“We do seem like we’re too good to be true,” begins a representative in a video on the Givling website. Givling players can actually win cash prizes or eradicate debt while helping other people pay off their student loans with crowdfunding.
The fast-paced trivia game allows players to win cash and end student debt all at the same time. For gamers, the first two plays every 24-hours are free, so anyone can try and play at least a couple times every single day.
By signing up for an account, Givling creates a Queue number and can pay off a student loan up to $50,000 or a mortgage up to $25,000. Queues can also be sold or given away to other players.
Each time someone plays the game, the player joins a randomly chosen funding team and then answers true or false questions until they lose. The more correct answers, the higher the score.
In the past few years, Givling has paid over $3,350,000 in student loan and mortgage payments, according to the Givling homepage.
The Origin of Givling
The California-based company wanted to tackle the nation’s $1.4 trillion student loan debt with a game. Beyond the first two free rounds, players pay $0.50 per round to play trivia, covering topics like current events and pop culture. Much like baseball, you get three strikes, and you’re out.
Logistically speaking, every player is grouped randomly into a team of three. At noon each and every day, the highest-scoring team receives a cash payout, but that’s only a portion of the money channeling through the system.
Wired’s Rob Boggard writes:
“If you’re carrying student loans, you can also sign up with Givling—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 the 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.”
It sounds simple, but based on the fact that nearly everyone has a smartphone and a high percentage of people play games on their phones, trivia games can mean big business for game designers. To put it in perspective, 2014’s QuizUp raised $22 million in capital funding.
iTunes and Android Reviews
The Givling app is currently #143 in Trivia in the iTunes App Store with an average rating of 4.7/5. The app is currently rated 4.3/5 in the Google Play store where the app is available for download to Android users.
Business Insider writes, “So far, Givling players seem to be excited about the chance to have their loans paid off.”
On iTunes, some of the reviews read, “Love what’s it’s doing, love the mission,” and “They’ve made it so easy to contribute funds to the queue, and it doesn’t cost me a dime!” which likely comes from a player who uses the daily free rounds.
One top review reads, “If you think about it, the only thing we have to fight student loan companies is time. Because that’s how student loan companies win. How long does it take you to pay back your student loan? Interest is the enemy…”
On Android, the reviews are based around a few glitches in the Givling app. “The app is extremely glitchy” and “Likelihood of actually getting your loans paid off is slim…”
Based on the various reviews from the game, which mainly focus on the logistics behind the design and functionality, there are also many realists playing the game for fun, rather than hoping for a big payout.
As a single entity, Givling may “represent…false hope for the vast majority of borrowers,” but this could merely be the beginning for the do-go platform.
The Truth About Winning a Loan Payout
While the idea behind the Givling app is compelling in theory, it’s a bit like playing the lottery. However, as mentioned in the iTunes review above, if you like trivia games and have the willpower to only play two rounds per day for free, you can help the overall cause in a fun way without having to lose any money.
In terms of actually getting your loans paid off, however, it’s not something anyone should hold their breath for. Still, the number of borrowers they’ve helped has been growing. As of June 2019, Givling had paid off loans totaling more than $3.3 million, and the current loan amount being paid is $3,567. As of this writing, the current weekly award is $38,493.