MSN Money has a list of ten financial urban myths. Do you believe any of the following? If so, it may be time to change your mind.

  1. You can float a check longer if you use red ink. The color of ink makes no difference. Besides, if the bank can’t read the check, it’ll be returned an you’ll be charged extra fees.
  2. You don’t have to pay income tax — it’s illegal. I’ve heard variations on this: “You only have to pay if you start paying, so don’t start.” They’re wrong.
  3. I’m under 18, so I can’t be held accountable for a debt. Untrue. Minors can’t sign contracts, but banks won’t issue credit cards to minors without an adult co-signer.
  4. My hotel key card has my credit card information. Simply not true.
  5. Boycotting a few gas brands brings gas prices down. A myth. People don’t understand the mechanics of large industries.
  6. It’s better if you don’t sign the back of your credit card. Some people believe this helps prevent against identity theft, but the opposite is true. It’s easier for a thief to use an unsigned card: he just signs the name himself.
  7. You can make a lot of money by helping a foreigner solve his money problems. Does anyone actually believe this?
  8. You can opt out of having credit bureaus give your information to anyone who asks. Not true. You can opt-out of pre-approved credit card offers, though.
  9. You can buy your way out of points on a speeding ticket.
  10. Hotel Bibles often have $100 bills tucked inside them.

I’ve never heard any of these, though some are plausible enough that I might have believed them. Remember: any time you hear about something that might be too good to be true, verify it through an impartial third party.

[via Young and Broke]

This article is about Odds and Ends