Obama became the leader of the free world, but he didn't grow up rich. He and his wife Michelle both had to take out loans to fund their educations, and the couple had "barely finished" paying them off by 2005, when he was 44 and she was 41.
The President told an audience in Buffalo, NY:
Michelle and I, we're only where we are today because scholarships and student loans gave us a shot at a great education.
And we know a little bit about trying to pay back student loans, too, because we didn't come from a wealthy family. So we each graduated from college and law school with a mountain of debt. And even though we got good jobs, we barely finished paying it off just before I was elected to the U.S. Senate. ...
I mean, I was in my 40s when we finished paying off our debt. And we should have been saving for Malia and Sasha by that time. But we were still paying off what we had gotten, and we were luckier because most of the debt was from law school. Our undergraduate debt was not as great because tuition had not started shooting up as high.