE

Paying off past-due bills and contesting erroneous information are two of the best things you can do to rebuild your credit. Even if your credit history indicates that you have previously missed child support payments, proving that you have subsequently paid off that account would surely boost your credit by demonstrating to potential lenders that you are prepared to manage your finances responsibly.