GREENSBORO, NC - Student loans and mortgages; two of the biggest debts the average person might collect over their lifetime. It can be difficult to get out from under those kinds of debts.
THE QUESTION: Recently, a 2 Wants to Know viewer reached out with a question. She was playing a game called Givling, which claims to pay off student loans and/or mortgages. The viewer wanted to know, was this accurate or a scam?
THE PROCESS: We reached out to the Owner/Founder of the company, Lizbeth Pratt and the Chief Marketing Officer, Seth Beard, for an explanation.
The app, played on any smartphone, is a trivia game started by Pratt in 2015. She wanted to get involved with a cause, after filing for bankruptcy herself. Pratt started fresh and changed her life and thought people with debt should have the same opportunity.
“We’re simply on a mission to help eliminate financial suffering,” said Beard.
The Givling app is free to download and play for anyone 18 years and older. To sign up for the app, the user needs a code, which can be found by searching #givlingcode or by emailing the company (or you can use the code I received after signing up to verify the game, HF972319.) Once signed up, the user answers two trivia questions. After the two free rounds of play, the user has the option to watch an advertisement.
Users are award points for playing the game, interacting with ads and inviting friends to play. Each point earned is a chance to have their name selected during a random drawing.
“We pay up to $50,000 in federal or private student loans or a combination of those,” said Beard.
Mark Scott, a Marine from Arden, NC, won and had his loans paid off up in the amount of $17,000. If the user doesn't have a student loan, they can opt to use the money to pay off a mortgage up to $25,000.
You can play the game if you don’t have loans and if you are randomly selected, you can opt to give your spot to someone else.
In addition, each day a user can be assigned to a team and answer questions to rack up points. The team competes to win hundreds or sometimes thousands of dollars a day in the daily cash pot. The money won in the daily cash pot can be used towards loans or anything else.
“We recently had someone blow their tire out,” Beard explained, “and they emailed us and told us this was a nice gift for them to be able to buy new tires for their car.”
So far, Givling has paid $614,375 towards loans and daily cash awards. Nine student loans have been paid in full and one person received $25,000 towards a mortgage.
Beard said they hope to reach a point where they can pay several student loans off a month for people.
While there’s no cost to play, Givling users can purchase coins for 50 cents and continue to play after their two free rounds of play. The Givling coin purchases, advertising revenue and money from partners is how the app makes money to pay people’s loans.
There’s three ways a person can be selected to have their loan paid off. A random drawing, the queue (your spot in line after signing up for the app) and top funders (people who regularly purchases coins.) Each time Givling raises $50,000, they rotate between a random drawing, the queue and top funders.
The user never enters any private information into the app unless they are chosen to have a loan paid off. Givling will then reach out the user, collect their student loan or mortgage information and then work directly with the lender to pay off the debt.
So far, there’s 200,000 registered Givling users, with 30,000 people playing a day. There’s no guarantee that playing the game will result in a loan payoff, but Beard hopes the app continues to grow, allowing them to help more people.
“That’s essentially how it works, the more people that play, the more people we can help because we’re bringing in more money from advertising revenue.”
THE RESULT: We can verify, the app can help people pay off their loans, even though it’s a small chance of winning right now. But, there’s a better chance someone could win a daily cash pot award, which can be useful.