Can Back Child Support Show Up on Your Credit Report?
Keeping up with child support payments can be a challenge for even the most responsible, organized parents, especially if other emergency expenses get in the way. However, there are multiple consequences that can be enforced as a result of unpaid or back child support payments, including loss of employment and even revocation of a passport, depending on the amount owed.
Child Support Collection in Michigan: Income Withholding Orders
In Michigan, if the non-custodial parent is failing to pay child support, the custodial parent can request an income withholding order that will collect both current payments and payments in arrears. This order will deduct these payments directly from the non-custodial parent’s paycheck, and both state and federal laws require that employers honor income withholding orders. Non-employment income such as Social Security checks, unemployment benefits, independent contract work, insurance claims, and worker’s compensation claims can also be subject to an income withholding order.
If you are responsible for child support payments in Michigan, you may be wondering what effect back child support payments will have on your credit report. Poor credit can affect everything from your ability to acquire housing to your car payments.
Will Back Child Support Payments Affect My Credit?
Whether you’ve been served an income withholding order or not, the answer is yes; a dinged credit score is a significant consequence of back child support. Unpaid child support is a form of debt, and as such can legally be listed on your credit report.
Usually, unpaid child support payments will have to accrue for a certain period of time before child support enforcement agencies are legally obligated to report it to the credit bureaus. In Michigan, parents that owe more than two months in child support payments will be automatically reported to a credit reporting agency. However, child support enforcement agencies are also allowed to report lesser amounts at their own discretion.
How Do I Remove Unpaid Child Support Payments from My Credit Report?
Generally, the only way to actually remove back child support from your credit report is to pay what you owe. After paying your debt, some creditors will change your report to reflect the payment faster than others; depending on the creditor, it could take up to two months for the change to be made.
What If My Report Isn’t Changed After My Back Child Support is Paid?
If you’ve paid off all the child support payments that were in arrears, waited for at least two months, and your credit report still reflects an unpaid debt, you may have to dispute the claim. Before disputing, make sure to gather all physical documentation and proof you have of your successful back child support payments. Credit report disputes can typically be performed over the phone, online, or by mail.
If you paid cash to the custodial parent, this may be the reason why your arrears haven’t been cleared from your credit report. In order for the debt to be erased, your payments need to be made in a form that Michigan can officially recognize and track.
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