Mortgage  Question?
Qualify Mortgage Child Support Late But Make Payments

My child support shows up as a late account on my credit report because of a high balance in arrears even though I have made the payments on time for several years as they have been deducted from my paycheck. Is it possible for me to qualify for a mortgage with this issue on my credit report? My credit score is high (above 700) and I make a decent living.

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

Your credit score is high enough to qualify for a mortgage but you either need to pay down the child support arrears balance so that it no longer appears as late on your credit report or you need to find a lender or mortgage program that permits the child support late payment indication on your credit report.  The best case scenario is that you pay down the child support account balance so that it no longer appears on your credit report as late when you apply for a mortgage .  If this approach is not an option, I recommend that you draft a letter that explains why the child support appears as late on your credit report. I also recommend that you gather copies of your pay stubs for the past twelve months that demonstrate that you have paid the child support on time. You can provide the letter and pay stub copies to lenders to proactively address the issue when you apply for a mortgage.  

My sense is that the FHA Mortgage Program may better suit your needs because the qualification requirements are typically more flexible but you may also be able to qualify for a conventional mortgage program. We provide a comprehensive overview of the FHA Mortgage Program on FREEandCLEAR and you can use our Mortgage Qualification Calculator to determine what size mortgage you can afford based on your monthly gross income, debt payments and mortgage rate.

In advance of applying for a mortgage, I recommend that you contact multiple lenders today to understand the steps that you should take to qualify, especially if the child support late payment remains on your credit report. You can review lenders in your area by clicking INTEREST RATES We advise you to contact at least four lenders as qualification guidelines vary. When you speak with lenders, review your financial and credit information with them but request that they not pull your credit report at this stage as this can temporarily lower your credit score.

To prepare for speaking with lenders, you can download your credit report for free on websites such as, or without negatively impacting your credit score. That way you can review your credit report with lenders without having the lenders pull your credit report and potentially hurt your score. You can also use these services to regularly monitor your credit score and specifically the child support account, for free, between now and when you apply for the mortgage. We also provide a comprehensive overview of your credit score and the mortgage process as well as a helpful explanation of how to improve your credit score before you apply for a mortgage that you can review.

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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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