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These ten celebrities with student loan debt will surprise you, but before their success, student debt has hit each of them in different ways. How did they take this journey and turn it into something that they can express to their fans or followers?
From Barack Obama to Kerry Washington, these celebrities have used their spotlight to talk about the very real struggles that they have been through when it came to paying back their debts, no matter how experienced or talented they are today.
Discovered to be true by her own husband's speech, Michelle Obama struggled with student loan debt. Barack Obama said, "Michelle and I, we're only where we are today because scholarships and student loans gave us a shot at a great education."
Attesting their education and their success to being able to take out a loan, Michelle Obama is the first on our list of the top celebrities with student loan debt. And in fact, her and her husband both paid their debts off together only 14 years ago.
Next, on our list of the top celebrities with student loan debt is Glee star, Jane Lynch. In an interview with CBD This Morning in 2012, Jane Lynch launched her new cause, which was for student debt awareness. Telling hosts Gayle King and Charlie Rose, Lynch told her own story of battling student loans. She said,
“It follows you through life, so it’s a really important decision to make as you’re about to go to college... for parent to make.”
And she completed her interview by mentioning the fact that student loan debt exceeds national credit card debt.
Kevin Bozeman is a celebrity that didn't pay his loans off until he reached his 40s. The stand-up comedian told U.S. News that he was on a repayment plan in 2015, despite his success in Hollywood. Most known for his appearance on the TV show Last Comic Standing, when joking about his debt he says,
"I got one thing out of college: bad credit. That was all I got, some student loans, man. I didn't know they wanted you to pay that back. I thought that was only if you graduated."
Known for his time on the popular TV show Saturday Night Live from 2003 to 2006, Finesse Mitchell is yet another one of the celebrities with student loan debt that have voiced their struggle. Before he became the comedian and actor he is known to be today, he gained his education from the University of Miami.
He even mentioned it during his act on the show. And in his own words, Mitchell says this about how the debt has made him feel, even despite his fame in Hollywood,
"I do know a lot about bill collectors. So, right now I'm speaking on behalf of all the people who ever took out a student loan for college, when I say, "Back up off me, Student CitiBank! Back up! Cause I know I'm late on my payments."
A wide receiver for the Tampa Bay Buccaneer, Cecil Shorts took out over $70,000 in student debt to pay for his education, unlike many athletes who receive an athletic scholarship. Even while working part-time jobs during school, the NFL player had about $30,000 left of his debt to pay by 2013, even after being signed with the Buccaneers in 2011.
He used his platform to express to those in school how important it is to work while getting your education, instead of focusing on the things in life that are not as important like partying. He says that he would have been in even more debt if he hadn't realized this.
Next, on our list of the top celebrities with student loan debt is Kerry Washington. Believe it or not, the Scandal star knows the struggle that it is to deal with student debt. In fact, she didn't finish paying them off until she landed the role she is so known for today, as Olivia Pope.
However, she praises students loans, and attests them to how she was able to afford college as an actress, a woman, an African-American, and the granddaughter of an Ellis Island immigrant.
In 2013, Obama gave a speech in which he mentioned the fact that he graduated from Harvard Law School with incredible loan debt. This took him years to pay off, no matter how smart or how experienced he was.
And it took him until he hit his 40s to pay the loans off completely. This was just before he became a part of the U.S. Senate. This even prevented him from saving for his own daughter's education.
Marco Rubio, the junior Senator for Florida, an American politician, and attorney. And as yet another one of the celebrities with student loan debt, Rubio too has expressed his struggles with the monster that is student debt. However, he too explained that his struggles also were the source that allowed him to gain his education. When talking about his degrees from Tarkio College, University of Florida, and the University of Miami Law School, he says,
"The only reason why I was able to go to college was because of federal grants and loans. But when I graduated from law school, I had close to $150,000 in student debt."
Known for her role in Grey's Anatomy, Kate Walsh too struggled with paying off her student loans from attending the University of Arizona. When asked about her loans in an interview with Refinery29 she said,
“I am a person who came out of college with, oh, jeez, just thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars in debt. And 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 called Grey’s Anatomy, and I was able to finally pay my student loan debt."
She even took her story one step further and used her passion for lowering education costs to campaign for the election. She encouraged her followers, friends, and fans to get out and vote for better education.
Last, but not least, on our list of celebrities with student loan debt, Miles Teller is an American actor most known for his roles in Footloose, Divergent, and Fantastic Four. Though his career has made him into a great success, he was actively paying off student loan debts from graduating from New York University for years. The debt was $100,000 in loans, but the time he made it to his senior year at college, he landed his first movie.
Even despite this impressive break, the Hollywood actor still could not pay his debt off, and was open and honest about it in an interview with Vulture. However, he did mention the fact that because the interest on his debt was low, he did not make it a priority. Not something that most Americans can look over easily, but he eventually paid them in full.