The US presidents who were horrible with money

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In the current campaign for the U.S. presidency, politicians and the media have sometimes scrutinized candidates' finances. Martin O'Malley's massive student loan debt — nearly $340,000 — got a lot of attention as he outlined his plans to make college more affordable. In 2010, Sen. Marco Rubio caught flak for making personal purchases on his credit card from the Florida Republican Party while reportedly going through some financial struggles, and that scandal has returned to the spotlight as he continues to vie for the Oval Office.

If, for example, Rubio became president, he wouldn't be the first in our nation's history to have had personal finance problems. Like many Americans, some of the country's leaders struggled to succeed in business, repay debts and stay on top of their budgets (we're talking about personal ones here, not the national budget). Here are a few past presidents for whom money was a regular headache, according to some presidential historians.

RELATED: US presidents' zodiac signs

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U.S. presidents' zodiac signs
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The US presidents who were horrible with money

John Tyler - #43

Sign: Aries
Date of Birth: March 29, 1790

Common Aries traits: curious, energetic, strong initiative, can be impulsive

(Photo by GraphicaArtis/Getty Images)

Thomas Jefferson - #42

Sign: Aries
Date of Birth: April 13, 1743

Common Aries traits: curious, energetic, strong initiative, can be impulsive

(Photo by GraphicaArtis/Getty Images)

James Buchanan - #41

Sign: Taurus
Date of Birth: April 23, 1791

Common Taurus traits: methodical, patient, seek stability, can be stubborn

(Photo by National Archive/Newsmakers)

Ulysses S. Grant - #40

Sign: Taurus
Date of Birth: April 27, 1822

Common Taurus traits: methodical, patient, seek stability, can be stubborn

(Photo by Kean Collection/Getty Images)

James Monroe - #39

Sign: Taurus
Date of Birth: April 28, 1758

Common Taurus traits: methodical, patient, seek stability, can be stubborn

(Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)

Harry S. Truman - #38

Sign: Taurus
Date of Birth: May 8, 1884

Common Taurus traits: methodical, patient, seek stability, can be stubborn

(Photo by Stock Montage/Getty Images)

John F. Kennedy - #37

Sign: Gemini
Date of Birth: May 29, 1917

Common Gemini traits: communicative, social, versatile, can be indecisive

(AP Photo)

George H. W. Bush - #36

Sign: Gemini
Date of Birth: June 12, 1924

Common Gemini traits: communicative, social, versatile, can be indecisive

(AP Photo/Charles Tasnadi, File)

Calvin Coolidge - #35

Sign: Cancer
Date of Birth: July 4, 1872

Common Cancer traits: loyal, protective, creative, can be pessimistic

(Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)

George W. Bush - #34

Sign: Cancer
Date of Birth: July 6, 1946

Common Cancer traits: loyal, protective, creative, can be pessimistic

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

John Quincy Adams - #33

Sign: Cancer
Date of Birth: July 11, 1767

Common Cancer traits: loyal, protective, creative, can be pessimistic

(Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

Gerald Ford - #32

Sign: Cancer
Date of Birth: July 14, 1913

Common Cancer traits: loyal, protective, creative, can be pessimistic

(Photo by David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images)

Barack Obama - #31

Sign: Leo
Date of Birth: August 4, 1961

Common Leo traits: proud, loving, see the big picture, can be arrogant and headstrong

(Photo by Chuck Kennedy/MCT/MCT via Getty Images)

Herbert Hoover - #30

Sign: Leo
Date of Birth: August 10, 1874

Common Leo traits: proud, loving, see the big picture, can be arrogant and headstrong

(Photo by Stock Montage/Stock Montage/Getty Images)

Bill Clinton - #29

Sign: Leo
Date of Birth: August 19, 1946

Common Leo traits: proud, loving, see the big picture, can be arrogant and headstrong

(Photo credit should read TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Benjamin Harrison - #28

Sign: Leo
Date of Birth: August 20, 1833

Common Leo traits: proud, loving, see the big picture, can be arrogant and headstrong

(Photo by National Archive/Newsmakers)

Lyndon Baines Johnson - #27

Sign: Virgo
Date of Birth: August 27, 1908

Common Virgo traits: meticulous, good-natured, modest, can be judgmental

(AP photo/Henry Burroughs)

William Howard Taft - #26

Sign: Virgo
Date of Birth: September 15, 1857

Common Virgo traits: meticulous, good-natured, modest, can be judgmental

(AP Photo)

Jimmy Carter - #25

Sign: Libra
Date of Birth: October 1, 1924

Common Libra traits: just, seek balance, diplomatic, can be indecisive

(AP Photo/Ira Schwarz)

Rutherford B. Hayes - #24

Sign: Libra
Date of Birth: October 4, 1822

Common Libra traits: just, seek balance, diplomatic, can be indecisive

(AP Photo)

Chester A. Arthur - #23

Sign: Libra
Date of Birth: October 5, 1829

Common Libra traits: just, seek balance, diplomatic, can be indecisive

(Photo by National Archive/Newsmakers)

Dwight D. Eisenhower - #22

Sign: Libra
Date of Birth: October 14, 1890

Common Libra traits: just, seek balance, diplomatic, can be indecisive

(AP Photo/Harvey Georges)

Theodore Roosevelt - #21

Sign: Scorpio
Date of Birth: October 27, 1858

Common Scorpio traits: discerning, ambitious, focused, can be vindictive

(AP Photo)

John Adams - #20

Sign: Scorpio
Date of Birth: October 30, 1735

Common Scorpio traits: discerning, ambitious, focused, can be vindictive

(Courtesy of the National Archives/Newsmakers)

James K. Polk - #19

Sign: Scorpio
Date of Birth: November 2, 1795

Common Scorpio traits: discerning, ambitious, focused, can be vindictive

(Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty images)

Warren G. Harding - #18

Sign: Scorpio
Date of Birth: November 2, 1865

Common Scorpio traits: discerning, ambitious, focused, can be vindictive

(Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

James A. Garfield - #17

Sign: Scorpio
Date of Birth: November 19, 1831

Common Scorpio traits: discerning, ambitious, focused, can be vindictive

(AP Photo)

Franklin Pierce - #16

Sign: Sagittarius
Date of Birth: November 23, 1804

Common Sagittarius traits: intelligent, creative, adventurous, can be impatient

(Photo by Stock Montage/Stock Montage/Getty Images)

Zachary Taylor - #15

Sign: Sagittarius
Date of Birth: November 24, 1784

Common Sagittarius traits: intelligent, creative, adventurous, can be impatient

(Photo by National Archive/Newsmakers)

Martin Van Buren - #14

Sign: Sagittarius
Date of Birth: December 5, 1782

Common Sagittarius traits: intelligent, creative, adventurous, can be impatient

(Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Woodrow Wilson - #13

Sign: Capricorn
Date of Birth: December 28, 1856

Common Capricorn traits: driven, decisive, intellectual, can be detached

(Photo by: Liverani/Andia/UIG via Getty Images)

Andrew Johnson - #12

Sign: Capricorn
Date of Birth: December 29, 1808

Common Capricorn traits: driven, decisive, intellectual, can be detached

(Library of Congress)

Millard Fillmore - #11

Sign: Capricorn
Date of Birth: January 7, 1800

Common Capricorn traits: driven, decisive, intellectual, can be detached

(Courtesy of the National Archives/Newsmakers)

Richard Nixon - #10

Sign: Capricorn
Date of Birth: January 9, 1913

Common Capricorn traits: driven, decisive, intellectual, can be detached

(AP Photo)

William McKinley - #9

Sign: Aquarius
Date of Birth: January 29, 1843

Common Aquarius traits: generous, friendly, inventive, can be aloof

(Photo by Underwood Archives/Getty Images)

Franklin D. Roosevelt - #8

Sign: Aquarius
Date of Birth: January 30, 1882

Common Aquarius traits: generous, friendly, inventive, can be aloof

(Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

William Henry Harrison - #7

Sign: Aquarius
Date of Birth: February 9, 1773

Common Aquarius traits: generous, friendly, inventive, can be aloof

(Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Ronald Reagan - #6

Sign: Aquarius
Date of Birth: February 11, 1911

Common Aquarius traits: generous, friendly, inventive, can be aloof

(Photo by David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images)

Abraham Lincoln - #5

Sign: Aquarius
Date of Birth: February 12, 1809

Common Aquarius traits: generous, friendly, inventive, can be aloof

(Photo by National Archive/Newsmakers)

George Washington - #4

Sign: Pisces
Date of Birth: February 22, 1732

Common Pisces traits: dedicated, imaginative, empathetic, can be overly sensitive

(Photo by Roger Viollet Collection/Getty Images)

Andrew Jackson - #3

Sign: Pisces
Date of Birth: March 15, 1767

Common Pisces traits: dedicated, imaginative, empathetic, can be overly sensitive

(Photo by Library Of Congress/Getty Images)

James Madison - #2

Sign: Pisces
Date of Birth: March 16, 1751

Common Pisces traits: dedicated, imaginative, empathetic, can be overly sensitive

(Photo by National Archive/Newsmakers)

Grover Cleveland - #1

Sign: Pisces
Date of Birth: March 18, 1837

Common Pisces traits: dedicated, imaginative, empathetic, can be overly sensitive

(Courtesy of the National Archives/Newsmakers)

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Thomas Jefferson (3rd President, 1801-1809)

It's no secret that Jefferson died in debt.

"Well, it wasn't all his fault," said Peter Onuf, the Thomas Jefferson professor of history emeritus at the University of Virginia. "It's easy to moralize about his consumption and many historians have done so."

It's true that Jefferson liked nice things, but he also found himself in unfortunate circumstances beyond his control. He married into debt his father-in-law owed to British creditors, and after his presidency, Jefferson co-signed a loan for his political protege (and his grandson's father-in-law), Wilson Cary Nicholas. When Nicholas defaulted on the $20,000 loan, Jefferson was on the hook.

"He died in debt to the tune of $100,000," Onuf said. "That was an extraordinary amount of money, meaning the estate had to be liquidated and the slaves sold and the plantation sold."

Speaking of the plantation — Jefferson's farming skills didn't really help his situation. Onuf said Jefferson only focused on running the plantation for about a three-year period in the 1790s, and it was rarely profitable.

Ulysses S. Grant (18th President, 1869-1877)

Grant rose to prominence as a general in the Civil War, but before that, he wasn't doing so well.

"He went through a kind of series of jobs and was kind of a failure at everything until the Civil War," said Mike Purdy, presidential historian at PresidentialHistory.com.

Even after his presidency, his finances were in a dismal state, as he spent his life savings on a business venture that ended badly. "He ended up being defrauded by one of his business partners. He ended up declaring bankruptcy, actually," Purdy said.

Grant turned to writing to try and provide for his family, and his estate eventually got nearly half a million dollars for his memoirs. That, however, was no easy task.

"He's writing his memoirs, writing feverishly against the clock, because he was dying of throat cancer," Purdy said. He died days after finishing them.

Harry S. Truman (33rd President, 1945-1953)

Before entering politics, Truman opened a haberdashery with a friend, but it went bankrupt after about 3 years. It took him more than a decade to repay the related debts. After his presidency, he had no savings and only a small army pension to make ends meet.

"He never owned a house of his own, so when he got married to Bess they lived in her mother's house, and you know what, when Truman retired from the presidency they went back to Independence, Mo., and they lived in the house that had been her mother's house," Purdy said.

He made some money publishing his memoirs and selling property he had inherited from his mother. Truman eventually was one of the first presidents to receive a pension for having held the office, which helped him out of debt.

Do you face similar debt issues? It might be having an impact on your credit scores. Your credit utilization is the second most important factor in your credit score, and if you're spending over 30% of your limits, it may be dragging you down. You can check your credit utilization and get two of your credit scores for free every month on Credit.com.

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This article originally appeared on Credit.com.

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