Plastic Cards—When You’re Ready for Debit
1188_White_Shirt_Girl_160What does "paying with plastic" mean? You’re getting older and, as a result, you’re becoming more responsible. Think about it.

Your parents trust you at home by yourself. You’re allowed to go to the movies with your friends, without an adult. You’ve even got a steady income from babysitting or doing yard work.

Now that you are earning your own money, you might be interested in a debit card. Paying with plastic gives you freedom and allows you to leave your change at home.

Of course, getting your parents to agree will require showing them that you're ready for the responsibility.

The best way to show your parents that you’re ready is to learn how debit cards work.

Why use plastic at all?

You might want a debit card just so that you can seem cool and mature, but there are many other good reasons for getting one. They’re really convenient. Debit cards:

Debit card: your own money

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Debit cards use your money— but you still have to be smart about it.

A debit card gives you access to your own money. It works like a check because it uses money from your checking/share draft account.

Having a debit card isn’t like having unlimited money. You need money in your checking account in order to pay for something with a debit card.

For example, say you want to use your debit card to buy an iPad for $499. You must have at least $499 in your checking account to cover the purchase. When you swipe your card, the $499 automatically leaves your account.

Sometimes, the money doesn’t leave right away. If this happens, the card places a "hold" on the $499 right away, reserving your money for that transaction.

Don’t spend too much

Sometimes people lose track of the money they have in their account and they try to spend more than they have. When this happens, two things can occur:

Having a card declined is embarrassing enough, but the real problem is when you are charged for an overdraft. Overdraft fees can stack up really fast, and you might not even realize it until it’s too late. That’s why it’s important to know how much is in your account at all times. It’s smart to always leave a cash cushion in the account so this doesn’t happen to you.

Luckily, many credit unions have online and mobile banking to help you keep track of your balances.

Debit cards aren't the only kind of plastic...

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Partners 1st Federal Credit Union

What makes credit unions so great? Members like you.

Every dollar you invest in your credit union earns you money while other members borrow it.

When you're ready for a loan, other members' savings will be there to help you out at the lowest possible cost.

NCUA
Partners 1st Federal Credit Union


What makes credit unions so great? Members like you.

Every dollar you invest in your credit union earns you money while other members borrow it.

When you're ready for a loan, other members' savings will be there to help you out at the lowest possible cost.