Updating child support information on credit reports
Failing to pay court-ordered child support can have severe consequences. California noncustodial parents who fall behind on their payments can be ordered to pay fines or perform community service and may even be sent to jail, and their credit scores can plummet. That is because late or delinquent child support payments are often reported to the three major credit agencies. However, TransUnion, Equifax and Experian all have introduced tools that make it easier for noncustodial parents to correct information about paid child support arrears from their credit reports.
Checking credit reports
If you have ever fallen behind on your child support payments but have now caught up, you should check your credit report to make sure that your information has been updated. The law requires the three credit reporting agencies to make this information available, and you can request a copy of your credit report online.
Removing incorrect information
If you find information on your credit report that is incorrect and should be updated, you can contact the credit reporting agency by phone, mail or email. However, the fastest and easiest way to correct inaccurate information is visiting the credit bureau’s online dispute center. You can simply tell the credit reporting agency that your child support is up to date, but your request is more likely to be granted quickly if you also submit documents showing that the money you owed has been paid.
Updating inaccurate information about unpaid child support from your credit report could increase your credit score, but lenders will still be able to see that you once fell behind on your payments. That is because delinquent accounts remain on credit reports for seven years even if they are paid or brought up to date. Making your child support payments in a timely manner and seeking a child support modification if the amount becomes unaffordable are the best ways to protect your credit rating.