Can a Debit Card Help you Build Credit?

Can a Debit Card Help you Build Credit?
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Can I use a debit card to build my credit? This is a common question, especially among younger individuals as well as those who have had credit issues in the past. Most people are aware of the importance of an above average credit score. While this may not sound like a big deal, the higher your score the better chance you have of securing a loan in the future. Along with this, it can help in many other aspects of your life, such as when applying for a job.

The answer to this question is yes and no. There are several differences between a debit card and a credit card. The main one being that your debit card is attached to a bank account. In other words, nobody is lending you money. When you use your debit card, the funds are coming out of your account. On the other hand, with a credit card, a company (Visa, American Express, and MasterCard) is lending you money and trusting you to pay it back later. Simply put, a debit card is nothing more than an easier way to access money in your bank account.

It is important to note that debit cards do not report to credit bureaus. In turn, using one of these cannot directly help you build credit or increase your score.

That being said, it can help build your credit if you show your financial institution that you can be responsible with your money. Your bank will realize that you have been using your debit card in a responsible manner, which will work in your favor if you want to apply for a “real” credit card such as one through MasterCard, American Express, or Visa. This is not a direct way of building your credit, but over the course of many months/years it will go a long way in showing your bank that you are worthy of a credit card.

Should I use a debit card since it does not do anything to help my credit? The answer to this question is up to you. Remember, just because it does not benefit your credit doesn’t mean that everything is bad. With a debit card you have quick access to funds in your checking account, while also making it easier to manage and organize your finances.

If you are looking for a direct way to build credit you should not rely solely on the use of a debit card. Fortunately, the responsible use of a debit card can help you build your credit in the future.

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