CommonBond Review: Student Loan Refinancing and Private Student Loans

If you're considering financing or refinancing your student loans with CommonBond, this article reviews the specs and what you need to know.

CommonBond is an online lender that specializes in private student loans and student loan refinancing. The company offers flexible forbearance plans and the ability for parents to transfer their parent loans to their children after graduation.

If you're thinking of working with CommonBond, it's important to read CommonBond reviews to determine if it's the right fit for you.

About CommonBond 

CommonBond was founded in 2012 and has funded more than $4 billion in student loans. The company also partners with employers to provide student loan repayment benefits to their employees.

According to the lender, it offers lower interest rates, simpler options and a world-class experience. But as with any other student lender, it's important to shop around and compare multiple options to determine which is best for your needs and goals.

CommonBond reviews

CommonBond offers both private student loans and student loan refinancing options. Here's what you need to know about each offering.

CommonBond private student loan reviews

CommonBond offers undergraduate loans, graduate loans, MBA loans, medical loans and dental loans. You can borrow between $2,000 and $500,000, depending on your school's total cost of attendance.

Loan repayment terms are five, 10 and 15 years, and there's no application fee, no origination fee and no prepayment penalty. However, there is a late fee if your payment is 15 days late. The fee amounts to $10 or 5% of the payment amount, whichever is less.

CommonBond private student loans are available in 48 states and the District of Columbia — the only states where you can't apply with the lender are Mississippi and Nevada.

Like some other private student loan companies, CommonBond allows you to get prequalified before you submit an official application to see what rates you might qualify for. However, if you want to actually apply, you'll need a co-signer, which can be tough to find for some students.

Here are some of the lender's eligibility requirements:

  • Minimum credit score: 660 
  • Minimum annual income: None
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Doesn't disclose publicly
  • Bankruptcy: Must have filed seven or more years ago
  • Citizenship: Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Enrollment: Must attend school half time or more

You can release your co-signer from the loan if you make 24 consecutive payments on time and qualify based on your own credit history and income. 

If you're struggling to keep up with your monthly payments, you can get up to 12 months of forbearance in three-month increments.

CommonBond student loan refinance reviews

In addition to private student loans for existing students, CommonBond also offers student loan refinancing, both for students and for parents who borrowed money to help a child get through school.

As with the lender's private loans, its refinance loans are available in 48 states and the District of Columbia. You can refinance anywhere between $5,000 and $500,000, with repayment terms of five, seven, 10, 15 and 20 years.

One key feature that not all refinance lenders offer is the ability for parents to transfer their student loan debt to a child. That sometimes happens when the child agrees to assume the debt once they've graduated and can qualify to refinance the loans.

Refinancing with CommonBond includes no application or origination fees as well as no prepayment penalty. The late fee, which kicks in once your payment is 15 days late, is the lesser of $10 or 5% of the payment amount.

Here's how the eligibility requirements break down:

  • Minimum credit score: 680 
  • Minimum annual income: Doesn't disclose publicly
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Doesn't disclose publicly
  • Bankruptcy: Must have filed seven or more years ago
  • Citizenship: Must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or H-1B, J-1, L-1, E-2 or E-3 visa holder
  • Graduation: Must have graduated with at least a bachelor's degree

You can get prequalified before you apply for a loan to see if you have a good chance of getting approved and what your rate and repayment terms might look like. If you need a co-signer, you can have them released after you've made 36 consecutive on-time payments and can qualify to have the loans on your own.

Another significant feature CommonBond offers on its refinance loans is the ability to get forbearance for up to 24 months — that's quite a bit longer than many other refinance lenders.

Is CommonBond right for you?

As you consider CommonBond private student loan reviews and CommonBond refinance reviews, you'll find that the company offers some solid features, including long forbearance periods on refinance loans and the ability for parents to transfer student loan debt to a child.

However, the lender's requirement that all private student loan borrowers have a co-signer can make the loans inaccessible to students whose parents aren't in a position to co-sign. Even if you could qualify on your own, you'll need to look elsewhere.

For example, Juno offers undergraduate student loansgraduate student loans and student loan refinancing to college students, college graduates and their parents. A co-signer isn't required if you can qualify on your own, and Juno will proactively negotiate with lenders to help you score exclusive rates and discounts.

Juno even offers a price match guarantee for new student loans — not refinancing — in the event that you find a better deal. 

As you compare student loan options such as CommonBond, Juno and others, be careful to look beyond the interest rates and consider each one holistically to find the best option for you.

The bottom line

CommonBond offers new student loans and student loan refinancing options. The online lender originates the loans itself and can offer competitive interest rates and other terms.

But like any financial decision, if you're thinking about getting student loans or refinancing your existing ones, it's important to take your time and shop around. 

As part of that process, consider joining Juno to get some assistance in negotiating better loan terms than you might be able to get on your own. It takes less than a minute to join, and the process is free. There's also no credit check to help you find the best rates.

Ben Luthi
Written By
Ben Luthi

Ben Luthi is a personal finance and travel writer based in Salt Lake City, UT. He loves helping people better understand their finances. When he's not traveling, Ben enjoys spending time with his kids, hiking, and watching films. His work has been featured in U.S. News & World Report, The New York Times, MarketWatch, Fox Business, and many other publications.

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