(CNN)You’ve might have heard the statistic. As many as 45 million Americans have student loan debt — amounting to about $1.49 trillion total .

Sen. Elizabeth Warren has made tackling student debt part of her 2020 presidential platform , and has encouraged people to share their stories with the hashtag #CancelMyDebt.

CNN reached out to some of these people, and they all agreed on one thing. They’re tired of others telling them they should have made better decisions, because they think the current system has set them up to fail. Here’s what they said: Amber Deel said she has around $100,000 in student loan debt, and it’s a burden that has put her future on standstill.

Deel was raised by her grandmother in the small southwest Virginia town of Clintwood, and money was often tight. There weren’t a lot of opportunities in the area, but Deel made good grades and scored well on the SAT.

When it came time to apply to college, she said her guidance counselors recommended she attend a private college rather than take the full ride that the University of Virginia’s College at Wise offered her. Taking out student loans was considered normal, and she figured eventually she’d be able to find a job that would allow her to pay them off.

"That’s what you had to do to get out of poverty. That’s what you had to do to get out of the region and find a good job and have a good life," Deel said she was told. I grew up in poverty. My grandmother raised me on less than $800 a month. And I was always told that college would be my way out and taking student loans was just a normal part of that. Instead I am now around $100,000 in debt and still fighting for my way out. #CancelMyDebt — amber deel (@amberd1991) May 22, 2019 She said no one mentioned the state of the economy and the job market at the time.

Deel was the first person in her family to go to college, so she took the advice and enrolled at Tusculum University, a […]

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