Nine Steps to Paying Off Your Student Loans

Over the last two years, I have received more questions about student loans than I got in the previous two decades combined. The reason is brutally simple: Not only is college more expensive than ever, but because of the recession, it's also the hardest time in decades for college graduates to find decent employment -- and thus earn the money they need to be able to pay off their loans. This financial double-whammy is crushing a generation of young people under a mountain of debt.



According to the most recent U.S. Department of Education statistics, two out of every three students who graduated from college in 2008 financed their education at least partly with student loans, with the typical borrower starting out their working life owing around $23,000. In 2009, the total amount of federal student loans outstanding topped $605 billion.