Nov 27 2016

An Online Game That – ll Help Pay Off Your Student Debt #student #online #games

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An Online Game That’ll Help Pay Off Your Student Debt

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  • Author: Rob Boffard. Rob Boffard Business
  • Date of Publication: 03.03.15. 03.03.15
  • Time of Publication: 10:00 am. 10:00 am

An Online Game That ll Help Pay Off Your Student Debt

What if you could reduce student debt by playing an online trivia game?

The idea sounds absurd. But one California-based company, Givling, is trying to make it a reality. It’s a creative and slightly bizarre attempt to tackle the country s student debt, a problem that has now surpassed $1.2 trillion.

The setup is simple. People pay $0.50 to play a round of Givling’s web-based true-or-false trivia game, which spans topics ranging from current events to pop culture. Three wrong answers means you’re out, but if you’re good enough to keep going, you can potentially win some cash. Players are grouped randomly into teams of three, and at noon every day, there’s a cash payout for the highest-scoring team.

But not all the funds go to the winners. If you re carrying student loans, you can also sign up with Giving answering an open call on Facebook for a spot in a funding queue. Once the funds raised hit the $10 million mark, those at the top of queue receive $5 million to help pay off their loans. The remaining $4 million goes towards making the highest-scoring players millionaires, with the remaining $1m going on to fund further daily awards.

Trivia games may be simple in nature, but they’re big business. QuizUp, one of 2014’s biggest app successes, managed to raise $26m in venture capital funding, rocketing to the top of the iPhone and Android charts.

If Givling follows the path that QuizUp blazed, it could be a real boon for anybody deep in the debt hole. And it’s a big hole to climb out of. According to a recent report from credit firm Experian, the average amount borrowed by US graduates clocks in at $29,400 and unlike other types of debt, you generally can t get out of your student loans by filing for bankruptcy.

Alan Collinge is an activist who runs, an organization devoted to tackling student loan legislation. He’s spent plenty of time fighting to repay his own student debt, which shot from $38,000 to $100,000 after he defaulted. “The cost of college in the United States is just out of hand,” he says. “The attendant debt is absolutely ridiculous at this point, and there’s no statute of limitations, so they can get you for the rest of your life.”

Collinge says that while he hasn’t tried Givling himself, he thinks it faces an uphill battle. “If I’m being honest, I’d say it strikes me as a bit of a non-starter,” he says. “Stepping back and taking a larger view, it does nothing to address the problem of student loan debt generally, and deal with the predatory dynamics that have wreaked havoc on people. I give it an A+ for creativity though.”

What s more, the $0.50 per game is a hefty price-tag, and it comes with $0.30 transaction fee, which Givling say is levied by service providers (although players can buy games in bulk, with the fee remaining the same). But it’s a well-designed web app and crucially, it’s addictive, which could be the real key to its success.

Forty loan holders have already signed up, with outstanding loans ranging from $11,000 to $97,000, and the company is in the process of developing a mobile app to run alongside the web platform. Givling are aiming to launch in early March.


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