I tend to be a bit of a brand snob and say a person would be better off saving up the ~ $300 for a Ruger P95 or Smith & Wesson SW9VE, but I've also been of very limited means before and I understand that every dollar matters sometimes.
Hi-Points are pretty good for what they are, but I wouldn't rely on one as a truly lifesaving tool (others may disagree).
If the options really are limited to those two brands, I'd look at any of the Kel-Tec 9mm pistols to be pretty solid basic-level performers. Please, though, give some consideration to very, very slightly more expensive guns like used Smith & Wesson revolvers, the Ruger P95, or the Smith Sigma or SV9VE.
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Beretta PX4; 92FS; 92S; 8040G | Rock Island GI 1911 | Sig Sauer SP2022; P6 | Colt Python 4"; 1968 Detective Special 2"| Smith & Wesson M642 No-Lock | Ruger LCP; 10/22 | Daniel Defense M4V1 | Remington 870 | Alpine M1 Carbine | Steyr M1895 |1943 Izhevsk Mosin M91/30 | Walther PPS