Crippling Student Loan Debt? A New Game Show Will Pay It Off…If You Win

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Photo: truTV

Fact: Millennials aren’t broke because of avocado toast. They’re not buying homes (or having kids) or putting money into the economy because they’re trapped paying an egregious amount of money to student loans.

If you’re using a substantial amount of your paycheck to pay off your student debt each month, you likely already know you’re not alone. The average student loan borrower accumulates $37,172 in debt while attending school. This means 44 million Americans are now carrying roughly $1.3 trillion worth of student loan debt (collectively, of course).

Fortunately, an Orange Is The New Black actor more famous for his underwear gig is fighting the student loan crisis with a new game show. That’s right, actor/comedian/TV host Michael Torpey is debuting Paid Off on truTV on Tuesday. It’s premise? Alleviating winners of their entire student loan debt.

Some contestants have loans as high as $50,000. Can you imagine what kind of payment that would be? Even if re-financed on a ten-year plan, you’re looking at $416 per month — for another decade of your life. Paid Off could end the misery, all in seconds.

New York Times

This clever new quiz show has an interesting and pointed twist. Rather than compete just for money, the contestants are competing to pay down their student loan debt, and the prize in the final round is complete repayment of the winner’s loans. The games are well constructed — for example, is this a character from Thomas the Tank Engine or from Goodfellas? — and more clever than difficult.

The show is supposed to have some unconventional gameplay, but this segment appears to be a more fun version of Jeopardy.

According to the Federal Reserve, more than 16 million Americans owe $25,000 or more in student loan debt. If you have an outgoing personality and have loans, you need to do whatever it takes — anything short of breaking the law — to get on this show.


Josh Helmuth is a sports reporter in St. Louis who contributes to Mandatory.

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