Accidentally Wrong Income on Credit Card Application – illegal?

You were filling out an application and realized you made a mistake after submitting it. Does it matter if you accidentally put the wrong income on the credit card application? This could be a real offense, so make sure you take it seriously if you are in this predicament. 

Lying about your income on a credit card application can lead to fraud charges, large fines, and prison time. However, it is perfectly acceptable to use your household income or that of a spouse if you have reasonable access to those funds and are over the age of 21. 

Don’t panic if you have questions about how credit card companies verify income. Here is everything you need to know about filling out your income on a new credit application. 

Do Credit Card Applications Verify Income? 

If you accidentally put the wrong income on a credit card application, you may be wondering whether the lender will ever know. Do these companies actually verify the income you list on your application? While they may not contact your employer or the IRS, it is still possible that the lender will request documents to verify your income. 

For example, they may ask for any of the following: 

  • Paystubs
  • Income tax records
  • Bank statements
  • Profit and loss statements for businesses
  • Annuity information
  • Pension distribution statements

Not all lenders or credit card companies will request these documents to prove your income. They may not be a requirement to earn approval for the credit card of your choosing.  

Can Credit Card Companies Check Your Bank Account? 

While credit companies may ask for bank statements to prove your income, they do not have access to check your bank account without permission. In most cases, a credit card application will check your credit score and ask about your annual income only. 

The amount of money in your bank account does not show up on a credit report. However, it does show how much you have borrowed in the past and whether you responsibly repaid those debts. This is a better indicator of whether you will be approved than the current balance of your checking account. 

If you want to see what your lender sees, you can get a copy of your credit report for free each year from AnnualCreditReport.com.

Lying About Income to Credit Companies: Can I Go to Jail? 

It is always best to adopt an attitude of honesty when applying for a new loan or credit card. Even if you are fairly sure that your income will not be verified, you need to be upfront about your income on the application. There could be serious consequences for lying about your income to credit companies. 

A lie about your income could lead to fraud charges for you, along with a few other unpleasant repercussions.

Fraud charges can lead to hefty fines up to $1 million and up to thirty years in prison. Yes, you can go to jail for lying about your income on a credit card application. 

Keep in mind that you will not face these consequences for minor discrepancies between your annual income and what you actually earned. The goal is to estimate your income to the best of your ability, but sometimes other things happen. You may have your hours cut and earn less than what you reported, for example. However, this should not lead to fraud charges for you.  

Accidentally Put Wrong Income on Credit Card Application

What Happens If You Put Accidentally Wrong Income on Credit Card Application? 

If you accidentally put the wrong income on a credit card application, you need to contact the lender and get it corrected. Contact their customer service line and let them know that you made a mistake when filling out the application and would like to correct it. 

There is a chance that your mistake may go unnoticed, but the risk may not be worth it to you. If a lender finds out that your application contained falsified information, they may close out your account because you would not have qualified for it in the first place. 

Suppose that you get away with the mistake at first, but it comes out later that your application contained information that was not accurate to the best of your knowledge. You could be facing charges, hefty fines, and prison time. 


It is always best to get it corrected if you accidentally put the wrong income on your credit card application. 

If you made another error on your application and entered the wrong billing address, you can check out our article on that.

Can You Use Household Income When Applying for a Credit Card? 

Yes, you may use your entire household income when applying for a credit card. This is due to the CARD Act of 2009 and a 2013 update from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

In order to use your household income, you must be at least 21 years old and have reasonable access to all sources of income that you claim on the application. This could allow stay-at-home parents who have no income to apply for credit cards using their spouse’s information. Alternatively, combining your income with a spouse’s income may make it easier for you to be approved for a credit card. 

Does My Husband’s Income Count as Mine? 

If you are over the age of 21 and have access to your spouse’s income, then you may be able to include this on your credit card application. This may be particularly true if you share a joint banking account or have access to the account where your spouse keeps their income. 

However, some spouses may choose to keep their finances completely separate. You cannot include your spouse’s income on your credit card application if you do not actually have access to those funds. 

Accidentally Put Wrong Income on Credit Application

If you recently applied for a new credit card and accidentally put the wrong income on the credit application, you need to get it corrected as soon as possible. There could be serious ramifications for lying about your income including fraud charges. However, you should feel free to use your complete household income if you are over 21 and have access to those funds. 

Disclaimer: Information included in this article does not constitute legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact a legal professional.