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Why We Love
May 5, 2023

Why We Love Shady Sam

Ever wanted to learn more about loans but were quickly overwhelmed and confused by all the math and jargon? Have you ever worried about choosing a safe and trustworthy loan provider? Shady Sam is here to teach you all about predatory lending!

Here’s why we love Shady Sam

1) It actually makes finance fun

In this free online game created by NGPF, you play as a newbie loan shark working for Shady Sam. The whole game only takes about ten minutes to play, and the included tutorials are both educational and entertaining. You even get to choose cute little desk decorations when you do well! Shady Sam makes learning how to manage money and debt fun and easy!

2) It's great for visual and experiential learners

Shady Sam’s pixel art visuals and engaging gameplay is perfect for anyone who learns best by doing or watching. Your job as the player is to choose between three loan options for each client who comes in. The loan options are presented as helpful cards on screen, and the characters who borrow from you are both colorful and memorable. Choose the plan that makes Shady Sam the most money in interest and fees, and you win!

Screenshot from the free online finance game Shady Sam, where player has to make a choice between three loan options for a potential customer
A screenshot from Shady Sam showing an example of gameplay. The player clicks the loan option they think will generate the most interest.

3) It clearly communicates the dangers of long loan terms and payday loans

Shady Sam shows players firsthand how loan payment terms can drastically increase the total amount you have to pay in interest. In the game, Shady Sam’s sketchy business practices clearly demonstrate how interest rates and monthly payments can easily be outweighed by a lengthy payment schedule. Especially for those trying to avoid a financially dependent situation, rebuild credit, or leave a financially abusive relationship, learning how to avoid predatory lending is crucial.

Shady Sam also educates players about the dangers of payday loans that disguise high interest rates as one-time fees, surprise fees that can be hidden in fine print, adjustable rate mortgages, and more, all within the fun and simple gameplay.

Try playing Shady Sam here! Click the info button on the game screen to access more information as well as companion worksheets for teachers and educators.

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Board member, David Stock, and CEO, Stacy Sawin, sitting and talking outside
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