Is your credit card use out of control? Do you lack money saving habits? Are you one of the 75% of American households with credit cards and credit card debt? I have some tips for you on how to use credit wisely and pay credit cards off, so read on!

That's right, only 75% of American households have credit cards. What are those other 25% doing that keeps them from incurring credit card debt? Some (the smart ones) never applied for cards in the first place. Some have probably already paid off their debt, done away with their cards, and now live the rich life. How could they pay off the debt and free themselves of the need for cards, you ask? Read on to find the answer, hon!

Here's what you've got to do. First, call each credit card company and try to negotiate a lower interest rate, even if just for a few months. Armed with the info on which companies will give you lower rates, you can decide which cards to shred and which to keep. Start by calling the company you've been with the longest. Tell them that you've been a customer for x number of years and would like them to lower your interest rate. Let them know you're thinking about closing your account and transferring the balance to another card with a lower interest rate.

Be firm but agreeable and upbeat on the phone. These people can help you--They are your friends, not your enemies. Treat them nicely but remember you are in a position of power--You could in fact transfer your balance and close down your account. You are their customer and they want to keep you happy, so approach it that way. Begging is for dogs, not folks like you trying to negotiate a lower rate on their cards!

If you can't get your rate lowered significantly, it's time to do some research and transfer your balance to a lower rate card--as long as the transfer fee doesn't exceed your estimated savings in interest. If you don't already have a lower rate card, look online to find one that will let you transfer your balance. Pay attention! Oftentimes companies will even give you zero percent interest for period of time just to get you to transfer your balance to their card. So take a look around, hon and remember that you DO have choices. See what's out there.

Also, stop viewing the credit card offers that clutter your mailbox as an annoyance. Use them to your advantage. Collect them for a couple of weeks and compare the various offers. Pick the one with the longest "too good to pass up" offer, usually an offer of no interest for a six months, a year, 16 months, or the like. Remember that in this amount of time, you can make a BIG dent in your balance if you'll follow the saving and spending strategies in part 1 and part 2 of this article series.

Next, take the best offer you can find and transfer the balance from your highest interest card there (again, only if the fees for the transfer are less than the interest you can expect to save). Cancel the other card and shout "Hasta la vista" as you celebrate your new lower interest rate card. And remember, if you pay the new card off fast (why not within the zero percent interest period, hon??), then your credit score will go up and life will be much easier when you want to buy a house, refinance your current home, or even get a new cell phone plan.

See? Learning how to use credit wisely is not as hard as it seems. Just stop using your cards to spend until you get them paid down, watch your interest rates like a parole office watches his "charges," and remember--YOU DO HAVE CHOICES! To find out the essential final steps to take to work your way through your credit cards and pay them ALL down, tune into part 4 of this article series. You don't want to miss out on learning how to pay credit cards down as quickly as possible so you can achieve the abundant life you desire!

Author's Bio: 

Professional speaker and coach Dr. Barnsley Brown loves helping people like you save thousands of dollars and start living the life of their dreams! Check out Dr. Barnsley's exciting e-book and audio package, Get Out of Debt and Get On With Your Life, at