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Buying a home when back child support is owed

Child support is counted as debt when applying for a loan or attempting to obtain a mortgage from a lender to purchase a home. Therefore, if a Texas parent is delinquent on payments, it will show up as a derogatory credit event. This could minimize the odds that the homebuyer will get the loan. Nevertheless, not all loan programs automatically disqualify applicants because of back child support issues.

Government-backed loans, in particular, tend to have stricter guidelines attached regarding child support payments owed. An often-recommended first step for a parent owing back support is to check their credit report to pay attention to the FICO score, an assessment of credit risk often used by lenders. Applicants are required to disclose support obligations and the extent of added debt if back payments are owed. However, it's still possible for someone with a high credit score to qualify for a mortgage if they meet the basic requirements for a conventional (non-government) loan.

Fannie Mae, a popular government-sponsored lender, doesn't have guidelines that specifically apply to child support delinquency. The lender primarily looks at debt-to-income ratios, credit scores and how much down payment can be made. Interestingly, a 2016 audit of government-backed loans found a surprisingly high amount of loans with child support delinquencies that shouldn't have been approved, but this oversight shouldn't be counted on.

Instead, it's widely recommended that a support payer make an effort to clear up their back payments so their name can be removed from the Credit Alert Interactive Verification Reporting System, a database used to determine eligibility for government loans. If a debt is owed because of an ongoing child support dispute, a family law attorney may make an effort to resolve the issue amicably.

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