All credit is good and all debt is bad, right? Not necessarily. Both credit and debt have pluses and minuses, and, most likely, a place in your financial plan. Without credit, most people could never own their own home, or even pay for an education that (hopefully) leads to greater income throughout the course of their lives. Credit is even sometimes needed for more basic necessities, such as utilities and phones, or to secure a job. It’s a good idea to monitor and protect your credit score (a rating which indicates your financial responsibility or credit worthiness), just as you keep an eye on your bank account balance. In regards to debt, mortgage debt and student loan debt are typically considered good, while car loans and credit card debt may be considered bad. As with all financial decisions, make sure you understand how credit and debt work and how they can help you reach your goals.