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The Difference Between Good and Bad Debt Sometimes debt can give you a financial edge -- but you need to use it wisely.

By J.D. Roth

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Put it on plastic

It's something of an entrepreneurial cliché, but you can always use credit cards to fund your business. Just save them for short-term needs--when you need a few weeks, not months, of float on your money to obtain an immediate return. This can be for items such as a booth at a trade show, a last-minute sales trip to land new business or an emergency vendor payment.

I don't like debt. For nearly a decade, I've written about personal finances, both my own and those of others. And too many times I've seen how debt can act like a cancer, draining life from healthy bank accounts.

That said, debt can sometimes be used for good. It's OK to take on reasonable debt to pay for the few things that are likely to hold or even increase their value: an affordable mortgage (the key word being affordable), student loans or financing for a business.

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