These days it's hard to get through college without borrowing money. Tuition increases, degrees that take longer to finish and the high unemployment rate for young adults are all conspiring to raise our collective college debt. If your debt's beginning to feel like a boulder you roll up a mountain every day just to have it roll back over you in the morning, close your eyes and take a deep breath. We can't make that boulder stop rolling, but maybe we can give you some tips -- in more or less chronological order -- for shrinking it down a bit.
Some of these tips are things you can do before you graduate. Paying -- and paying close attention to -- your student loans from the moment you take them out can help you avoid late fees, interest increases and damage to your credit rating, all of which can help to keep your payments affordable.