Sadness Olympics: New TruTV Game Show Aims to Help Student Debt

Student Debt Game Show

Earlier this week, television network TruTV debuted a curious new game show to its Tuesday lineup, with ‘Paid Off.” The conceit is simple, and, very apropos for 2018: three contestants will answer a series of trivia questions with the ultimate payoff of removing their student loan debt.

Like ‘Jeopardy!’, without the mystery of where the prize-money may be going, ‘Paid Off’ will focus solely on the mammoth and ever-increasing student loan debt hovering over the U.S., which is set to topple $1.5 trillion very soon, according to Student Loan Hero.

A recent survey from LendEDU found that the average American has $27,975 in student loans yet to be paid off, in addition to $5,472 of credit card debt. Among millennial Americans, however, the average credit card debt is even higher at $6,206. And while the majority of 23-38-year old’s do not have student loan debt, those who due are carrying a heavy financial burden, which can be found in the chart below:

In a recent interview with the Washington Post, host Michael Torpey (who’s face might be familiar to fans of the Netflix series Orange is the New Black) notes, “One of the mantras is ‘an absurd show to match an absurd crisis.’ A game show feels really apt because this is the state of things right now.” The student debt game show will air 16 episodes during its initial summer run.

The show’s creators aren’t trying to offer a whole-cloth solution to the student debt crisis, obviously. Rather, the theme is to help out a few with a new, novel concept. Although the unintended message may be troubling to some: seeing that the best solutions to massive debt isn’t provided to the them by the state, or the market; instead, the best bet is more of a lottery, parading the few victors in the swelling whirlpool. A Gladiator of sorts for the 21st century, with the violence turned way down but the positive desperation on full-screen.

Of course there are distinct methods you can utilize to tamper your student debt that don’t come with the flash of cable TV game show, including taking advantage of the litany of scholarships that schools around the country offer. As well, many companies provide the funding necessary to undertake a degree like an MBA while the student is employed, helping ameliorate the payoff immensely in a short window of time.

Or, you can make an Instagram for your pet if the novel route is more attractive to you.

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About the Author

Matthew Korman

Matthew Korman is a writer on MetroMBA. Since graduating from Rowan University with a degree in journalism and political science, Matthew has worked as a music industry writer and promoter, a data analyst, and with numerous academic institutions. His works have appeared in publications such as NPR and Sports Illustrated.

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