It’s personal: Obamas carried $120,000 student loan debt for decades

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10:53 PM  08/27/2013
Robby Soave

Reporter, The Daily  Caller


For President Obama, the student loan crisis  is personal.

The Obamas had not repaid all of their $120,000 student loan debts until his  election to the Senate in 2004.

In a series of speeches last week, Obama pushed for measures that he hopes  would force colleges to control costs for massively indebted students. He also  expressed the view that law school should only last two years, rather than  three.

These views are likely informed by Obama’s own college debts,  which were recently quantified by The Chicago Sun-Times.

Though Obama received a scholarship to attend Occidental College, the money  ran out after his freshman year. He paid the rest of his undergraduate tuition  through loans and assistance from his family.

Michelle Obama took out loans to pay for college at Princeton University and  Harvard University as well. The Obamas carried these debts for the first 25  years of their marriage.

The president and the first lady also racked up $40,000 each attending  Harvard Law School. Including undergraduate loans, the Obamas owed a combined  $120,000 after college.

They did not settle their debts until 2004, when Obama signed a $1.9 million  book deal to write “The  Audacity of Hope.” He was also elected to the U.S. Senate that year.

Cumulative outstanding student loan debt now totals $1 trillion — something  that many higher education analysts consider unsustainable. Still, legislators  fixed interest rates on student  loans to  financial markets over the summer, which will keep them low and incentivize  borrowing for at least a few years. (RELATED: Expert:  Student loan deal ‘basically self-defeating’)

One of Obama’s oft-touted proposals would forgive loan debt if graduates  instead repaid a portion of their income for a long enough period of  time

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