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The impact of child support delinquency on your credit

If you have been ordered by a court to pay child support, it's essential to make these payments in full and on time. The penalties for not doing so can be serious. Here in Las Vegas, as in many other places, they can include significant fines and even jail time.

Another potential negative effect of delinquent child support is the impact that it can have on your credit score. If the case has been referred to an agency or municipality for collection, they can report the delinquency to credit bureaus. A child support delinquency on your credit report can make it very difficult to get a loan or require you to pay a higher interest rate to get one.

State laws vary regarding the reporting of overdue child support. In Nevada, state child support enforcement agencies can report this information. However, the agency is required to notify the person so that he or she can dispute the delinquency. As one executive with the Experian credit bureau notes, delinquent child support can have a "substantial, negative" impact on a person's credit score.

If you receive a delinquency letter from a child support enforcement agency, it's essential to take action immediately. If there's an error or miscalculation, you need to clear it up and then monitor your credit reports to ensure that the delinquency isn't being reported once it's been resolved.

If you are unable to meet your child support obligations because of a change in your financial situation, such as the loss of a job, you can go back to court and request an adjustment. Don't just work out a verbal agreement with your child's other parent. That doesn't change your court-ordered obligation. Your attorney can help you seek an adjustment to your payment obligations and to help resolve any legal issues that have arisen from a delinquency.

Source: Yahoo! Finance, "Will Child Support Payments Affect My Credit?," Christine Giordano, Credit.com, July 11, 2016

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