Over my 10+ years as an undergrad and graduate student, I have acquired a number of loans. My strategy for loan repayment began while I was still finishing my PhD, and it consists of tackling a combination of the lowest amount owed and the highest interest rate loans first. I will usually pay the minimum + a little bit of interest (trying to keep this as close to zero as possible) on all the other loans, and then maximizing my payment on the current loan I am tackling. Just yesterday, I was able to finish paying a small graduate loan that had a high interest rate (8.5%). My remaining loans have similar interest rates, so I plan to pay off the loans in order from the lowest amount owed to the highest.
Its really not fun paying these loans off, and I feel forgotten by the government. All my money goes to paying rent, food, gas, remaining credit card balances, and my student loans. Until I began my position as a postdoctoral scholar (fancy title with poor wage given my education level), I was just trying to keep my head above water on my graduate researcher "wage", which really wasn't living at all. Now I can budget about $1,000 a month explicitly for student loans. It helps that my girlfriend has a good job for additional expenses, otherwise I am not sure how I could continue.