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Settling the score: What REALLY is the difference between Debit and Credit?

So you’ve heard this question asked a million times when your parents are at the checkout stand: “Credit or debit?” But what does it mean? Isn’t it basically the same thing? It’s time to settle the score once and for all. Debit vs Credit. Here’s how it works!

Credit Cards

“Credit” or a line of credit, is essentially a loan that you have to pay back. When you make purchases on a credit card, you are actually borrowing the money, and promising to pay it back at a later date. This shows that you are responsible and helps build up a good credit score! This is majorly important, because when it comes time to rent an apartment or buy a car, you’re going to reap some huge benefits. Credit cards are really helpful if you use them responsibly!

Debit Cards

Debit on the other hand, is instantaneous. So when you use a debit card, that money is coming directly from the money in your account. You just have to be careful and make sure you don’t overdraw your account and use more than you have! Pro tip: before you spend, check your balance on Heartland’s slick mobile app. If you use more money than you have in your account you get a fee – up to $30!!

So now you know. When someone asks you, “Credit or debit?” you know the difference! Bazinga!