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Local woman wins $11K in student loan money using free trivia app

Kayla Ventura and the Givling game
Posted at 5:48 AM, Jun 20, 2019

Kayla Ventura said she started playing Givling, a free trivia app, just for fun.

"I never thought I would win. I really like trivia. I grew up playing Jeopardy with my parents," said Ventura.

She is a physician assistant in general surgery and has six figures worth of student debt, but her trivia playing has paid off. She won $11,000 that can go toward paying off student debt.

Givling representatives said when you play their trivia games, you are actually crowd funding someone else's loan.

"Our solution may not be the one that completely eradicates student loan debt, so we need to have everybody on board," said Seth Beard, the chief marketing officer at Givling.

It's a long shot, but you can win up to $50,000 to pay off student loans. The founder of Givling thought of a unique way to tackle the debt crisis many are facing given student loans by "gamifying" it.

Private wealth manager Eric Cornell said there are other ways to deal with the debt. Before the fact, he recommends knowing exactly what type of loan you are getting, specifically whether it is subsidized or not.

After the fact, look at consolidating your loans at a lower interest rate. Also, make sure to research loan forgiveness for certain professions.

Finally, Cornell said don't always rush to pay it off. Make sure you're also saving for retirement.

"You don't want to overpay on student loans, making sure you are paying just the minimum amounts is fine because ultimately the interest rates are very, very low," said Cornell. "If you have a 3 or 4 percent student loan, you can be putting your money into a Roth IRA or 401K that earns 7,8,9 percent."

Ventura said she knows she simply got lucky.

"I would say relying on a trivia app is not a good strategy for smartly-attacking student debt," said Ventura. "Definitely the smartest way to attack debt is to pay the highest interest first and then work your way down."