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    13 Celebrities Who Still Struggled With Student Loan Debt After Finding Success

    You can pay off your student loan debt in one of two ways: Become president, or get cast on Grey's Anatomy.

    Like 44.7 million Americans, I have student loan debt.

    Right now, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer are pushing for President Biden to cancel $50,000 in student loan debt per borrower through executive action. If this amount were forgiven, 84% of borrowers would have their debt wiped out.

    The presumption with student loan debt (or, at least, the way I saw it) is that you make the sacrifice (going into, on average, $37,584 in debt) in order to gain the benefits of a college education (both in terms of your personal experience and your value on the job market).

    These 13 people reached the tops of their fields, but that didn't stop them from getting candid about just how much the cost of their degrees affected their lives.

    1. President Barack Obama

    Caption: I was in my forties when we finished paying off our debt.  And we should have been saving for Malia and Sasha by that time

    2. Michelle Obama

    Caption: I found that I couldn't take jokes that paid less because I had a mountain of debt

    3. Jon Hamm

    Caption: Paying off student loans should be easier

    4. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

    Caption: I think it’s so funny, a year ago, I was waiting tables in a restaurant, and it was literally easier for me to become the youngest woman in American history elected to Congress than it is to pay off my student loan debt

    5. Cheryl Strayed

    Caption: I paid my way through college by working, getting grants, and student loans. My student loan debt was a beast on my back until my 44th birthday

    6. Miles Teller

    Caption: I still very much have my NYU loans

    7. Gina Rodriguez

    Caption: I paid it off last year on the day I got nominated for my second Golden Globe

    8. Kerry Washington

    "I'm here, not just as an actress, but as a person who could not have afforded college without the help of student loans"

    9. Roxane Gay

    Caption: Repayment seemed like a vague, distant concept in large part because I could not fathom being able to repay such staggering amounts of money.

    10. Pete Buttigieg

    Caption: "Between the teacher training programs Chasten was in as well as his bachelor's and master's, it's left us with a lot of debt"

    11. Kate Walsh

    "The only way I was, honestly, able to pay off my student loans was at age 37, because I happened to get on a big, fat TV show"

    12. Cecil Shorts III

    Caption: I didn't think much of it at the time, but instead of getting those scholarship checks, we'd have jobs in the offseason"

    13. Martin O'Malley

    Caption: "I'm blessed with strong-willed women in my life. I wanted my daughters to go in-state. But I lost the vote.”