Financial Aid

Pay Off Student Loan Debt on New Game Show, “Paid Off”

Kathryn Knight Randolph

July 10, 2018

Pay Off Student Loan Debt on New Game Show, “Paid Off”
Contestants answer trivia questions in quest to eliminate student loans.
Let’s be honest about something: paying off student loan debt is not fun. It takes years of hard work, savings and patience – but a new game show is hoping to change all of that. Premiering on Tru TV on July 10, “Paid Off” aims to transform the repayment process for a few of the 44 million Americans that owe some type of student loan debt. Comedian Michael Torpey, from Orange is the New Black, is not only the host of the new game show but the brains behind the idea. The premise of the show allows three college graduates with student loan debt to compete against one another in a fast-paced, trivia-based game. At the end of the show, the winner will have their student loan debt completely wiped out. According to Yahoo, contestants will be able to win anywhere from $20,000 – 80,000, and there are 16 episodes in the new series.
Torpey told Yahoo that student loan debt became personal for him when he married his wife. He said in an interview, “I really started learning about student debt when I met my wife. She owed around $40,000 in loans and she was making it work, she was hustling, babysitting on the weekends, but it was definitely something that was slowing down her career and holding her back from the things she had gone to college to learn.” Fortunately, Torpey was able to book his first national advertising campaign around this time and saved enough to pay off his wife’s student debt. Now, he realizes that not everyone is so lucky. In his interview with Yahoo, he said, “[Orange is the New Black] woke me up to the idea of a show being satisfying in an entertainment way, and also in a social justice way. I had the gift of speaking with women who had been in prison and who talked about what the show meant to them and how they felt seen. I think with “Paid Off” I found another way to combine those two things. I wanted to tackle this crisis that is absolutely ridiculous and make a show that is just as ridiculous to match.” While not every person with student loan debt will have a chance to eliminate it with a game show, there are strategies that every borrower can implement in order to pay off student loan debt faster:
  • Pay student loans with the highest interest rate. Some debt repayment plans emphasize paying off the loan with the smallest balance to provide some momentum and a sense of accomplishment; however, you will save more money in the long run by paying off the loans with the highest interest rates first.
  • Make extra payments. When it comes to extra payments, a little bit goes a long way. Making extra payments here and there can help you achieve paying off student debt faster.
  • Supplement your income. Finally, if you really want to tackle student loan debt, supplement your income with an extra job. You can look into babysitting, retail or dog-walking. Utilize the extra income to make two student loan payments each month.

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