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    People Shared Their Best Advice For Paying Off Student Loans, And It Made My Wallet Happy

    The two scariest words in the English language: "interest rates."

    If you’re a broke college grad like me and have a cloud of student loan debt hanging over your head, then you might feel that it could take years to pay it all off. There's always budgeting and saving, of course, but in an effort to learn even more tips and tricks, I asked members of the BuzzFeed Community for their best advice for dealing with student loans.

    Here are their strategies:

    1. Utilize auto-pay to make sure you NEVER miss a payment.

    A closeup of a phone app with a thumb nearing the "pay" button

    2. Pay 👏 off 👏 that 👏 interest 👏 ASAP.

    3. Always try to pay more than just the minimum each month to chip away at the interest AND the principal amount.

    A man's hands cut between two equal piles of money with arrows reading, respectively, "interest" and "principal"

    4. Take advantage of grace periods.

    A hand holds a cup of coffee with a foam design of a money bag

    5. Make payday count.

    6. Try the ~snowball effect~ to roll through multiple loans.

    7. Cash out that 401(k) early*.

    8. Use the money from your tax refunds to make student loan payments.

    A stool holds a pink ceramic piggy bank and a clear jar filled with money and a sticker that reads "tax refund"

    9. Budget, budget, budget.

    10. Read the fine print, and avoid unknowingly falling for consolidation scams.

    A magnifying glass reflects a contract reading "terms and conditions, all loans'

    11. Consolidate and refinance when possible.

    12. Never, ever, EVER ignore your payments.

    A hand holds out a bill while another holds up a palm in a "stop" gesture

    13. See if your employment qualifies you for loan forgiveness programs.

    14. Rethink your cosigner.

    15. If you can, start making payments while you're still in school.

    16. Lastly, don't be scared to ask for help.

    Note: Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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