My son is a new airman and is doing a pretty good job of controlling his spending.  He pays everything with a debit card.  Should he switch over to a credit card to get some history started or does his debit card history fill the same need?


Hi @TraceDaddy! Thank you for reaching out. Please send along our gratitude for your son's service as well. We can certainly appreciate your desire to get your son on the path to good credit. Unfortunately, I'm not a licensed credit adviser, so I'm unable to speak too specifically to this, but I can tell you that USAA does not report debit card activity to the 3 major credit bureaus. If you'd like to have his good activity with a USAA account reported to help establish some credit history, it would have to start being done through a USAA Credit Card account. This can be done on an account where he is the primary (if he qualifies by submitting an application of his own) or if he is added as an authorized user on an existing account. I hope this information helps! ~Holland

This is an extremely important question that can have a profound impact on your son's financial security.  Debit cards should be used as seldom as possible.  If his debit card number gets hacked the hacker could possibly drain your son's bank account.  Credit card fraud can be reversed once discovered and reported.  Once the money is withdrawn with a debit card, it's gone!  Additionally, debit card use has no impact on credit ratings.  Best wishes.

There are too many mine fields with a debit card.  If he has the discipline to use a credit card it would be safer.