For relatively dependent and underprivileged individuals, money and even basic necessities are hard to come buy. Due to oppressing short-term costs, they are forced to take loans from banks at outrageous interest rates. Once they use these loans, paying them back becomes increasingly difficult.
When one of our team members went to India last summer, they noticed the frequency of this notion was too high for liking. Those who wanted to have business operations and get out of the hole that these banks put them in had no chance, and an endless loop of high interest rates for small amounts of money took place.
What it does
Our mobile app, Lendr, allows individuals to request money from members of their community for their own personal loans. In addition to the feel-good factor of helping an individual off their feet, they also receive profit through a small interest rate, but one that is drastically more bearable than those of banks.
Lendr fosters a sense of community where everyone has each other's backs. The app is targeted to the lower class that has struggle financing short-term expenses, and uses incentives on both sides to streamline the process. People can either put out a loan request, or invest in another person's loan.
Other features to help both parties involved is metrics and graphs. Also, people can join family/friend groups to get crowdsourced from people they know.
How we built it
Built on an Android Application, the application used a MongoDB database linked to a flask application to take care of the back end. We create API endpoints so that the database calls would be easy and efficient to handle. The database schema was decided so that the least number of API calls would be needed from the Android application, which served as the Front-End. We also used several Android libraries like Volly to improve User Interface.
Challenges we ran into
Coming up with a schema that could handle this plethora of difficult was extremely challenging. We spent hours just drawing up designs for the database, before testing it out in MongoLab. Also, only one of us had experience in Android development, so creating a front-end was challenging. Finally, the loan payment system was something we had to iron out before hand, since reinsurance and legal issues tend to make their presence around apps such as ours.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud that a humanitarian aspect was combined with a money-making aspect. Also, the combination of the UI and the backend was seamless, and Flask was a really important factor in this.
What we learned
We learned how to work with Android Applications, and integrate them with REST APIs and python flask programs.
What's next for Lendr
We want to have indiviudal statistics and an AI bot that will help borrowers lower or raise their own interest rates?