Child support arrears and your credit report

On Behalf of | Mar 21, 2024 | child support | 0 comments

When a parent fails to pay child support as ordered by the court, it can have serious consequences. In fact, it can have negative impacts on their credit report.

If you owe child support, it is important to understand how missing payments could affect your credit as well as your life.

The consequences

Credit reporting agencies keep track of individuals’ financial behaviors, such as paying bills on time and managing debts. The Washington Legislature says that when a parent falls behind on child support payments, the Division of Child Support may report this to credit bureaus. This can result in a lower credit score and make it more difficult to qualify for loans, credit cards or other forms of credit in the future.

Having delinquent child support payments on your credit report can also affect your ability to rent an apartment, secure a job or obtain insurance. Landlords, employers and insurance companies may check your credit report as part of their screening process, and a history of missed child support payments could raise red flags about your financial responsibility.

Protecting your credit

It is important to understand that child support arrears can stay on your credit report for up to seven years, even after debt becomes paid off. This means that the negative impact on your credit score can linger long after you have caught up on your payments. To avoid having child support affect your credit report, it is vital to prioritize making timely payments. If you are struggling to meet your child support obligations due to financial hardship, explore the possibility of modifying the support order.

By staying current on child support payments, you can protect your credit report and ensure the best interests of your children are being met.

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