If you’re thinking about taking out a private student loan or refinancing student loan debt with CommonBond, you’ve probably noticed that a lot of lenders are competing for your business.
That competition is good because it means more people can qualify for loans, and often at better rates. But it also means that it’s more important than ever to take a little time to find the right lender.
This CommonBond review can help you decide if this lender is right for your situation.
Select the product you would like to learn more about:
CommonBond student loan refinancing overview
- You’re looking for flexible repayment terms
- You want to take over your Parent PLUS Loan(s) in your parents’ name
- You think you’ll be able to pay your loan off early
- You’re an immigrant with a work visa
CommonBond is known primarily for refinancing student loans. The lender has refinanced more than $2 billion in student loans, which means many borrowers have found a lot to like about the company’s offerings.
Keep in mind that if you’re refinancing federal student loans with a private lender like CommonBond, you’ll lose access to borrower benefits like income-driven repayment plans, which can be a safety net if you become unemployed.
If you’re facing economic hardship, you can apply to defer your payments through CommonBond’s forbearance program.
If you decide to refinance your student loans with CommonBond, here’s what you should know:
|Loan amounts||$5,000 to $500,000|
|Loan terms||5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years|
|Loan qualifications||Federal, private and previously consolidated loans. Borrowers can refinance PLUS loans taken out by their parents.|
|Discounts||0.25% autopay discount
|Income||Sufficient to demonstrate ability to repay|
|Education||Minimum of a bachelor's degree from one of over 2,000 Title IV accredited schools
|Citizenship/Residency||U.S. citizen, permanent residents, or H1-B, J-1, L-1, E-2, E-3 visa holder
|Cosigner release||Not available|
CommonBond interest rates and repayment terms
When student loan borrowers are considering refinancing their student loans, they’re typically looking for a lower interest rate. They might also be seeking to adjust their repayment term.
The loan repayment term you choose will affect both your monthly payment and the interest rate you’re offered. The shorter the repayment term, the lower the interest rate. The longer the repayment term, the lower the monthly payment.
So it’s good if a lender offers a range of loan terms because it gives you a lot of options based on your financial goals. CommonBond scores well in this department, offering repayment terms of 5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years for both fixed- and variable-rate loans.
Because every lender uses its own methods for evaluating interest rates, you’ll have to get rates from lenders that you think might be a good fit for your needs.
You can use Credible to request prequalified rates from multiple lenders who offer student loan refinancing, without sharing your personal information or affecting your credit score.
CommonBond also offers an unusual hybrid 10-year loan, with the interest rate fixed for the first five years.
The company says the hybrid loan can be a good fit for borrowers who plan to “prepay,” or pay their loan off early. That’s because, for the first five years, they’ll get a fixed interest rate that’s lower than CommonBond’s traditional 10-year fixed-rate loan.
Eligibility requirements for CommonBond refinancing
You must be a U.S. citizen or legal resident with a bachelor’s degree from an approved school to refinance student loan debt with CommonBond. CommonBond will refinance both federal loans and private loans. If your parents took out PLUS loans to help pay for your education, you can take them over by refinancing them in your name.
CommonBond refinancing for U.S. immigrants
In 2018, CommonBond expanded its student loan refinancing to U.S. immigrants with work visas — up to 2.4 million people, the company said.
To qualify, immigrants must have graduated from a nonprofit U.S. undergraduate or graduate school, and hold one of the following types of visas: H1-B, J-1, L-1, E-2, and E-3.
How to refinance your student loans with CommonBond
If you’d like to apply for student loan refinancing with CommonBond, you can use the company’s website, and get a preliminary decision in minutes.
If you like the rate you’re offered, you can upload supporting documentation and e-sign loan documents. Once your loan is approved, CommonBond arranges for your existing student loans to be paid off.
If CommonBond is unable to automatically verify the information you provide, you might be asked to provide proof of employment, a loan statement for each loan you want to refinance, and proof of residency, such as a utility bill or bank statement.
CommonBond private student loans overview
- You have hit your limits on the most affordable federal student loans
- You qualify for lower rates with a private lender than federal direct PLUS loans
- You have a cosigner who is willing to repay your loan if you can’t
In addition to student loan refinancing, CommonBond also offers loans to undergraduate, graduate and MBA students.
If you decide to take out a private student loan with CommonBond, here’s what you should know:
|Loan amounts||Up to 100% of school-certified cost of attendance|
|Loan terms||5, 10, and 15 years, fixed or variable rates
|Fees||2% origination fee|
|Discounts||0.25% rate deduction with autopay|
|Citizenship/Residency||Must be U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
|Enrollment||Undergraduate or graduate students who are currently enrolled at least half-time at eligible school. Overseas study allowed if school's main campus is based in the U.S. and on approved list.
|Repayment||Full principal and interest, interest only, deferred and flat payment|
|Cosigner info||Cosigner required on all undergraduate loans. Cosigner release available for borrowers who graduate, make 24 consecutive months of full payments, and meet loan underwriting criteria.
Eligibility requirements for CommonBond student loans
To qualify for a student loan with CommonBond, you’ll need to be an undergraduate or graduate student currently enrolled at least half-time at one of more than 2,000 eligible schools. If you’re studying overseas, that’s fine if your school’s main campus is based in the U.S. and on CommonBond’s list of eligible schools.
CommonBond’s student loan options for undergraduates and graduate students require a cosigner. This could be a parent, other relative or friend who is willing to take on the responsibility for making your loan payments if you cannot. CommonBond’s MBA loan does not require a cosigner, but having a cosigner might help you get a better interest rate.
How to get private student loans with CommonBond
You can apply for a CommonBond student loan online in just a few minutes. If you like the rate and terms you’re offered, you’ll need to upload a few documents to be approved.
When you’re approved, you’ll e-sign your loan disclosures, and CommonBond will confirm your enrollment and loan amount with your school. That can take anywhere from five days to three weeks.
As soon as your school certifies the loan, the funds will be sent directly to your school.
CommonBond repayment plans
If you aren’t able to start making the full monthly payments on your loan while you’re still in school, there are three other repayment plans:
- Deferment: Postpone payments until six months after graduating from or leaving school. Interest that accrues while you’re in school will be capitalized, or added to your loan balance, at the end of your grace period.
- Fixed monthly payment: You make fixed payments of $25 each month while you’re in school, to keep too much interest from piling up. Full payments are required at the end of your six-month grace period.
- Interest-only payment: You pay the interest charges on your loan while you’re in school, so that your loan balance doesn’t grow.
Although CommonBond is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau, the company held an A- rating from the BBB as of February 2019. The BBB bases its rating on the number of complaints it’s receives about the company and the company’s responses to those complaints.
The bottom line
While CommonBond offers competitive interest rates and flexible repayment terms on both student loans and student loan refinancing, it’s important to compare the actual rates you can qualify for with multiple lenders before choosing a lender.
Credible makes it easy to request prequalified rates for student loans and student loan refinancing from multiple lenders with one simple form. Our process uses a soft credit inquiry that doesn’t affect your credit score.