Pay off student loans before you contribute to your 401k

You’ve recently graduated (or maybe you’ve been out of school for a while) and everyone — your friends, family, your broke uncle Tom and financial experts across the land all echo the same message:

1. Start contributing to your 401k immediately!
2. Compound interest is king!
3. Your employer's match is free money!

So, following conventional wisdom, we begin contributing to our 401k, usually up to the employer’s match, while making concurrent payments towards our student loan. It’s definitely what I did when