(WVEC) -- Good credit! It's something we all strive for, but why?

"Well, it just gives you that control and that flexibility - purchasing power. If you have bad credit then there are things you just cannot do. If you have great credit then you can, for the most part, do a lot of things,” said Financial Advisor Philip Maliniak.

So how do you build your credit? Keep balances low. Pay your bills on time and keep the number of open lines low.

Now, there are some myths about building credit. One, in particular, is keeping a balance on a credit card.

Maliniak said people often think, well, I need to have credit to build credit, right? So, I'm going to go buy something with a credit card and then make the minimum payments over time to show that I've got credit. That doesn't make any sense.

Maliniak said instead use that card and pay it off *completely* every month. That way you never incur any interest charges.

Remember, your credit score will range anywhere from 300 to 850. 700 is considered a really good score and close to 800 is an excellent credit score.

Maliniak said you want to be in that 700 range.

There are several ways you can check your credit score. Credit Karma and Credit Sesame are two great, free apps, but remember those scores are your vantage score, not your FICO score.