The number of Americans graduating with student loan debt is not getting smaller.
$1.3 trillion of student loans are owed in the U.S. On average class of 2016 graduates finished school owing just over $37,000.
Are you a borrower feeling burdened by debt from school? Well, take it easy on yourself.
Even some of your favorite celebrities had to take out student loans. Some are still paying them back today!
Check out these celebrities who have or had student loan debt.
President Barack Obama
Even U.S. presidents have depended on financial assistance. President Obama finished Harvard with a significant amount of student debt. He didn’t pay it off until just before becoming a U.S. senator.
First Lady Michelle Obama also took out student loans. The Obamas say they would’ve rather been saving for their daughters’ education. Instead, they were paying back their loans.
President Obama’s Loan Forgiveness program was implemented in 2010. Obama forgiving student loans benefited borrowers in various ways. The program affected interest, end of term forgiveness and several other repayment factors.
NFL wide receiver Cecil Shorts didn’t receive an athletic scholarship. To pay for school he worked part time jobs and took out loans. His student loan debt totaled $70,000.
Shorts took jobs like cutting grass to help pay his tuition. He encourages students to work during school to minimize debt.
Actor Miles Teller is still paying off his student loan debt. Teller took out $100,000 while studying at New York Univerisity.
The actor has had starring roles in films like Fantastic Four. Despite his lucrative acting career Teller chooses not to pay his loans off.
He says his loans have very low interest rates. This he says, makes it pointless to pay off his debt early. Today, loans can be refinanced to lower than 3%.
Actress Kate Walsh plays on the show, Grey’s Anatomy. She graduated with thousands of dollars in student loans.
Walsh says her role on Grey’s enabled her to pay her debt. By the age of 37, she was student loan debt free.
Scandal star Kerry Washington had student loans well into her acting career. Her Scandal casting was when she managed to pay off her school debt.
Washington is the granddaughter of Ellis Island immigrants. She says she wouldn’t have been able to afford college without school loans.
You may know actress Jane Lynch from the hit show Glee.
Lynch attended a public university. She took out student loans to pay for some of her tuition. Her parents also helped her cover her school fees.
Lynch actually had to defer her loans a few times. However, she managed to pay them off by the age of 30.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz amassed over $100,000 in student loans. Cruz’s bill is typical for that of a law school graduate. Only a few years ago was he able to pay the loans off.
Another law school graduate, Marco Rubio, had close to $150,000 in school debt. Rubio says without federal grants and loans he couldn’t have afforded college.
Last Comic Standing comedian Kevin Bozeman fell behind on his repayment. The comedian says he didn’t realize he had to pay school loans back. Bozeman said he thought he was exempt since he didn’t graduate.
At one point Bozeman even had wages garnished. The University of Wisconsin graduate is now on a repayment plan.
You may not have the salary of a celebrity. But knowing their debt struggles can be encouraging to the average Joe.
One rule of thumb: pay off small amounts of your loan consistently. And if you’re having trouble repaying, communicate with your loaner. Responsible repayment strategies will help you to pay your debt faster and smarter.