I just checked my Credit Karma credit score. In the 4 years since our bankruptcy was finalized, my credit score is now over 700. 703 to be exact. I am finally out of the Fair category on in the Good category. It's been a long slow road to get there.
I use the credit cards I have (except I haven't used the Shell gas one in quite awhile - the station upped their prices and it's been running 10 cents a gallon higher than other places I can get it) but pay them off in full when I use them. I do carry a balance on my Lowe's and CareCredit cards, but those are at interest free promotions and I make monthly payments so that they will for sure be paid off by the time the promotion is up. Same thing with a PayPalCredit (formerly BillMeLater) but that doesn't report to the credit bureaus.
The Lowe's and PayPalCredit will both be paid off in full in February. That will add back $300 a month to my budget. One of the CareCredit charges (dental work) will be paid off in February, also. The remaining charge (my last big dental work over the summer) was 18 months no interest, so I have until Feb of 2016 to pay that off. That's all I will have left after February and that payment will just be $40 a month. I used Lowes for a power tool when DH was building the arbors. The PayPalCredit was for some of our bath remodel and buying a couple of 50# bags of casoron for our large graveled front area of our property. (that stuff is expensive!). I wouldn't have used the credit and made payments if they all hadn't been on no interest promotions. I felt it better to be able to use those promotions and spread out my payments, rather than using up most all of my savings.