Does Child Support Appear On Credit Report?

If you owe child support, you might be wondering does child support show up on your credit report. This post provides you with the answer to whether child support appears on your credit report and how it affects your credit score.

Does Child Support Appear On Your Credit Report?

Child support does not appear on your credit report unless you fail to make your child support payments on time. Missing a child support payment can cause an unpaid account to appear on your credit report, significantly lowering your credit score. If the balance goes unpaid for a very long period of time, the overdue amount could be sold to a collection agency, resulting in a collection account being added to your credit report, further lowering your credit score.

If an unpaid account appears on your credit report, it could remain on your credit report for 7 years from the date that you missed a payment, significantly lowering your credit score. Additionally, if the unpaid amount is sold to a collection agency, the collection agency can cause further damage to your credit report by adding a collection account to your credit report. A single collection account can lower your credit score by 100 or more points. The higher your credit score, the large the drop in points.

That said, if an unpaid child support account appears on your credit report, paying off the account will not remove it from your credit report. In fact, the unpaid account will continue to show up on your credit report for 7 years from the date you missed the child support payment. After the 7 year period, it will be automatically removed from your credit report.

Nevertheless, having a paid-off child support account with a $0 balance is better than having a child support account with money owed. If lenders see an unpaid child support account, they may be unwilling to lend you money until you’ve paid off the account.

Does Child Support Affect Your Credit Score?

Child support will only affect your credit score if you’re late on making your child support payments. Late child support payments affect your credit score similarly to how late credit card payments affect your credit score. Once reported as late, the late payment notation will appear on your credit report for 7 years from the date that you first missed a payment on the account.

This is so because the credit score formulas take into account your payment history. In fact, your payment history accounts for 35% of your credit score. So, if you’re late on child support payments, you will cause significant damage to your credit score.

If you are too far behind on your child support payments, the outstanding amount due can be sold to a collection agency. The collection agency can cause further damage to your credit score by reporting a collection account to your credit report, significantly lowering your credit score.

Paying off a collection account will not remove the account from your credit report, and will therefore not help your credit score. Both paid and unpaid collections accounts affect your credit equally negatively.

What Happens When You Pay Off a Child Support Account That Appears On Your Credit Report?

Unfortunately, paying off a child support account that appears on your credit report will not remove the account from your credit report. Unpaid accounts remain on your credit report for 7 years from the date that you missed your first child support payment. If you pay off the account, the account will reflect a $0 balance but will remain on your credit report until it’s automatically removed after 7 years. While the unpaid account appears on your credit report, it will continue to drag down your credit score. However, as the account ages, its impact on your credit score will lessen until it’s ultimately removed from your credit report.

If the unpaid child support is sold to a collection agency, the collection agency may add a collection account to your credit report. Collections accounts also remain on your credit report for 7 years from the date you missed your first child support payment. After the 7 year period, the collection account will automatically be removed from your credit report.

You can try negotiating with the child support agency to pay the account in exchange for them to remove it from your credit report, but many times, these agencies will be unwilling to remove negative information from your credit report.

Many states require child support enforcement agencies to alert you before reporting child support information to the credit reporting bureaus in order to give you an opportunity to pay off the outstanding amount that’s due. If you make the payment, you may be able to avoid having negative information being reported on your credit report. Nevertheless, if you ignore them, the information will likely be reported on your credit report, lowering your credit score.

Can You Remove a Paid Off Child Support Account From Your Credit Report?

If a child support account was reported on your credit report, it will remain on your credit report for 7 years. You cannot remove this account from your credit report. You can try filing a dispute to have the account removed from your credit report. But, you can only remove a child support account from your credit report if there was an error in the information being reported. It is not possible to remove valid child support accounts from your credit report. After the 7 year period, the account will automatically be removed from your credit report. Paying an account will not remove it from your credit report. You can try to negotiate to pay the account in exchange for removal, but the child support enforcement agency may not always be willing to delete the account in exchange for payment.

Do Child Support Payments Affect Your Ability to Borrow Money?

Although making child support payments does not directly impact your ability to borrow money because on-time child support payments do not appear on your credit report unless you’re late and the account is reported on your credit report. They may have an impact on your ability to borrow money because your lender may consider them as recurring monthly expenses that impact your ability to repay the money you’re seeking to borrow. So, even if you’ve made all your payments on time, child support payments could result in you being turned down for a loan or credit card.

How to Avoid Having Child Support Appear On Your Credit Report?

If you want to avoid having child support payments appear on your credit report and affect your credit score, you should make your payments on time. Making your child support payments on time is the best way to keep them off of your credit report and keep them from lowering your credit score. In the event that you do fall behind on child support payments, you should contact your child enforcement agency and inquire about your options. Do not ignore the delinquent payments as ignoring them will most likely cause a series of negative items to be added to your credit report.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Why is my child support showing up on my credit report?

Your child support will only show up on your credit report if you’ve not made your child support payments on time. Having a delinquent child support account showing up on your credit report can significantly lower your credit score.

2. Can you remove paid-off child support payments from your credit report?

No, you cannot remove paid off child support payment accounts from your credit report. They will remain on your credit report for 7 years from the date you missed your first payment. After the 7 year period, the account will automatically be removed from your credit report. If the account does not belong to you or contains error, you can file a dispute with the credit reporting bureaus to have it removed from your credit report.

3. Does back child support show up on your credit report?

Yes, back child support can show up on your credit report if the child support enforcement agency adds an unpaid account to your credit report or if the debt is sold to a collection agency, the collection agency may add a collection account to your credit report.

4. How much does child support affect your credit score?

Delinquent child support payments can lower your credit score by over 100 points. The higher your credit score, the bigger the drop will be.