Loaning money can be difficult, especially when interests rates are so high, and many loan sharks seem to have alterior motives when you can't find other means. Some groups have an increased difficulty due to their situation; they may be immigrants with a language barrier, refugees without a credit history, or people with a lower income striving for an education. What if there was an app that provided a trustworthy platform for more open minded loaners and put the focus back on benefitting borrowers as much as possible?
What it does
Lendr is a reverse-auction loan community where borrowers can post an amount of money they need to loan, and lenders bid on lower and lower interest rates; the lowest rate takes the deal. Lenders are matched to borrowers in a tinder-style queue. A lender can swipe right on a loan and make a bid for a lower interest rate if they find the profile of the loaner to be promising and trustworthy, or they can swipe left on the profile if they are not interested. This way, every loaner gets an ideal match with minimal interest charged and a personal connection to a lender. The process just becomes a lot more fun and welcoming.
How can the world of finance benefit from this idea? These loans and money transfers can take place on the platforms of financial institutions, and can help future customers build up a sense of responsibility. Banks can take action on the bidding too and earn some extra income. Keeping track of all actions occuring on the community can provide some interesting insights and analytics about the industry and the current state of the economy.
How we built it
Lendr is a web application built with the Node.js framework, the Express framework, and MySQL. We made use of the Cloud9 IDE for quick setup and collaboration. We also have a fancy landing page made with Wix.
Challenges we ran into
Sending information to ourselves from the frontend proved to be harder than we expected. We had to look into some hacks/workarounds and ended up settling on an invisible form method. We were all new to Node.js so that was also a challenge to get started on.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
A working product! We are excited to see how people will use and interact with our project.
What we'd do differently...
Node.js was rewarding to learn, but we would have worked on a mobile application if we had more time for the setup and learning curve. A full software stack such as MEAN would have made it easier to set up the database and build nicer looking views. We'd also like to reorganize and separate our code and implement a real sign-up/login process rather than having everything wide open.
What's next for Lendr
A mobile version for users on the go! Payments done completely through the app/website and/or partnerships with banks! Integration of algorithmic, real-time bidding! A media centre with testimonials, articles, and follow-ups from users! Machine learning to prioritize the loan match queue!