Yes, I am in debt from my undergraduate degree at a private art college to the tune of about $70,000. I didn't amass much debt for my MFA because I took advantage of professional development perks at a previous teaching job, and they shouldered most of that cost. It was one of the reasons I stayed teaching there as long as I did. I pay monthly on my debt and have for over 10 years but not enough to reduce the principle; it stays the same or grows slightly each year. I don't know how I'll ever pay it off entirely, unless i come into some money somehow. It's one of the main reasons I haven't been able to buy a house of my own or make larger investments.
I teach; currently I'm a department chair at a private Arts Boarding School. It's a very expensive school and 50% of our student body is international (from 20 different countries). Previously I taught at another extremely exclusive private high school in Los Angeles. My students have been for the most part extremely wealthy and I see the economic disparity between their families and my economic situation on a daily basis. I keep this in mind without demonizing those who have wealth. After all, judging them for having more is akin to them judging me for having less.
Even as an undergraduate I knew better than to expect to ever be able to make a living off my practice as an artist. I chose to work in performance because I was more interested in concepts relating to political action and the body rather than the market. I knew it was a difficult practice to sustain, but I wanted to make the work I felt compelled to make, not the work I felt I needed to make to earn a living. For years I've resisted making object-based work because I didn't want to feed the commercially driven fine-art market. Now I see it's not that simple, and all art work connects back to market and cultural capital realities. I have found a gallery that accepts and supports the fact that I'm not a traditional "gallery" artist and that my work is not made with the commercial market in mind. In a way, my teaching has freed my art practice from these concerns and allowed me to make the work I feel compelled to make. At the same time, my teaching takes needed time and energy away from, yet also supports and feeds my practice, financially and otherwise. It's all connected.