Will Delinquent Child Support Payments Affect My Credit Score?A story in Yahoo Finance reports that having unpaid child support on your record can have a “substantial, negative” impact on your credit score, which can lead to higher interest rates or being declined for a loan as long as the delinquent child support payments remain on your credit history.

Creditcards.com reports that there are more than 11 million individuals who have their delinquent child support reported to credit bureaus each year in the United States. There are three common ways in which delinquent child support payments might appear on a credit report:

  1. Collection
  2. Court judgement
  3. Trade line

When child support arrears appear on your credit report as a trade line, it will have neither a positive or a negative effect on the credit score. If the debt appears as a collection or judgement it can lower your score by at least 100 points and it can remain on your report as a “derogatory” item for seven years.

If you are a Tennessee parent who is obliged to pay child support to your former spouse or your child’s other parent, the child support order has the force of law. If you fall behind in your payments without any attempt to remedy the situation, your delinquent payments can have a negative impact on your credit score. If you pay your child support payments directly through the Tennessee Department of Human Services, they may report delinquent payments to the credit bureaus. If you pay your child’s other parent directly and you fall behind on payments, they can seek help form the State of Tennessee Child Support Enforcement Office, or by hiring a lawyer.

How to avoid child support delinquencies

If you are having trouble meeting your child support obligation because of a job loss or other significant change in circumstances, you have the option to petition the court to change the order if you are unable to make the payments.

We tell our clients about the importance of making sure that they pay their child support obligation on time. If you are experiencing financial difficulties, ignoring the problem will not make it go away. Also, it is important to note that if you are successful in getting the child support order revised, you are still responsible for any past-due balance.

If you have agreed to a payment plan to get caught up on your past-due balance, you may be able to get the Department of Human Services to hold off on reporting your delinquent payments.

Are you having trouble meeting your child support obligations? You may want to modify your child support order until you can get back on your feet financially. As experienced Maryville family law attorneys, we can help you do that. To learn more about our services, please call 865.225.9655, or fill out this contact form and request a consultation time at Shepherd and Associates, P.C. Let us help you.

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