Paying with plastic

Numerica Credit Union explains the difference between debit cards and credit cards

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Young people's financial future can be determined by good choices

Chances are if you looked in your wallet right now you could easily grab your debit card. If you needed your credit card, you'd know exactly which card to go for. However, our kids just see a world being paid in plastic, and the answer about which is the debit card and which is the credit card isn't so clear.

“Paying with plastic is convenient. After all, who wants to carry around a bag of cash?” says Katie Scofield, Financial Education Officer at Numerica Credit Union. “These digital transactions have created a mask of how we use our money, leaving many youth and teens not understanding the difference between debit and credit cards.”

Simply put, a debit card is connected to your checking or savings account. When you swipe or enter your card, you're taking money from your account to make a purchase. If you don't have enough money, your card may be declined.

A credit card lets you make purchases using a credit limit, a pre-approved amount of money. It's money you borrow from your bank or credit union and have to pay back with added interest.

“Not all plastic is created equal. For many young spenders, learning about finance is a trial-by-fire experience. Understanding the difference between debit and credit cards could mean all the difference in someone's financial future,” says Scofield.

You'll always have a relationship with money, why not make it a good one! Find more money tips to keep you living well at numericacu.com/youth.

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