BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -Americans owe a staggering $1.3 trillion in student loans.
“The average student loan payment is about $333 a month,” says financial advisor Callie Jowers with the Welch Group.
The loans are typically meant to be paid off in the ten years following graduation. But that doesn’t usually happen now, with loans in the tens of thousands.
“It’s just so overwhelming and it can be very paralyzing to even think about,” says Jowers.
Callie Jowers with the Welch Group knew what to do. She graduated college almost 10 years ago and has just about paid her loans off.
“You know, I made some sacrifices early on in order to pay more in the beginning.”
And many students may need to do the same. But for those who didn’t, there’s an app that might help. Givling is a trivia app where users play to win money for their student loans or a mortgage. But don’t worry, you don’t have to be a whiz kid to play.
“You can actually win if you’re terrible at trivia!” says Givling’s Chief Marketing Officer Seth Beard.
He says you don’t have to spend money to win. The app has paid out $2.5 million to winners over the last four years. Most of that money has been doled out since September as its popularity, and the brand, have grown. But they make sure the money goes where it’s supposed to.
“We’ll get their documentation about their student loan payment and then we just submit that payment directly to the lender,” says Beard.
Testimonies on their Facebook page talk about lives being changed. It certainly is a freeing feeling. But Jowers warns--students should have a plan in place before graduating.
“Sometimes you might actually have to work and pay for those classes out of pocket. But there are just some questions that parents need to be talking to their children about what do you want to do and how does that look in the real world?” says Jowers.
Givling has over 80 sponsors that help fund the loan payouts. The app was created by Lizbeth Pratt, who declared bankruptcy and was able to not only get back on her feet, but retired early. This was her way of giving back.