1.5 trillion student loan left to pay!!
There exists a ton of websites that provide resources on how to manage student loans. However none of these websites provide a personalized strategy based on the unique financial picture of the student. With student loan default rate as high as 45%, we thought of building an assistant that would help a student manage student loans and guide them towards a debt free future.
Thus Pixy was born!!
What it does
Pixy is a conversational bot that monitors your finances and makes personalized recommendations helping you proactively manage your student debt.
It provides actionable insights by suggesting additional monthly payments towards student loans based on income and expenses. It will tell you the exact interest you would save by making the additional payment.
It helps cultivate money-saving habits by detecting high spending on certain categories. It shows the potential savings one would have received if that money was spent towards paying off the loan.
Pixy motivates you to pay your debt faster by rewarding you each time you pay your payments on time.
It also proactively monitors the best refinancing options on the market and recommends ideal options with potential savings
How we built it
Our backend is built using the Flask web framework. We have used the Plaid python SDK to connect to the students financial institutions. PostgresSQL is our primary datastore. The entire stack is hosted on Heroku. We have implemented webhooks to receive messages from the Facebook messenger API.
Challenges we ran into
Since this was our first time building a chat bot we had to start with the very basics of building a chat bot. Understanding the entire workflow of chat bot took us some time.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We built our first chat bot!! We were able to build a chat workflow with intent identification.
What we learned
While researching the student debt problem, we got a better understanding of the issue and how students struggle to meet their financial goals. We also learnt how to built a chat bot.
What's next for Pixy
We want to make Pixy available across multiple platforms such as Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Siri. We plan to provide debt counseling as part of our offerings as well.