After signing on the bottom line, it is important for students to remember that effective borrowing can mean the difference between $15,000 and $40,000 dollars in student debt. Effective borrowing begins with a thorough understanding of the terms associated with a loan and some well-informed tips. Common terms associated with student loans include: principal, fees and interest. Learn what these common terms mean for your loan as well as how they affect the overall amount you will owe after graduation. For more information and tips, check out our article on student loan repayment.