What if paying off your debt wasn't simply a dry exercise in number crunching but a fun and interactive game? Glim strives to revolutionize the debt repayment process by empowering users take control of their financial lives. Through the use of a friendly, interactive mascot and persistent notifications that learns your behavior, we make debt seem less daunting.

Credit card debt plagues a large portion of the United States population with high interest rates and non-active notifications for payments, often allowing credit card holders to be negligent about their debt. While a healthy portion of credit card users are transactors (30.4%), most credit card users are revolvers (43.8%). In other words, most people are not paying off what they directly owe to credit cards companies and are putting balances off to have interest tacked onto them.

When average interest rates run around 16.86% and can run as high as 30%, this balance can accumulate quickly. The credit card companies aren't going to remind you how quickly the bills stack up - so we're going to.

What it does

If you procrastinate on paying back your debts, you will be notified that "You really should be paying this back. You racked up $14.47 in interest the past month."

Is that too harsh? You can also switch to Zen mode for more friendly reminders such as: "Try to get in your next credit card payment! It's due November 25!"

As you keep streaks on paying the debts in time, you will grow with your otter and you can customize with in-app currency. The emotional bond is there to support both yourself and your virtual furry friend. Current research about similar approaches indicates that the humorous and dynamic component of these notifications helps users get more engaged with product, and hence the debt repayment process.

How we built it

We used Sketch to model the design of the app and to develop our mascot, Otto. We used React Native to build the mobile application and Github to share our code.

Challenges we ran into

Getting all the infrastructure set up to develop this app took longer than we all previously thought. We learned the importance of planning ahead to make sure we hit the grown running (or coding!) when we meet as a team. Likewise, we also found it challenging to divide the workload into small, discrete tasks: this is another area where early planning would be a huge help.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We're proud of creating an application that is mission driven and gives people agency over their own financial lives. We have implemented most of the features that we have planned on. We're also proud of deepening our understanding of mobile development tools like React Native and Javascript. Lastly, we're proud that we all managed to fall asleep in some very interesting resting positions.

What we learned

This Hackathon was definitely an educational experience for all of us. For those of us working with mobile development for the first time, we realized how time-consuming and difficult the process of installing dependencies and software can be. We also learned the importance of conceptualizing of a minimum viable product and prioritizing all tasks and functions that relate to said product. We can't expect ourselves to implement all of our ideas in one night--no matter how much caffeine!

What's next for Team - 1

We have several ideas we'd like to implement with Glim in the future.

  1. We'd like to make it easier for users to add credit cards. Instead of manually inputting credit card information, we might use APIs from credit card companies in order to automatically get their credit card information given the credit card number.
  2. We'd like to add options for different kinds of debt and financial obligations so that the user could keep track of that if the so please.
  3. We'd add a payment planner so that if the user is interested in ways they can pay out their debt, the app shows them in what ways it can be done.
  4. We'd like to develop a smarter algorithm for pushing notifications so that the tone and frequency can be adjusted in accordance with user responses.
  5. We'd also like to add more dynamic data visualization functions, wherein users are provided with graphs and infographics depicting their debt over time.
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