Lying on your credit card application might seem harmless. However, credit card application fraud is a fourth-degree offense that carries a $10,000 fine and potentially 18 months of jail time.
According to Intuit, credit card fraud is the most common form of identity theft in New Jersey. Do not make the mistake of thinking your credit card application does not count as a crime.
It is not a small offense
When you lie to obtain a line of credit, understand that you indirectly commit a crime against the Federal Reserve. This type of fraud costs banks and lenders several billion dollars every year, and if you use the credit card for interstate commerce, your case becomes a federal crime.
Lenders periodically review your credit report
Even if you believe the amount you embellish is negligible, the state punishes you to the furthest extent of the law if they catch you. Keep this in mind when you apply for a credit card. It is possible a lender will not notice the initial fraud. However, you put yourself at enormous risk if you must declare bankruptcy or make another large purchase like a car. This is because a lender has access to your credit report, and if the amount of debt you amass does not match the income you claim, they will investigate you for fraud.
Lenders have more access than ever to fraud detection technology. You might get away with the fraud at first, but your odds of detection increase over time. The bottom line is that the risk is not worth the reward. Instead, try to improve your credit through legal means.