A 2022 Review of CommonBond Student Loan Refinancing
Updated: Mar 24
We hear all the time from Americans wondering about which lenders should be used when considering federal and/or private loan refinancing. One of the United States' up and coming private lenders is CommonBond.
In this article, we're going to review refinancing with CommonBond.
CommonBond student loan refinancing review
Maximum Loan Amount
4.60% - 8.25%
4.49% - 7.74%
Term of Loan
5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years
Student Debt Destroyer Rating
What is CommonBond?
CommonBond is an online only lender that works specifically in the student loan space. Offering both refinanced loans, as well as private loans for college, CommonBond is known for best in industry customer service as well as flexibility rarely seen from a private lender.
Founded in 2012, the company focuses primarily on those with bachelor's degrees and decent credit.
Decide if refinancing is right for you
Before evaluating if CommonBond may be a good fit for you, it's important to decide whether refinancing is a good idea for you. The Student Debt Destroyer recommends that you ask yourself the following questions to help gauge whether refinancing may be the right course of action for you.
Are you likely to qualify for any federal forgiveness programs? Certain fields and industries, like teaching for example, have access to multiple different forgiveness programs that may be worth exploring. You wouldn't want to refinance, only to find out that you had a reasonable path towards partial or complete federal forgiveness. There is also a plethora of state-sponsored programs.
Do you have federal debt, private debt, or both? Deciding to refinance your private student loans is usually an easier decision than with your federal debt. Keep in mind that refinancing existing federal loans can lead to the forfeiture of federal rights and protections such as deferment, forbearance, grace periods, and the right to participate in alternate federal repayment programs, like income-driven repayment.
How close are you to being student debt free now? Consider this both in terms of your outstanding balance and the remaining term on your loans.
What types of student loan refinancing does CommonBond offer?
CommonBond offers student loan refinancing for those who have worked towards and completed the following types of coursework:
Graduate - MBA, medical school, dental school, etc.
College grad and parent refinancing - CommonBond offers refinancing to both graduates and parents with Parent PLUS loans.
To refinance with CommonBond, however, you need to have completed your coursework and received at least a bachelor degree. Those with an associate degree will have to look elsewhere for a lender. LendKey is a lender that works with associate degrees.
They also refinance previously consolidated loans and offers fixed and variable rate loans. In fact, CommonBond was also the first lender to bring hybrid-rate loans to the student loan market, in which your rate will be fixed for the first five years before becoming a variable rate loan until repayment is complete.
Other requirements to refinance with CommonBond
Beyond the graduation requirement, you also need to meet the following requirements:
Have graduated from a Title IV accredited institution accepted by CommonBond with at least a Bachelor's degree
Have a minimum credit score of 680, or a co-signer that does
You must be a citizen of the United States, permanent resident, or a visa holder with the following designations: H1-B, J-1, L-1, E-2, and E-3.
They currently work with graduates from thousands of different colleges, universities, and schools in America, but the interest rate you receive does not take your educational institution into account.
You can currently refinance up to $500,000 in loans.
Refinancing with CommonBond
With a maximum refinancing balance of $500,000, borrowers nationwide will be able to take advantage of the perks that refinancing can offer. As of time of writing, interest rates on CommonBond refinanced loans largely have lower interest rates than federal loans do.
Always remember that you can comparison shop interest rates among different private lenders too, especially if you have really good or great credit.
Loan Terms and APR Rates
CommonBond offers a flexible array of loan terms, with options for those looking to select terms of 5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years.
As far as rates go, CommonBond is similar to other lenders in that they offer both fixed and variable rate loans.
Let's start with the fixed interest option, which carries a consistent interest rate throughout the course of your student loan repayment. As of early May 2022, CommonBond offers fixed rates between 4.49% - 7.74%, which includes a 0.25% autopay discount. So if you don't use autopay, your rates will be 0.25% higher than reflected.
In terms of the variable rate, which can vary month by month, current offerings range between 4.60% - 8.25%, again assuming you take advantage of the autopay discount.
CommonBond's hybrid loan option
There is also the option of using a hybrid loan option.
If you decide to use, you'll receive a loan that carries a fixed interest rate for the first five years of your repayment before transitioning to a variable arrangement for the remaining years.
The hybrid option can save you a lot of money if you're planning on aggressively paying off your loans as quickly as possible.
Regardless of which rate type you select, your rate will be determined by your credit score, history, and financial situation.
If you're interested in learning more about refinancing with CommonBond, click the button below to check your rate now.
More CommonBond details
Refinancing with CommonBond is usually free and carries no origination fees, with the exception being if you went to business school (MBA), medical school, and dental school, in which case there is a 2% origination fee.
There are no application fees or prepayment penalties either.
Benefits to using CommonBond to refinance your loans
One of the definite draws of using CommonBond is that they are not your typical huge corporation. In fact, CommonBond is an online only lender that was founded in 2012.
1. CommonBond allows refinancing co-signer release
Probably the biggest perk of using CommonBond is the fact that they allow co-signers on your refinanced loan to be released. Having a co-signer will help you to:
Secure a lower interest rate than you otherwise would be able to
Gain access to more favorable loan terms
AND, if your co-signer is worried about being on the hook for your loans for years, they can be released as soon as you make 24 timely and complete monthly payments in a row.
So in essence, you'll be able to secure lower interest rates in return for having a co-signer for 24 months, so long as you make your payments.
2. Payment protections for borrowers
Remember when we talked about how student loan refinancing can lead to the forfeiture of certain federal borrower rights and protections? Well, CommonBond has a way around some of this, in the form of payment protections.
To protect yourself in the event of financial hardship, your CommonBond refinanced loan comes complete with:
Grace period deferment
A total of 24 months of forbearance over the loan's life, reserved for financial hardship
3. Allows you to refinance your parents' PLUS loans
CommonBond is one of the few lenders that allows you to refinance and transfer your Parent PLUS loans to a child. Here's how it works.
Your child will apply for loan refinancing, even though the parent loan is in your name. Within the application, he/she will be asked for a copy of current loan statements, and should just denote that it is a parent loan that he/she will be taking over.
More: A guide to refinancing Parent PLUS loans
4. Socially responsible refinancing
In today's era of social and ethical responsibility, CommonBond stands tall. With a partnership with an organization called Pencils of Promise, CommonBond covers the expense of a child's education abroad for each refinancing they complete.
And this program is no joke - past recipients of education through Pencils of Promise include Trevor Noah and Gary Vaynerchuk.
Cons to using CommonBond
The good news is that, with CommonBond, the pros greatly outweigh the cons.
Unfortunately, loans are slightly restricted and are not available to those residing in Nevada or Mississippi.
And along those lines, you are ineligible to refinance with CommonBond if you do not have at least a bachelor's degree, but this is not a unique con to CommonBond.
The other con is that 2% origination fee if your loans were used for an MBA, medical, or dental school.
Refinancing with CommonBond frequently asked questions
1. What fees does CommonBond charge?
There are no origination fees, or prepayment penalties, except for those refinancing medical school, dental school, or MBA debt. Other than that, the only other fee is $5 return check fee, which is subject to individual state restrictions.
2. Does CommonBond work with borrowers who have declared bankruptcy?
Yes, as long as seven years have gone by, you are still eligible to refinance with CommonBond.
They do not specify what types of bankruptcies retain eligibility, leading us to believe that they are handled on a case by case basis.
3. What if my application is denied?
If CommonBond denies your refinancing request, they will let you know why.
Depending on your credit, you may simply have to reapply with a co-signer. But it is also possible that you'll need to work with another lender, maybe one that specializes in working with borrowers with fair to bad credit histories.
In this instance, it may be worth checking out Earnest.
4. How often can you refinance student loans?
There actually is not a limit on how many times you can refinance your student debt in a period of time. You will want to keep in mind that the process will likely impact your credit score for a period of time, since most lenders need to pull a "hard inquiry" before you are officially approved.
Just make sure your new rate and (hopefully) lower payments make up for the temporary dip in your credit.
CommonBond is one of the highest rated refinancing lenders on the market. It may be possible to find slightly lower interest rates elsewhere, but the combination of fair rates, plentiful choices, and social responsibility consistently make CommonBond a lender you should consider.
If you want to compare other lenders, make sure you check out our 2022 student loan refinancing guide.
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