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It is impossible to escape the media mantra that U.S. consumers are drowning in credit card debt. However, using your credit card—responsibly—can be the No. 1 way to build good credit. So what constitutes “responsible” credit card use? For starters, don't max out your credit card. When creditors look at your credit report, they pay attention to how much of your available credit you have used and how long it takes you to pay off the balance. A good rule of thumb is to keep your balance at or below 30% of the card's limit. It's best to keep your balance well below 30% of the account's credit limit, or pay it off in full each month.