Hi and welcome!
I started out with a Hi Point C9 myself because I was on a budget as well. As far as a functional firearm, I can't say anything bad about mine. It goes bang every time I pull the trigger. No FTF's or FTE's after approximately 400 rounds. My only dislike is that it feels big in my hands.
I recently purchased a Smith & Wesson SD9 VE. While almost twice the cost of a Hi Point, it's still considered a "budget" model and represents quite a step up. A very nicely made gun and it feels great in my hands. It's an S&W......something to consider.