Debit Cards

Debit cards are a popular, convenient and cash-free way to shop. When you pay for something with your debit card, the transaction amount is subtracted (debited) directly from your checking account and transferred electronically to the account of the merchant. Sometimes you authorize a debit card transaction with your personal identification number (PIN). This could result in a bank fee. Other times, you sign a receipt. In this case, the merchant pays the fee to the card company. Either way, the amount is deducted from your account immediately upon the acceptance of the transaction.

Debit cards can make your life easier and they can help you avoid using credit. However, it's still possible to overdraw your account. If you have a line of credit, you can still end up in debt. The interest rate on a line of credit is quite high so pay off the balance as soon as possible. The best way to avoid overdrawing your account and borrowing from your line of credit is to keep track of your balance. Don't make purchases or write checks when you don't have the money in your account to cover them.

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