The new season of Mythbusters starts tomorrow. Debt.com's Money Mythbusters bust these common money myths today.
Fans of the hit show Mythbusters should know that a brand-new season airs its first episode tomorrow on Science Channel at 9 p.m. (EST). We have some Mythbusters fanatics on staff, so we thought we’d mark the occasion by looking at five of the most common money myths you hear these days.
What about other money myths?
So, you might be thinking: That’s great, Debt.com, but what about all those other financial urban legends that I’ve heard?
What about using a credit card to get out of credit card debt fast or finding that mythical unicorn of tax debt forgiveness? How do you separate financial fact from fiction?
Well, we’re glad you asked.
Most of us learn about finance and clever financial tricks from friends, family, television, or just pure hearsay. None of these are exactly credible sources of information (unless your family member happens to be a CPA). So, it’s up to you to verify something that you hear, preferably before you try it.
The best way to bust (or confirm) a money myth
Here are some tips from true money mythbusters of how to confirm or bust a financial myth:
- Google it, but only click on accredited sources. No, this does not mean Wiki, which can be wrong since it’s user generated, or Bob’s Finance Blog (sorry Bob). We mean real sources, like government agencies (IRS.gov, consumerfinance.gov), certified financial advisors and CPAs, or accredited financial organizations.
- Never trust someone who is trying to sell you something related to the myth. For example, let’s say that you want to find out the real deal about debt settlement. You hear bold claims on radio commercials about “pennies on the dollar deals that the creditors don’t want you to know about.” That’s great marketing, but it’s hardly factual. Anyone trying to sell you a product will usually give you all the good and none of the bad. Meanwhile, competing product sellers will give you all the bad, but none of the good.
- Go to the source. Let’s say you’ve heard something about how credit scores are calculated. The best place to verify the information would be FICO or a credit bureau, because they calculate credit scores. Same thing with tax debt myths; call the IRS (they’re not as scary as you’ve heard) and ask them.
- Ask an expert. The best way to confirm or bust a financial myth is to ask someone who would know directly. If you have that CPA relative, talk to them. Otherwise, find a professional you can consult (hopefully for free). Funny thing, we happen to have a friend who’s a certified CPA and all around financially clever guy. His name is Howard Dvorkin and he founded Debt.com. We even have a convenient page we you can ask him questions (for free)!
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