The thing is that you can't really get anywhere without a credit score. You can't buy a car, you can't buy a house, you can't even rent a house, car or apartment because even with a security deposit, they don't trust you with it. I've had a credit card for about six months now and never had a late payment or an outstanding balance. I treat it like it's my debit card; I don't spend more that I know I will have in my paycheck after bills. It's not smart to think of it as free money; you have to think of it as the tangible money you already have. If you start thinking of it as a separate sort of income, you won't escape it. You have to build smart credit habits in the beginning, because fixing your habits later is harder when you have to fight previous habits and then build new ones. Credit cards are essential in the economy that we have; however, knowing how to approach them and be smart with them is also crucial, and its a point where our education systems fail. Teaching young people early in life will protect them from the credit card companies that literally prey on them because the companies know that most young adults are uninformed, and continue to be through adulthood. They get credit cards or loans to pay off other credit cards or loans, and it just spirals. A good rule of thumb is not to spend what you don't have and to live within your means. There is no such thing as a little bit of money, so be smart about what you buy and when. If you want a candy bar and can afford it, get it, but if you have to depend on a credit card to get it and don't have the funds to back it up, don't get it.