"Avoid credit as much as possible."
Or, to put it another way, Know which debts to take on and which to avoid. For most of us, a mortgage is necessary, a car loan - not really. We do not NEED to drive the latest and the greatest and/or to get a new car every two years but we WANT to. With a little comparison shopping, a low-mileage car can be found. If you insist on financing a car, NEVER, EVER do it through a dealer. Only loan sharks charge higher interest. If buying a car from a dealer, whether new or used, never purchase an extended warrantee. It is pure gravy for the dealer and wasted money for you. The vast majority of the time, if something breaks on a car, it is within the standard warrantee period. If the salesperson or the sales manager insist that an extended warrantee is in your interest, cancel the transaction because the car is a piece of junk.