In an ideal world, no one would have credit card debt. Unfortunately, life happens and money can get tight in a hurry. When you least expect it, a small financial emergency pops up and too often the result is carrying a balance on a credit card. The average U.S. household with credit card debt owed $15,762 as of the fourth quarter of 2015 according to NerdWallet. So, when is it acceptable to carry debt on a credit card and when should you avoid carrying a balance at all costs? Here are a few guidelines to follow.