Can I get financial aid if I owe child support?

If you are not current on your child support payments, going back to college can be a step in the right direction. Going back to school can lead to higher-paying jobs, job stability, and an increased ability to support your children. 

child and man walking a path

Being past due on child support payments doesn’t necessarily disqualify you from receiving financial aid. Here are some things to know if you’re considering heading back to school while in the process of paying child support. 

Federal Financial Aid Eligibility

There are not many debts that will affect someone’s eligibility to receive financial aid for college. The federal government does not bar those who owe back child support from qualifying for financial aid. 

The only types of debt that would keep you from receiving financial aid are:

  • Currently being in student loan default
  • Not paying back a grant dispersed in error

State Financial Aid Eligibility 

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Each state student aid organization designates its own rules and regulations for receiving state aid. For example, some states have different financial aid application deadlines, types of state grants available, and eligibility requirements. 

Some states may require that individuals not be 30-days past due on child support payments to be eligible to receive aid. These rules are ever-evolving, so it’s best to check with your state agency for current eligibility. 

School and Private Aid Eligibility 

Most colleges and universities follow financial aid eligibility rules that the federal government determines. So, most likely, they won’t penalize you for late child support payments, but you should check with your particular school so you know their requirements.

Some organizations might even offer additional aid for students who are past due on child support payments to help get them on track while pursuing an education. If you’re struggling financially, it’s worth speaking with your financial aid advisor to see if there are options available to you.

Whether you think you’re eligible or not, filing The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, FAFSA®, is free. Essentially, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by filing!

Have more questions about financial aid eligibility? The Frank Team is here to help! You can reach us via email at support@withfrank.org or text us at (347) 690-7886.