By Jonathan Charles | Oct 03, 2012 12:44 PM EDT
A new app called Centz aims to help students to pay off their student loans faster by actually being paid to pay off the loan. The app was the winner in a competition sponsored by the U.S. Treasury Department, beating 300 other apps for the distinction.
Nicole Kendroit, a web designer, won $10,000 courtesy of the U.S. Treasury Department. The competition was called MyMoneyAppUp; it aims to help all Americans, not just students, to improve their skills in finance.
"As we work to improve the nation's financial capability, we must look to how technology is changing personal finance," Treasury Deputy Secretary Neal Wolin said on the competition.
Students are not just managing finances, however: the app lets them earn real money for reading finance articles and paying off more than the monthly minimum for the loan. New Jersey Business reported the money is from banks and loan providers, among other sources.
The app takes notes from Gym apps that ask users to commit money before working out. It means users that fail to reach weight loss milestones have money drawn out of cards, given to users that did reach their weight loss goals.
"They're a pain in the butt to manage. There are multiple services and due dates to keep track of and I have yet to find a great solution for viewing all my student loan information at the same time," Kendrot added. She has degrees in art history and library science.
A similar competition, called FinCapDev, will give applicants six months to build an app. June 2013 will see the winner, awarding $100,000. The money goes to starting up a company, resources, and advice. Developers will also get help from coders.
"What we like about Nicole's app, Centz, is that it's looking to to identify effective incentives to help consumers make smart financial choices. From the perspective of D2D (Doorways to Dream) and the Center for Financial Services Innovation, two organizations that have been living in the [financial] space for some time, that's going to be very interesting to watch," Chief Executive of the Doorways to Dream Fund Timothy Falcke also said. D2D was the co-sponsor of the MyMoneyAppUp competition.
When the app will be available is unknown, though it is developed for iOS and Android.
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