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SoFi and CommonBond are two student loan refinancing companies that offer flexible repayment terms and don’t charge origination fees or prepayment penalties. However, the two companies differ in some unique ways — especially when it comes to types of loans available and cosigner releases.
Here’s a breakdown of SoFi and CommonBond to figure out which is the best refinancing lender for you.
In this post:
- Comparing SoFi vs. CommonBond
- SoFi student loan refinance
- CommonBond student loan refinance
- How to refinance student loans
- Compare your options before picking a lender
Comparing SoFi vs. CommonBond
Here’s a side-by-side comparison of each student loan refinance lender so you can make an informed decision. Keep in mind that SoFi and CommonBond are both Credible partners.
|Fixed rates||2.49%+ 6||2.16%+|
|Variable rates||1.99%+ 6||2.11%+|
|Loan amount||$5,000 and up||$5,000 to $500,000|
|Loan terms||5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 years||5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 years|
|Min. credit score||Does not disclose||
|Forbearance options||Up to 12 months||Up to 24 months|
All APRs reflect autopay and loyalty discounts where available | 5SoFi Disclosures
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SoFi student loan refinance
Best for: Borrower perks
With SoFi, you can refinance loan amounts from $5,000 up to the full balance of your qualified education loans with repayment terms from five to 20 years.
SoFi borrowers also have access to several perks, such as unemployment protection, career coaching, and investing advice.
Requirements to borrow from SoFi
To be eligible for refinancing with SoFi, you must:
- Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or eligible visa holder
- Have graduated with an associate’s degree or higher from a Title IV school
- Provide proof of employment, such as pay stubs or tax returns
- Provide proof of residency, such as a utility bill
Learn More: When to Refinance Student Loans
- High loan amounts: SoFI does not have a loan maximum. If you have a very high loan balance from medical school or law school, SoFi may be a better option.
- Borrower perks: SoFi offers a number of member benefits, including career coaching, member events, personalized financial advice, and discounts on future loans.
- Can refinance Parent PLUS Loans into student’s name: If you’re a parent who took out Parent PLUS Loans for your child’s education, CommonBond will let you refinance those loans into your child’s name. To do so, your child must apply themselves.
- Could be hard to qualify if you don’t have good credit: While SoFi doesn’t disclose its minimum credit requirements, most SoFi borrowers have very good credit. This means you might have a hard time getting approved if you have poor credit.
- Doesn’t offer cosigner release: If you apply with a cosigner, you won’t be able to release them from your SoFi loan unless you refinance again.
- Degree required: To refinance with SoFi, you must have earned an associate degree or higher from a Title IV school. If you left school without a degree or haven’t graduated yet, you’ll need to consider other student loan refinance companies.
Learn More: How Often Can You Refinance Student Loans?
CommonBond student loan refinance
Best for: Borrowers who plan to pay off their loan early
With CommonBond, you can refinance $5,000 to $500,000 with terms from five to 20 years. CommonBond also offers a unique hybrid loan option that starts with a fixed rate for the first five years of the loan term before switching to a variable rate — this might help you save money if you plan to pay off your loan quickly.
Requirements to borrow from CommonBond
To borrow from CommonBond, you must:
- Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or eligible visa holder
- Have graduated from a Title IV-accredited school within CommonBond’s network
- Have sufficient credit history
- Provide proof of employment, such as a pay stub or recent tax returns
- Produce a recent loan statement for the loans you wish to refinance
- Provide proof of residency, such as a recent utility bill
Check Out: How to Find Your Student Loan Balance
- Hybrid loan option: If you opt for CommonBond’s hybrid loan, you’ll have a fixed rate for the first five years of the loan. After that, the rate is variable. If you intend to pay off your loan early, taking advantage of a hybrid loan could help you secure a lower interest rate than if you picked a normal fixed loan.
- Forbearance: If you’re facing an economic hardship, such as a job loss or medical emergency, you might qualify for CommonBond’s forbearance program. If eligible, you can postpone payments for up to 24 months over the length of your loan.
- Cosigner release: With CommonBond, you can request a cosigner release after making three years of consecutive, on-time payments. If you meet the lending criteria at that point, CommonBond will remove the cosigner from your loan.
Learn More: How Long It Takes to Pay Off Student Loans
- Degree required: To refinance with CommonBond, you must have graduated from an eligible Title IV accredited university or graduate program within CommonBond’s network.
- Limited availability: CommonBond refinancing isn’t available in Mississippi or Nevada.
- Might come with fees: Unlike some lenders, CommonBond charges fees for late or returned payments.
You can use our calculator below to see how much you can save by refinancing your student loans.
Step 1. Enter your loan balance
Step 2. Enter current loan information
Step 3. Enter your new loan information to start calculating your savings
If you refinance your student loan at % interest rate, you can save will pay an additional $ monthly and pay off your loan by . The total cost of the new loan will be $.
Does refinancing make sense for you?
Compare offers from top refinancing lenders to determine your actual savings.
Checking rates won’t affect your credit score.
How to refinance student loans
If you’re ready to refinance your student loans, follow these four steps:
- Research and compare lenders. In addition to SoFi and CommonBond, be sure to compare as many lenders as possible to find the right loan for you. Consider not only interest rates but also repayment terms, any fees charged by the lender, and eligibility requirements.
- Pick a loan option. After comparing lenders, choose the loan option that best suits your needs.
- Complete the application. Once you’ve picked a lender, you’ll need to fill out a full application and submit any required documentation, such as tax returns or pay stubs. Also be prepared to provide information regarding each of the loans you want to refinance.
- Manage your payments. If you’re approved, continue making payments on your old loans until the refinanced is processed. Afterward, you might consider signing up for autopay so you won’t miss any payments in the future — several lenders offer a rate discount to borrowers who opt for automatic payments, including SoFi and CommonBond.
Check Out: Private Student Loan Repayment Options
Compare your options before picking a lender
If your loan balance is higher than the average student loan debt, refinancing your student loans can be a smart way to save money and pay off your loans early. However, make sure you compare as many lenders as possible to find the best interest rate and loan terms for you.
Although CommonBond isn’t one of our partner lenders, you can use Credible to compare rates from SoFi and other refinancing lenders all at once without affecting your credit.