Is it a crime to take out a loan with no intention to repay?

Take this scenario. Someone misses a single payment on a loan. It was proven that they intended to miss the payment.

Does this count as fraud or theft? Even if they make up the payment and follow everything otherwise, is the fact that they intended to miss even a single payment grounds for fraud charges? And in that case isnt everyone guilty of fraud?

2 Answers 2


These are two very different cases.

  • Taking a loan, intending not to pay it back at the time you took the loan; this is deception in that you agreed to pay it when that is not your intent.
  • Agreeing to pay back the loan, and having all good intent to pay back the loan, and sometime later, being overwhelmed by unforeseen life circumstances, and being forced to make emergency plans which prioritize necessities of life and not the loan; thus planning at this time to not pay the loan.

The second one is not fraud or any crime, since your intent at the time of the loan was genuine, and you are a victim of arising circumstances.

But even if they were of your making - suppose you tried to jump your motorcycle over 20 buses, all the physics said it won't work, you did it anyway, you got laid up at the hospital and lost your day job -- your motive was not to cheat the lender, so again it is not fraud.


It constitutes breach of contract, and is not a crime. As the other question says, if you misrepresent your intent to pay back the loan, you have fraudulently induced a person to sign a contract. If you have honestly represented your intention to pay back the loan but after the contract is formed you discover that you can't or simply don't want to, that is not fraud. Failure to make a payment is a breach of contract, regardless of intent.

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