33. She thought the government put an unlimited credit line on your debit card.
“In the case I witnessed personally she genuinely didn’t know that a debit card was attached to a checking account. This was how the whole conversation got started.
Two girls were sitting in the computer lab together and I was sitting a few computers down from them. We will call the clueless girl Jane and we will call the girl with common sense Emily. Here is the gist of the conversation.
Jane: Lets go to the bar tonight!
Emily: I can’t tonight, broke for the rest of the week.
Jane: Just use your debit card.
Emily: I can’t I will overdraw my account.
Jane: You don’t have to get cash from an ATM, the bar will just swipe your card.
Emily: My card will get declined, I have no money in the account!
Jane: You don’t need to have money in the account to pay for things with your card, only if you want to get cash.
This college senior genuinely thought that part of college financial aid was that you could just get whatever you wanted by swiping your card. She did not understand the concept that you were using the card to pay for things. She genuinely thought that if a store accepted debit cards that meant that college kids could get whatever they needed and the store would just bill the government for it. She went on this long explanation about the only reason the store needed to swipe the card was to verify that you were actually a college student. When Emily asked if Jane’s card had ever been declined, Jane said ‘yes, that just means that the item or store was not approved by the government.’”