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Child support arrearages may hurt credit

When people in Pennsylvania fail to keep up with child support obligations, it can impact their ability to qualify for a mortgage. Delinquent child support, also referred to as child support arrearages or back child support, can harm the person's credit and make it more difficult to secure loans. People who are interested in purchasing homes should know that not every loan program will disqualify borrowers who owe back child support, but high monthly payments may impact qualifying ratios, and loans backed by the government are generally stricter about back child support.

Typically, if a person's credit score is sufficient to get a bank loan or other non-government loan, he or she is unlikely to be disqualified for owing back child support. Mortgage applicants are usually required to list the amounts of current support obligations and any extra payment to cover delinquent support.

The minimum credit scores required for Fannie Mae loans vary based on debt-to-income ratio and amount of down payment. If the applicant has a debt-to-income ratio of over 36 percent and less than 25 percent down, he or she will need a FICO score of 700 or higher. With debt-to-income over 36 percent and more than 25 percent down, a FICO score of 640 is required.

People cannot get approval for government loans under USDA, VA or FHA programs if they owe back child support that is covered by federal administrative offset. Individuals in Pennsylvania who are owed child support might want to speak with a lawyer. A lawyer with experience in family law might be able to help by examining the facts of the case and developing a strategy to collect overdue child support payments. A lawyer may be able to argue on behalf of the client during child support hearings or draft and file documents to begin the process of wage garnishment.

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