What facts should you understand about debit cards if you are planning to have one

If your bank has issued a debit card for you, there are some things you should know before you get into trouble. Here are four facts that are important to understand before you get into financial trouble.

A debit card also called a “check card” or a "bank card," is a payment card that deducts money directly from a consumer's checking account when it is used. They can be used to buy goods or services or to get cash from an ATM machine. If your bank has offered you one, here are some facts that can help you safeguard your card and your money!

Debit cards can be used to get cash from an automated teller machine

Take a look at these downsides of debit cards and learn how you can avoid them:

1. Fraud Protection

To start with, you would never want your wallet to fall into the wrong hands, especially if you have a debit card for these cards don't can't be protected against fraud as strongly as credit cards can. If your debit card is stolen and used, the thief can drain your bank account and you won't get your money back until your bank completes its investigation, which can take a long time.

2. Building Credit

Unlike credit cards, debit cards don't have an impact on your credit history, so if you are trying to rebuild it, this card won't help you.

However, debit cards can be handy when you forgot to pay your credit card balance and you don't want to keep using it and damaging your credit report.

3. Merchant Mistakes

Have you ever paid lunch with your card and then found out that the cashier typed the wrong amount and overcharged you? When this happens with credit cards it's easier to solve than when you pay with a debit card. If this should happen (and it does) you may end up facing some problems, and if there's a dispute you will probably end up in a weaker position when you use debit cards.

The merchant will probably return the money once you report the problem, but it will take several days until the money is returned to your account and you may, therefore, face overdraft fees until you receive it.  

A debit card lets you spend money from your checking account without writing a check

4. Fees

You need to always keep track of your account balance when you are using debit cards. Otherwise, you will be facing overdraft fees, which quickly add up until you pay the debt.

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