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I am one who believes in holding on to your student loans as long as you can. Congress is always dreaming up ways to make them easier to pay, and there's no indication that will change in the future.

If the loans are what's called "interest subsidized", there are a number of beneficial deferments that attach to most government-sponsored loans. In some cases, (half-time student status, unemployment, low-income earning years, pregnancy), the government will pay the interest during the deferment.

In the meantime, any savings/investments you have set aside is free to earn interest/dividends.

I know of some cases where people have given up joining a matched 401(k) (that is, you get a dollar for every dollar you put in) at their companies so that they "get that student loan debt down." They pay down a 7% loan (saving 7 cents on a dollar) instead of gaining $1.00 for every $1.00 that would have gone into the 401(k).
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