Know Your Loans and Payments
Keep up with your loan amounts and know what your monthly payments are going to be while you're still in college. It's the only way to plan for how you'll pay the debt back, and it will keep you from receiving any unpleasant surprises about how much you owe. Only borrow as much money as you need for tuition and fees. Remember, this is not an unlimited party fund to be spent however you please. You're taking out loans that must be repayed. Don't borrow the maximum just because you can.
Once you've graduated, keep up with your lenders, loan amounts, monthly payment amounts and length of time until payoff for all of your loans. Your government loans can all be tracked at the National Student Loan Data System's website [source: NSLDS]. Tracking your payments, not just loan amounts, is important too, especially if you're making additional payments or paying additional principal each month. You want to be sure the money is allocated correctly so you can watch those loan balances fall quicker.