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16 Years old.. Told Credit Companies I'm 18...

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josh.thomas | 13:30 Fri 12th Aug 2005 | Business & Finance
26 Answers
I'm 16, last year I got a Three contract phone at �35 per month. I was 15 at the time, told them I was born in 1986. The contracts now ended, I'm in �350 debt. Now I have Wescot after money, they think I'm 18. I pay them �6.65 a week, I owe them �285.81 and have not missed a payment.

Then for my 16th birthday in January, I got some money, and also started working 2 jobs. I had stopped using the Three phone (still was under contract) I took out a T-Mobile one for �13 per month, -50% for the first 9 months (Last 3 are �26). My bills are paid via Direct Debit (my account), not in any debt. THEN the stupidness set in further... Orange! Saw an advert in the paper, and thought it would be cost effective to take out a �25 month contract. After my first months bill (�90) I decided to cancel the contract 11 months early. Orange are now after �330.

I am paying T-Mobile and Wescot regularily. Now expecting a letter from Orange - aslong as I make an effort to pay, they can't refuse it?

I am going to be 18 in just over a year. Is this going to affect my credit rating? Vodafone, O2, Store Card, Credit Card companies WONT accept me, so they must know I am too young. This is what puzzles me, are T-Mobile, Three and Orange so simple minded that they don't do very detailed credit checks? I am concerned that when I'm 18 credit companies will think I'm in fact 20/21 (Given 2 diff. D.O.B). Also, If it came to a point where I could not pay, could I be faced with legal action, or would my parents be responsible? The main concern I have is that credit companies when I am 18 will go by the credit rating I have now.. How I have one I don't know, I'm 16, even my Bank know my DOB. Others deny me for being too young. When I'm 18 - will my REAL credit rating, and REAL D.O.B show a fresh credit rating?

Thank very much..


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Will it affect your cedit rating - short answer Yes - your agreements are in default / arrears.

Now, as you are under 18, you may be able to squirm out of it - under 18s generally are not held responsible for debts, hence people won't lend to them. That said, you have lied on your application form, so am not sure.


If you are lucky, they won't put you on the CIFAS register (fraud register) - if they do, you will find it almost impossible to gain credit from anywhere.


I would like to think that you may learn form this and not get into as much debt in the future.

Question Author
It will affect my credit rating eventhough, technically, I don't have one yet?
I think that at the tender age of 16 you have shown a remarkable aptitude for, shall we say, at the least, sharp practice in obtaining credit by deception. This of course is fraud, and if you continue with this attitude, no matter how minor you feel the offences are. You seem to have no qualms about piling one up after ther other. This I fear will end up with you in the dock, sooner or later, young fella. Obtaining a pecuninary advantage by means of deception (lying to obtain credit) is a serious criminal offence and where multiple offences are concerned, you could well find the police taking an interest in your activities. Credit is a privelege and not a right, store cards and other types of credit accounts are designed for people who have the means to pay them back. If you continue into adulthood with this reckless attitude toward obtaining goods and services dishonestly, then I'd say it's pretty safe bet that you will see the inside of a prison cell before you are much older. Try to clear what you presently owe, and live safely within your means. There will be plenty of time when you are much older to worry about your credit rating when it comes to something important like getting a mortgage, rather than messing your reputation up now on something as banal as a mobile phone.

i think that morally u should pay the money back, and technically u were fraudulant, but as u were 15 when u took out the first phone, and the fact the phone company are negligent to check your details, then u could get away with not paying the bill and if the courts threaten u, they phone company is going to look pretty stupid sending bailiffs around to confiscate a young kids playstation from his bedroom, the press would love this! Not sure when the criminal age of responsibility concerning fraud takes effect so maybe worth asking a solicitor for advice. As for credit being bad at 18, again ask citizens advice or a solicitor as technically u arent even old enough yet to have credit for it to be bad. So either get everything paid off before u are 18, or seek legal advice at getting them to wipe out the debts through their negligence (if it is possible)

Hope the sharp shock of responsibility is actually a good way of warning u off credit cards and other means of credit. My advice, try to pay by cash only whenever u can!

Twiglet4frog, Your local supermarket depends on your being honest when it lets you wander willy nilly through the aisles, as does say your utility company when it asks you to read your own meter, or fillout the honesty card when you use the hotel mini bar etc etc. Likewise the credit company depends on Honesty when processing applications for goods or services. If they had to hand check every single application, the system would soon become unworkable then none of us would be able to get credit! This is the way it works. To suggest to this lad that he could 'get away' with it because the phone company is negligent, is if I may say so a very niave approach, to what could be a very serious matter for this young man.

The criminal age of responsibility for fraud or any other crime for that matter is a lot less than 15 years, and the notion that he could have the debts 'wiped out' because of  negligence on part of the credit provider is not the kind of message that should be put across. If we all tried to buck the system just to suit ourselves, wouldn't the result just be chaos?

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Twiglet.. Thank you for your kind, but stern words. Also, I would like to thank Livingstone for his words. But Livingstone, can I please remind you, I am not in any way refusing to pay back these debts, just tonight I went out and got a 3rd job in the Indian Resteraunt to pay the remaining 2 debts. I am in no way shape of form tryin to neglect my responsibilities - I got these contracts to use and to pay for, despite lying about my age, that is an agreement one way or another I wish to honour. I know I have been stupid, I have not come to the AB to be told that. I am going to pay these back, I am simply worried about my present stupidity affecting my future status. Please try not to be so hard with your words, I fully understand what I have done, and it is not as if I am trying to pass off as innocent. I simply want to know the outcome of my credit history. Thats all. As a 16 year old I have enough worry with my GCSE results coming up, without people pointing out my utter stupidity. Thank you all for your comments.
Josh, Please, dont feel that I set out to disparage you in any way, Im not so old as to not remember just how hard it is, financially, at your age. I certainly don't think that you are a crook either. Try as I advised earlier to pay what you owe at a rate that you can sustain. You could ask the citezens advice bureau, not for advice to get your debt cancelled, but on how to perhaps get your repayments reduced, and possibly even, because of your age, having the interest charges or other penalties reduced or wiped. At the end of the day, to give you an answer to your original query, show that you mean business when it comes to paying your dues, and that can ony stand you in good stead when you properly apply for credit in the future. Good luck!

Congratulations - you've just committed fraud, not once but several times.

The point to understand with debt collectors is that they can make all the threats in the world - without your address and whereabouts they can do nothing. Westcot came after me earlier this year and eventually gave up.

I however had a legitimate reason to default on the debt and sort legal advice regarding this. You do not. You have lied to obtain credit.

This is not a educational lecture, what you do is up to you. That said, I have been on the wrong side of the law several times, and believe me when I say there is only one winner.

"I have enough to worry about with GCSE's coming up"

For the life of me, you do not you are born. I am 22, and when I was 16, got myself into some very bad trouble and ended up having the **** knocked out of me on two occasions. This was not bullying - it was completely my fault.

If you think GCSE's are stressful God help you.

Question Author
Thank you very much Livingstone. Andy008 - I mean this as nicely as possible, and no, this is not coming from a spoilt, arrogant bratt... shut up! Don't come on here, thinking your being funny, "Congratulations - you just comitted fraud" - instead of posting your witty (so you may think) 1-liners.. read before you post.. I know I have dome wrong, I haven't come on here to be told that. And b.t.w - being as selfish and arrogant sounding as you are, I'm not surprised you were beaten up, look at the way you have just spoken to me, a complete stranger? Also, don't you dare even judge me by trying to say my life isn't stressfull - I have a whole world of things going on that most other teenagers don't - I won't discuss them here to someone as heartless and pig headed as you. I would appreciate no further posts from you, as I have seem you reply to people nastily in the past (And you've been told for it!) Read next time, I have't come here to be told I have done wrong, I know that, and I'm sorting it... something you should have done when you were 16, maybe?

Hi Josh,

Firstly, do your parents know about this.  If not, have they not asked questions about why you have 3 jobs?

As a minor I feel if you did default on your already defaulted payments and the baliffs were sent in, your parents would be responsible.

As long as you are paying back the money, (which you say you are), and give them no reason to chase you, then you should be ok.

I am not condoning this type of behaviour, but as you came on here for help and advice, this is what I am trying to give.

I would not enter into any other credit agreement until your debts are clear, this includes when you turn 18.

Then when you are ready to apply for credit again, do so with your correct date of birth.

Just a word of advice though, it is far easier to work hard and save for things in life, (apart from major purchases like mortgages etc), rather than use credit cards.  With regards mobile phones, pay as you go are far more cost effective than contract phones.

When you turn 18, don't get a credit card, instead get a debit card from your bank. This allows you to pay for goods the same way as a credit card apart from that the money is taken from your bank straight away.  So in fact if they money isnt there you can't spend it.  That way you have no nasty credit card bill surprises sent to.

I realise you must be worried sick about all this, especially the fraud aspect, but continue to pay the outstanding amounts on time and you should be ok. 

Im not sure how the police would take the fraud aspect, probably a nasty ticking off, as long as you haven't already got a criminal record that is.

Hope it all works out for you.

Hi there.  Go here for a good answer. Everyone is really helpful and has much experience

Trust me all this talk of fraud is nonsence. Forget the moral lectures too law is the law and if the creditors are careless and not doing proper checks it lies with them believe me most people massage the truth. Honestly dont worry and check out my link. Best wishes.

Question Author
Gaynorvj & Peahead... Thank you both v.v.much! Its really nice to speak to positive people who understand what I have done wrong. FIrstly, no, my parents do not know. Mum and me dont speak, and I don't see her. As for Dad, he has a well paid job but hates talk of money after the way Mum used to spend it - so taking this route is a definate no. Anyway, I would rather work 3 jobs for MY mistake than ever turn to them. Im stupid but I do know right from wrong. And again, your right, I am paying my debts and have every intention of doing so. Thank you very much for your nice comments and opinions..
Peahead, ( if ever there was a case of a name fitting it's owner, this must be it.) If this is your considered opinion, then you are not only incredibly misinformed but a moron to boot. Josh has already shown he has the capacity to understand the difference between right and wrong, which you patently dont. My advice to you is, carry on with that attitude and see where it gets you in life, you're on a bus to nowhere  diddums. (18yrs a cop, trust me I know what I'm on about)


A very nice and polite cop you seem too but a lawyer or money adviser I dont think so. Nobody ends up in the dock for fibbing about there age seriously.


You are most welcome.  Do check out the link though. The people over there are very friendly and know their stuff and tend to be non judgemental. Best wishes.

I've worked on enough cases of fraud to know exactly what Im talking about. Lying (not fibbing) about your age is not going to put you in court, I never said it would. Lying to obain credit that you would not ordinarily be entitled to is fraud, and no matter how insignificant that idea might be to people like you, It is not the direction I would be happy to point a young impressionable person to take. I've no doubt there are plenty of tips you could give to work your way round the system, but what this all come down to is right and wrong, and I still say you, Pinhead, are very, very much in the wrong.
In a sense, regardless of your age, if you pay off these debts in full then before too long your credit rating will be fine.
At your age you've got a head start on clearing it : I wouldn't think you'd be rushing out to get a mortgage at 18 or so?

Anything that you may apply for at 18 or 19 such as a credit card isn't a necessity. You can use a debit card in place of that. Hopefully this whole episode will teach you to be careful with your money even after this is all paid off (and you're already making much more effort to pay your debts than most!).
The reason I say to continue to be careful is that you were earlier advised to use a debit card : "So in fact if the money isnt there you can't spend it."
That's not true. In an ideal world it would be true, but it's not 100% accurate - if you're careless or know the system you can very easily spend money that you don't have on my debit card.

Hi There

Just an idea!

But have you tried obtaining your credit report from Experian who I know Orange use for their credit reporting.  I would also recommend Equifax who are the 2nd largest credit report companies.

Its very interesting because the first test all companies look for is your presence on the electoral roll, normally if you do not appear on that one they will ask for proof of address and ask for utility bills or driving licence.  Were you asked for any ID?

You can apply for both credit reports on line or by sending �2.50 to each company, they should respond within 7-10 days.

Question Author
Hey there. No, I was not asked for any forms of I.D. Just my name, address, date of birth, occupation, living situation, and Direct Debit details. Nothing ever flagged up in their systems? I never thought of looking for my credit rating actually.. But the thing is, how could I be on the electral register in the first place, I am not 18? Thanks!

Definitely look at your credit report I think this is a case of the the sellers meeting their targets!  Its a sad truth.

Let us know how you get on.

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