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Helton Law Firm, PLLC

How delinquent child support payments affect credit scores

People in Tennessee who must pay child support should also be aware that failing to do so could have a significant effect on their credit score in the same way that failing to pay a mortgage or credit card bill might. This may particularly be true if they pay child support through a state agency. The agency will report delinquent payments to credit reporting agencies. If the payments go directly to the other parent, credit reporting agencies will only find out if the other parent makes the report.

A person's ability to get a loan and keep their interest rates low may be affected by a lower credit score. Since many people fall behind on child support payments when they are having financial problems, such as those caused by a job loss, it is best to go to court and request a modification due to a change in circumstances instead of letting child support debt pile up. If a person receives a delinquency letter, they should respond to it as soon as possible.

Once a person catches up on child support, this will be noted in the credit report. However, if left unpaid the record of delinquency may take years to fall off the report.

A person who is concerned about their child support payments or who is struggling to keep up with those payments might want to talk to an attorney. There are many variables involved in calculating child support. For example, parents might disagree about whether one of them should pay for a private education or extracurricular expenses. An important thing to know is that failing to act at all is not a good way to handle an inability to pay child support.

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