Slaying the Student Loan Debt Dragon, Video-Game Style
Getting through college is tough enough, but what about paying down the student loans you may have accumulated over the years? Plenty of vanilla mobile apps out there will help you manage debt or fix your finances, but they can be boring and uninspiring to say the least.
The good news is that with a little creativity and imagination (and an app for your smartphone), you can be in a better position to overcome student loans. In other words, you’re about to gamify your debt.
Real-Life Experience Points
There’s something to be said for video games, especially the ones that allow players to advance to the next level. Whether it is one more brick with Minecraft (*beta) or the next FarmVille level, being gradually rewarded while working toward a goal is something many people find addictive.
The problem is that these “victories” are just in the virtual world. What if there was a way to take this excitement and desire to reach the next level to real life?
There is! While some apps, like Chore Wars, are geared more toward children, the concept has been developed by others as well. Here are a few fun apps that make life more like a role-playing game where you earn experience points by completing tasks:
“Level up your life,” as their tag line says. This is basically a to-do list with the added feature of experience points. Some people definitely feel a psychological effect when they see a simple screen congratulating them on achieving the next step toward a goal.
To be used to slay student loan debt, this app might be set up with a list of tasks you need to complete to get the debts under control. From budgeting to finding extra ways to pay the loans down quicker, there are plenty of tasks you could use, allowing you to level up your way to financial freedom.
While similar to EpicWin, there are a few differences with this app. Users create a “life tree” that shows the important things in their lives and what they should be working on today.
Once again, while not specifically designed to work down student loan debts, that goal can easily be added to the tree that represents the life you want to grow—one where you’re not burdened by unpaid college loans.
While Mint.com doesn’t have an app version of its “Goals” yet, this game-like feature was added to their website and was really well-liked by members when it was released, with many begging for an app version. There’s no word yet on whether this will happen, but even without Goals as a game angle, Mint.com is still a great way to get a handle on your finances so you can work down your student debts.
Yes, student loan debt is a serious topic, but with a little fun and creativity, you can learn to win the game so you’re not held back by the debt you accumulated in college.
If you use any of these apps (or know of other great ones), let us know in the comment section!
Paul Smithson works for LeadBolt, a leading mobile ad network, where he is a level 42 writer with a +1 Keyboard of Wit.
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