Indiana man’s $33,000 student loan debt paid off — by trivia phone app

Jordan Shelton (WISH)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WISH) — One man from Indianapolis is calling himself lucky, after he got a check for more than $30,000 to pay off his loans – from a trivia phone app.

Jordan Shelton was eating lunch with his wife along Monument Circle, when he was surprised with a check from employees from the app, Givling.

On Givling, you can win daily cash prizes by scoring well in trivia contests, but you’re also helping pay off people’s student loans. Through ad revenue and in-app purchases, Givling helps pay off loans for 10 randomly selected app users at a time.

They’ve paid out five loans totaling more than half a million dollars so far.

Monday was Shelton’s turn.

Shelton has been out of college for a couple years and has been drowning in about $33,000 of debt. He has two part-time jobs and said his loans have blocked him from following his heart.

He and his wife want to do missionary work overseas, but without his loans paid off, they were nervous to make that commitment.

In fact, Shelton’s predicament is fairly common for people with student loans, according to Michael Lux, who runs the website Student Loan Sherpa, which gives advice to people looking to pay off their debt while living life.

“It affects your life decisions. Getting married, having children, buying a house, where you choose to live, where you can work,” Lux said.

There are more than 40 million Americans with student loan debt totaling about $1.23 trillion.

“It’s a huge impact on the day-to-day life of many millennials,” said Lux.

Shelton had been making monthly student loan payments but now said he can breathe a huge sigh of relief.

“It made me really remember to never give up on hope,” Shelton said. “…It really allows us to be able to not just dream about our long-term goals and what we want to do as a career, but to tangibly start planning for that.”

Shelton is thankful but said he’s very lucky because he knows millions of Americans are trying to figure out how to have that surreal moment of being debt-free.

With Shelton taken care of, there’s actually now going to be another opening on that queue for Givling.

It’s a free app to download and that spot will be filled Friday at random.

You can spend money to play more rounds of trivia, which will give you a better chance at winning that daily cash prize, but you can still play for free.

Shelton said he only spent about $5.

To Lux, Shelton’s check serves as one of the more surprising ways to pay off your loans.