By the time most college grads make their first student loan payment, Ruchi Patel had already paid $3,600.
She finished paying back the $23,000 she borrowed in federal student loans within two years of graduating from New York University. Her fast-track approach saved her thousands of dollars in interest over the life of her loans.
Most college students don't realize they can make payments on their student loans before they graduate. Too many keep those annoying loans out of sight and out of mind until they absolutely must start making payments, usually six months after leaving school.
But Patel is different. During her sophomore year, she started putting whatever she could toward her student loans every few weeks. Sometimes it was as little as $40 or as much as $100."
At some point during one of my finance classes, the light bulb went off. I was going to be screwed by the interest if I didn't start paying," Patel said.