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Does Child Support Affect Credit?

Posted by Michael Geller | Sep 01, 2023 | 0 Comments


Child support is a crucial aspect of family law, ensuring that children receive the financial support they need when their parents are separated or divorced. While the primary goal of child support is to provide for the child's well-being, it may come as a surprise to many that it can also have an impact on one's credit. In this blog, we'll delve into why child support affects credit and the implications it can have on individuals involved in such arrangements.

The Legal Basis

Child support orders are legally binding agreements, typically established by a court, that require a noncustodial parent to provide financial support to the custodial parent for the upbringing of their child. When a court issues a child support order, it essentially becomes a financial obligation similar to any other debt or financial responsibility.

Credit Reporting Agencies

Credit reporting agencies play a pivotal role in the connection between child support and credit. These agencies collect and maintain financial data on individuals, including details about loans, credit card accounts, and other financial obligations. If a county's Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) becomes involved as a party to the case, child support payments will typically be reported to credit bureaus, which can have both positive and negative effects on one's credit score.

Positive Impact on Credit

While child support payments are typically not reported to credit bureaus as positive items like loans or credit card payments, they can indirectly benefit your credit. Consistently making on-time child support payments reflects a responsible and reliable financial history, which can be seen as a positive credit attribute. Lenders and creditors may view this as a sign of financial stability, potentially leading to more favorable terms when seeking credit in the future.

Negative Impact on Credit

Child support can also affect your credit negatively if you fail to meet your financial obligations. Missed or late payments can be reported to credit bureaus, resulting in a lower credit score. This can make it more challenging to secure loans, credit cards, or other forms of credit, as lenders may perceive you as a higher risk.

Additionally, when child support payments go unpaid for an extended period, legal actions such as wage garnishment or even liens on property can be pursued. These actions can further damage your financial standing and credit score.

Contesting Child Support Orders

If you believe that a child support order has been unfairly calculated or imposed, it's crucial to address the issue through legal channels rather than withholding payments. Failing to pay child support can lead to legal consequences and a negative impact on your credit. Consult with an experienced family law attorney to explore your options and seek a modification of the child support order if necessary.


Child support is a vital aspect of family law designed to prioritize the welfare of children. While it may seem surprising that child support can affect credit, it's essential to understand that financial obligations, including child support, are treated seriously by credit reporting agencies and the legal system.

Consistently meeting your child support obligations can indirectly benefit your credit by demonstrating financial responsibility. However, failing to do so can have adverse consequences, including a lower credit score and potential legal repercussions. It's crucial for individuals involved in child support arrangements to be aware of these implications and seek legal counsel if they encounter challenges in meeting their obligations or believe their child support order is unjust.

Ultimately, understanding the link between child support and credit is essential for individuals navigating family law matters, ensuring they make informed decisions that prioritize both their financial stability and the well-being of their children.

About the Author

Michael Geller

Michael Geller grew up in San Francisco, CA. He attended the University of Southern California for his undergraduate studies, the City University of New York for his medical training, and Santa Clara University School of Law for his legal education.


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