I have a major student loan bill that has also been consolidated and the interest rate brought down from sky high rates such as 18% to 22%. The only real advice I can give you is to not just pay the minimum every month but to pay the minimum plus extra and make sure the loan company applies that extra towards the principal. I have my loan through CitiBank and they allow me to do this every month and I have seen my large principal balance slowly decreasing every month because of this. It is difficult to do this, especially if your minimum payment is already very high (like mine) but if you want to get out of debt sooner rather than later, buckle down, make a budget, cut some expenses out of your life and pay off that loan quicker. With my loan, if I put an extra $250 towards it on top of my minimum, that money goes to the principal and actually helps me pay it off in 9 years as opposed to 30 years! Ask me questions personally if you have any more. I'm here to help as I've been down the road of student loan misery and know a LOT about the student loan business...I also have written a hub on it.