Maybe you’re buying a home or car. Or maybe you’re interested in securing a home equity line of credit (HELOC). Regardless of the type of loan you’re applying for, your lending institution will ask you to complete an application and provide valid information.

You wouldn’t be applying for a loan if you didn’t want to receive an approval. For this reason, you may get the idea to stretch the truth or tell “little white lies” to improve your chance of receiving good news.

While lying on a loan application is easy enough, doing so is never a good idea. Not only can it result in a denial, but depending on the circumstances, it could lead to criminal charges.

Here are some common examples of lying on a loan application:

  • Inflated income: This is common when applying for a mortgage, as a higher income means you qualify to buy a more expensive home.
  • Employment status: For example, maybe you recently lost your job, but you decide to mark on the application that you’re still employed.
  • Forged statements: From bank account statements to tax returns, don’t let the idea of forging or altering these documents enter your mind.

It’s easy to believe that lying on a loan application is harmless, but your lender definitely won’t take the same stance. The same holds true if the legal system gets involved.

If you’ve been charged with any type of bank or financial fraud, learn more about the circumstances surrounding the case and then determine what type of defense strategy can help you avoid a conviction.