Mayor Pete Buttigieg and his husband Chasten. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Mayor Pete Buttigieg and his husband Chasten collectively have $131,296 of student debt, putting them among the 43 million people in the U.S. struggling with federal college loans, reports AP.
Why it matters: By sharing the specific amount of money he and his husband owe, Buttigieg makes the topic of college debt more personal. If elected, he'd be the first president with school loans — signifying how pervasive the issue has become, per AP.
The big picture: When Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) first ran for president in 2016, he launched a national discussion about free college education. It's an idea that greatly appeals to young voters who either just graduated or are still in school. It's something other 2020 candidates are trying to latch onto as a way to appeal to voters. They haven't all gone so far as saying they want college to be free.