When taking out a loan you must first and foremost make sure that you UNDERSTAND what your loan is. You'd be surprised how many people sign on the dotted line without really knowing all the terms and stipulations of their loans. Help yourself out from the get go by making sure that you have gone over every detail and ask about anything you aren't completely sure of. Communicate with your lender! Never get yourself in a situation you aren't comfortable with-- that will only lead to bad things.
Preparation is key! Make things easier for yourself by organizing a budget and payment plan. Laying everything out will help you stay on track. It's a lot easier to repay your loan successfully when you have everything out in the open and you know what to expect. It's important to ensure that your repayment plan is realistic for you. The best way to figure this out is through solid planning and budget forming. This way you won't get yourself in a bad situation because you have a clear idea of what is going on through your outline.
Once you've got your budget in place it is crucial to check how you are following within it regularly. You must stick to your budget to ensure prompt payments. If you catch yourself falling off your path, try to save money from other areas of your budget. Are you carpooling to save on transportation costs? Have you been saving money from buying groceries rather than going out to eat? Are you using coupons when buying necessities? Do everything you can to stay in your budget and make your payments on time! Ideally, you will eventually make your payments more frequently and in larger balances. This way you won't have to pay as much in interest.
Did I just say Save? Yes, SAVE! Just because you are paying off a loan doesn't give you an excuse to not try to save at any cost. Even if you can only save $25 a month, do it! When paying off a loan you want to get your finances in order and one of the best ways to do that is to make sure you are always working on your savings. Emergencies happen and you want to make sure you can always pay all your bills on time.