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.
Welcome to the gun owning community!
Beretta PX4 .40 S&W - Beretta 92FS 9x19 Para - Rock Island Armory GI 1911 .45 ACP - Colt 1968 Detective Special .38 Spc. - Ruger LCP .380 ACP - Daniel Defense M4V1 Carbine 5.56x45 - Alpine Industries M1 Carbine .30 - Steyr-Mannlicher M1895 8x56 - Ruger 10/22 .22LR - Remington 870 Express Tactical 12GA - 1943 Izhevsk Mosin-Nagant M91/30 7.62x54R