Debit cards aren’t designed for borrowing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get into debt by using one.
Making payments with your debit card uses funds from your own bank account, so you essentially aren’t borrowing any money for the transaction. It’s much the same as using cash, but with more security and fraud protection.
However, if you pay for something and there isn’t enough money in your account, you’ll go overdrawn. At this point, fees and charges can be added.
Overdraft charges and overdraft interest can quickly add up if you don’t make a payment to cover them, especially if you keep spending. In some cases, even if your debit card payment is declined, you can still be charged a fee that takes you into your overdraft – and be in debt before you know it.
Incurring this kind of debt can have a negative impact on your credit score and may also result in you losing any benefits, rewards or discounts associated with your bank account.
Common causes of debit card debt
The most common cause of people falling into debt with their debit card is using it to make payments when there aren’t enough funds in the account for them to be covered. This often causes people to become accidentally overdrawn and incur charges.
This can also become the case when you withdraw money from your account that you don’t have. Going into an unauthorised overdraft means that you will be charged a high rate of interest and a daily fee that will cause you to become further and further overdrawn. This in turn will mean that you will end up paying back more than the original transaction that took you into the red in the first place.
You can also incur charges by using your debit card abroad, which can leave you with a hefty bill by the time you arrive home. It’s important to check the terms of your bank account before you leave to make sure you avoid travel charges.
How to keep on top of debit card debt
Debit cards aren’t designed to get people into debt, but there are steps you can take to help stay on top of your debit card purchases.
- Check in frequently
It’s important to check your account regularly before you make purchases or withdraw money. This will help you to avoid spending money that you don’t have and becoming overdrawn.
- Track your spending
Using a banking app or online banking allows you to keep track of your transactions and control your spending. Doing this will help you avoid a low balance and reduce the risk of charges.
- Set a budget
Setting yourself a weekly spending budget is one of the best ways to control your finances. Giving yourself limits means you will know exactly where your money goes each week and allows you to be prepared for unexpected expenses.
If you’re struggling with debit card debt call us now for immediate and confidential free debt help and advice or complete the form.
We can start to work through your debt problems from the moment you contact us and help you find the solution that’s right for your situation.