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Can You Use Child Support to Qualify for a Mortgage?

Can you use child support to qualify for a mortgage?

Michael Jensen, Mortgage and Finance Guru
, Mortgage and Finance Guru

You can use child support income to qualify for a mortgage as long as the income meets certain requirements, as we outline below. Child support or alimony income can be added to any other income you receive from your job or other income sources to help you afford a higher mortgage amount.

For example, if you earn $5,000 in monthly gross income and receive $1,500 in regular monthly child support payments, the lenders uses $6,500 in total monthly income to determine the mortgage you qualify for. Using the higher monthly income enables you to afford a higher loan amount.

Use ourMORTGAGE QUALIFICATION CALCULATORto determine the loan you can afford based on your income and child support payments

To include child support income in your mortgage application, the following conditions must be met:

You have received child support income for at least six months prior to submitting your loan application as confirmed by your bank statements, cancelled checks or other documentation

You must have received full payments for the prior six months on a regular basis. If the payments were partial or inconsistent, the child support income is not factored into your application.

You must verify that the child support payments are expected to continue for at least three years from the date you submit your application by providing at least one of these documents:

A divorce or separation agreement that specifies the amount of the monthly child support payment and the duration of the payments

A written court order, decree or other legal document that outlines the child support payments

A summary of any state law that requires child support to be paid and confirmation that you meet the requirements according to the law

Please note that volunteer child support payments made by a former spouse that are not mandated by a legal agreement or law are not included in your mortgage application. Lenders need to verify that the income is steady and permanent and unfortunately volunteer payments do not meet this requirement.

Finally, the criteria above also applies to alimony payments. As long as you have received the payments for at least six months and you can document that they will continue for at least three years, then both child support and alimony can be included in your mortgage application and help you qualify for the loan.

We recommend that you contact multiple lenders in the table below to understand the mortgage you qualify for based on your income and other factors.  Shopping lenders is also the best way to save money on your mortgage.

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Data provided by Informa Research Services. Payments do not include amounts for taxes and insurance premiums. Click for more information on rates and product details.

Sources

Mortgage Guidelines for Child Support Income: https://www.fanniemae.com/content/guide/selling/b3/3.1/09.html#Alimony.20or.20Child.20Support

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About the author

Michael Jensen, Mortgage and Finance Guru

Michael is the co-founder of FREEandCLEAR. Michael possesses extensive knowledge about mortgages and finance and has been writing about mortgages for nearly a decade. His work has been featured in leading national and industry publications. More about Michael

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