It's funny isn't it? When I was 19/20 and living on my own I had to work *really* hard to build my credit. It was NOT easy. We started with a Sears card. What really opened our "credit door" was when I went back to school for my undergrad degree. Every text book had a credit card offer in it, tables were set up around campus with credit card offers, mail came pouring in with offers. For years as a working young person I could barely get anyone to look at me re. credit. But once I quit my job and went back to school, I was suddenly a perfect candidate. (And, of course, college students are the perfect prey as their parents will likely settle accounts the student can not.)
We spent nearly ten years actively building our credit. When we went to buy our first home our friend/mortgage broker couldn't believe how good our credit was.
Now, at 40 we are moving in the other direction. Our house is paid for, our loans are paid (less a 0% car loan), no balance on credit cards, and I'm sure our FICO scores are dropping like stones. I have no idea what they are, as we don't have need for them currently. But I would never want to lose that option. We would love to buy a second home one day (at the beach). It'd be nice to finance it and rent it until we are ready for retirement and sell our current home. Still a pipe dream that I haven't fully examined, but it's nice to have options. Likewise, if my husband's work truck suddenly neeeded replacing, I would rather take another 0% loan and keep our money in investments/the bank, if given the choice.
We use our credit card sometimes, not necessarily for the rewards, but when I just made online reservations for camping and beach vacation trips, it sure made it easier to reserve and pay quickly. Lots of times I don't have cash or haven't shuffled money around (self-employed, so money needs to go through business accts. for tax purposes--and we always end up with all the money coming in a the end of the month), so the credit card is just convenient. I don't act like it's money I don't have--I take all those expenses directly out of the budget and keep a running tally of what will need to be sent in to the credit card company at the end of the month.
Credit, in and of itself, is not a bad thing. I respect people's choice to eschew it and I can see where it might not be necessary, but for me, it's one more choice/opportunity to have at my disposal. (And I haven't always been responsible with it, but that was MY fault....not the fault of credit.)