New reality game show will help contestants pay off student loans

New reality game show will help contestants pay off student loans
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A new reality television game show will help contestants pay off their student debt.

“Paid Off,” a new show from comedian Michael Torpey and TruTV, hopes to highlight how many young Americans and college graduates are struggling to pay off education loans, The Washington Post reported Monday.

Three contestants will answer trivia questions, often with an education or college-related twist. 

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Participants must have college debt to play, the newspaper reported.

TruTV will pay up to 100 percent of their loans depending on how well a contestant performs in the speed round.

Producers tried to pay the debt-holder directly but found the logistics too difficult, the newspaper noted. Contestants will walk away with checks instead.

The show will have a comedy spin but hopes to raise awareness about the state of student loan debt in America, Torpey told the Post.

“One of the mantras is ‘an absurd show to match an absurd crisis,’ ” Torpey, who also hosts the program, said. “A game show feels really apt because this is the state of things right now.”

According to the Post, more than 44 million Americans carry student loan debt with the average carrying $37,000 in loans. In total, the nation has roughly $1.3 trillion in student loan debt.

Torpey said he is hoping to make the cost of higher education a primary political issue, regardless of party affiliation. 

“Call your representatives right now and tell them you need a better solution than this game show," Torpey says at the end of each episode.

The Hill has reached out to the U.S. Department of Education for comment. 

The struggle hits close to home for Torpey, who struggled to help pay off his wife’s debt from her undergraduate and graduate degrees.

It wasn’t until he made money from an underwear ad that they were able to pay off her outstanding debt.

“I know what we are doing is a little ridiculous,” Torpey said. “But, in a way, the show matched my family’s story. The only way we could pay off student loans was because I booked an underpants ad? That’s insane.” 

The 16-episode series, “Paid Off,” will premiere Tuesday on TruTV.