CommonBond Student Loan Refinance: Everything You Need To Know

Learn about CommonBond's student loan refinancing service here. Includes details on requirements and eligibility criteria, pros and cons, who benefits from refinancing, repayment options, application process, some alternatives to CommonBond, their customer service and contact details

Updated by B Harshitha on 28th February 2020

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With more than 44 million Americans owing student loans, many of us are looking for strategies to manage our debt better. Refinancing is one approach, as it could save you money on interest and let you choose new repayment terms. But first, you’ve got to find the right lender.

Refinancing is a term that is commonly thrown around when it comes to matters of student loans these days. What exactly is refinancing? Millions of Americans owe student loans and no one would turn down help with managing these loans more efficiently. 

Refinancing is one activity that can help simplify the process of repayment of your student loans. Cumbersome loans with demands that are tough to satisfy in terms of both time and money or either can be managed with ease after refinancing.

Refinancing is often the task of substituting a former loan (or loans), both private and federal with a fresh one. This loan is likely to be beneficial to you by aiding you in discovering preferable rates and terms, by decreasing monthly payment amounts and/or integrating many loans into one structured payment (this is also known as consolidation).

When it comes to student loans, you will always thank yourself later if you put in the little bit of extra time to learn more about loan specifications, terms and details. A small amount of research can go a long way and can help you avoid a lot of confusions and ambiguities.

Before signing up with any private lender, it is always advisable to have an in-depth knowledge about their terms and offerings. 

CommonBond is one of the most important student loan refinancing lenders out there. Let us look at how they operate, what specifications they offer, how joining them can benefit you and much more in detail.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

What is CommonBond?

CommonBond is a prominent online lender founded in 2012 by a few Wharton MBA students that offers a range of valuable services including student loan refinancing and private student loans. It is also to be noted that commonBond was one of the first lenders to establish their lending platform online. 

CommonBond brings to the student loan market a very fresh and progressive perspective. The founders themselves were students when they decided to start this organization. Having been frustrated with the way the student loan lending market worked at the time, they aimed to come up with an efficient solution to help students figure out their academic finances.

CommonBond provides you with options on types of interest rates. You may opt for fixed or variable rates on your refinanced loan. Interestingly, they also provide you with another option on the type of interest rate available: hybrid rate. In this arrangement, you deal with a fixed rate for the first 5 years and a variable rate for the next 5 years. They have a maximum on the amount that they refinance: $500,000.

CommonBond aims to present their clientele with only the best rates for a plethora of loan categories. Their application approval rates are also very high and their repayment terms are also highly favourable to customers. 

They started out with only student loan refinancing services in an effort to alleviate the burden of repaying loans that students have, but soon expanded their service-range to include offerings of undergraduate and graduate student loans, MBA student loans and parent PLUS loan refinancing.

True to their name, they view their customers as a community and treat them very well. Their network of professionals, alumni and borrowers is very tight-knit. The customer service team is dedicated to bringing the best service to their clients. They actively engage in meetups and discussions to further optimize their functioning. Another commendable thing to note would be the fact that they offer to fund the education of a child in a developing country for every student loan that is lent out.

There are many private student loan refinancers and lenders in the market who have their own special features and benefits to offer. If you think CommonBond is not the right fit for you, explore a few more and pick one that you think fits your bill.


Looking to refinance your student loans? Find the best companies to refinance your student loans.


CommonBond Student Loan Refinancing Details

The following are some important details that you may have to be aware of before starting a student loan refinancing application with CommonBond. As with everything else related to student loans, kindly do your part of exploration and enquiry pertaining to student loan refinancing before settling on any decision:

  • The minimum loan amount that they refinance for student loans is $5000.

  • The maximum loan amount that they refinance for student loans is $50000.

  • Their interest rates vary between 3.21% and 6.45% for fixed type.

  • Their rates vary between 2.02% and 6.3% for variable interest type.

  • They have a discount of 0.25% on autopay.

  • They have terms of 5, 7, 10, 15 and 20 years for fixed and variable rate loans. 

  • They offer a term of 10 years for hybrid loans.

  • They allow the support of a cosigner.

  • They do offer cosigner release, but only after 24 months, i.e. 2 years worth consecutive payments.

  • Transfer a parent loan to a child is permitted.

  • They do not charge any origination fee.

  • Instant pre-qualification is supported.

  • Their loan servicer is FirstMark.


Pros and Cons of refinancing your student loan with CommonBond

The following are some perks of getting student loan refinanced with CommonBond:

  • Highly competitive interest rates: CommonBond offers some of the most competitive and lowest student loan consolidation interest rates seen in the market. 

  • Numerous choices of loan terms: Customers have a range of loan terms to choose from, viz. five, seven, 10, 15, or 20 years, depending on their convenience.

  • Forbearance options: Customers can conveniently postpone their payments. And are offered up to 24 months of forbearance over the duration of their loans. This way, customers can relax knowing that their loans will not fall into default in case of any sudden misfortunes or emergencies.

  • Zero prepayment penalties: Borrowers will not incur a penalty if they wish to pay off their loans fast.

  • No origination fees: Commonbond takes the edge when it comes to transparency. Customers are not charged any additional fees with respect to obtaining a refinancing service on their student loans.

  • High limits: The upper bound of $500,000 that CommonBond offers to refinance is very high in the market.

  • Autopay discount: A .25% discount is provided for customers who sign up for autopay.

  • Soft credit pull: Customers may check the rates that they may avail without having their credit scores affected.

  • CommonBridge Program: This innovative step taken by CommonBond is an effort to help customers who have lost a job to find a new one. CommonBond takes a calculated approach here, thinking that helping customers find a stable job will help them make considerable profit in the long run.

  • Parent Plus refinancing: Not only does CommonBond offer parent loan refinancing, but they also support transfer of these loans to the child.

  • Discharge in case of death and disability: The responsibility of a specific client’s loans will not be passed on to a cosigner in the unfortunate event of their death. Their loan will be forgiven.

  • They support hybrid loans: CommonBond has a hybrid loan plan where consumers are given a fixed rate for the first 5 years and a variable rate for the next 5. It is not entirely clear what purpose this serves, but this is unlike anything seen before.

  • An option to release your co-signer: After 36 consecutive payments, an application to release the cosigner can be made. If the primary borrower passes a credit check, they may even take full responsibility of the loan with the same terms.

While CommonBond does offer its consumers many benefits, there are also a few areas where they could improve their services:

  • Cosigner will be forced to assume responsibility in the event of death or disability of the primary borrower. Most lenders usually discharge the loan regardless of a cosigner’s presence.

  • Depending on their credit score or income level, quite a few people may not qualify for refinancing with CommonBond.

  • Federal student loan protections, benefits and repayment options will be lost if you refinance your loan with CommonBond since it is a private establishment.

  • CommonBond restricts its student loan refinancing option only for graduates. If you do not have a degree as proof even after taking out a student loan, you will not be eligible for refinancing.

  • A 5% late payment fee will be charged up to $10 while most lenders offer the flexibility to their consumers to miss a payment occasionally.

  • Customers are not offered any customization of loan term option in case they wish to craft a specific payment term that will serve their purpose better.

  • Only a single discount of 0.25% is offered by CommonBond if you opt for autopay.

  • Most good rates are reserved for variable terms and short terms.

  • While refinancing can be done in 44 states, student loans and this option is not available to customers in Louisiana, Idaho, Nevada, Mississippi, South Dakota, and Vermont.

  • You have to ensure that your school is eligible for refinancing with Commonbond.


Who Benefits from Refinancing their Student Loans with CommonBond?

If any of the following applies to you, you may benefit from refinancing your loan with CommonBond:

  • CommonBond is set apart from their peers by their social mission. If you are someone who wishes to make a charitable difference with the loan that you will take, CommonBond is the right pick for you. 

  • You may apply for pre-approval without having your credit get affected, since CommonBond offers a soft credit check option. Due to this, you may check the most suitable rates for you.

  • You may be able to avail a lower interest rate with CommonBond  than with most competitive lenders if you have a very good credit score and the ratio of debt-to-income is low. This is also true if you are creditworthy and have a cosigner with a very good credit.

  • Their hybrid rate option will be suitable for you if you are not entirely certain about your ability to pay off your loan in five years. Despite the fact that a little bit more risk is involved, often with this plan, customers end up paying less on a monthly basis with a lower interest rate than with a 10-year long fixed plan.

  • This company is also ideal for customers looking to refinance a large amount of student loan.

  • They also offer good forbearance options.


Eligibility Required to Refinance your Student Loan with CommonBond

The following are some requirements that need to be satisfied in order to be eligible for refinancing your student loan with CommonBond:

  • It is required that you are either a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident or hold one of any of the following visas: H1-B, J-1, L-1, E-2, E-3.

  • About 2000 Title IV universities and programs are eligible for CommonBond. You have to ensure that yours is eligible and must hold a bachelor’s degree from the same.

  • A loan statement that includes all the student loans to be refinanced will have to be refinanced.

  • There is no minimum income requirement with CommonBond. But it is important to remember that people with a low to moderate income often find it difficult to qualify for a loan. A proof of employment or a letter of acceptance from a potential employer will be expected.

  • A credit score of at least 660 is required to be considered for refinancing your loan.

  • CommonBond’s services are not open to residents of Louisiana, Idaho, Nevada, Mississippi, South Dakota, and Vermont.

Documents and Information required to Refinance your Student Loans with CommonBond

Here are all the required documents along with all the information that you will have to present in order to refinance your student loans with CommonBond:

  • Your basic details like name, address and school will be asked.

  • As proof of employment, tax returns or pay stubs will be accepted.

  • As proof of graduation, transcripts or diploma may be accepted.

  • A student loan bank statement will be asked.

  • As proof of residency, you may present utility bills, your lease agreement or your ID.


Application Process for Refinancing your Student Loans with CommonBond

First, a soft credit check will be performed to check for pre-approval. Checking your rates will not affect your credit score. After this, you will be expected to submit your documents and give an electronic signature. Once your application is approved, CommonBond will arrange to pay off your loans to your lenders.

  • Start by making an account with CommonBond by providing a username and password.

  • Now you may check your rates with a soft credit check.

  • This is where you may start your application by providing your most basic details like Name, Email and password.

  • Pick your type of loan.

  • Some personal information about you will be asked like name, contact number an address. Your citizenship details will also be asked.

  • Details about your school will be asked such as: your school’s name, date of graduation and the amount to be refinanced.

  • Give some details about your residence. Details such as the duration for which you’ve lived there and housing costs will be expected.

  • Information about your job and your employment status will be asked. Details such as the duration for which you have been employed at the present place of employment and your income will be asked.

  • Provide the last 4 digits of your social security number for a soft credit check.

Read, understand and accept the federal disclosure.

Once you pick your preferred rate, your loan will be made official.


Repayment Options for Refinancing your Student Loan with CommonBond

One of the three following plans can be opted for based on convenience. There is no one way to repay your student loans. Learn more about student loan repayment before arriving to any conclusions.

  • Variable-rate loans: The interest rate applied on these loan depends on the market, so your monthly payments will vary. Usually these loans have the least starting rate.

  • Fixed-rate loans: The interest rate applied stays fixed for the duration of the loan. While the total amount paid may be slightly high, the monthly payments can usually be estimated beforehand.

  • Hybrid-rate loans: This helps minimize rates and monthly payments. The first five years have a fixed rate and the next 5 have a a variable rate applied.

Some more details related to repayment:

  • Academic deferment: Yes, borrowers are allowed to defer payments while returning to school.

  • Military deferment: Yes, applicable.

  • Residency, internship or fellowship forbearance: Borrowers are allowed to defer payments during residency.

  • Forbearance: In 3 month increments, borrowers may apply for a 36 month long forbearance.

  • Co-signer release available: after 36 months of consecutive payments.

  • Greater than minimum payments can be made via autopay.

  • Bi-weekly payments are not allowed via autopay.


Alternatives to CommonBond for refinancing your student loan

Since Federal Direct Consolidation Loans have options of federal loan forgiveness programs like Public Service Loan Forgiveness and teacher loan forgiveness, these consolidation options are usually better for customers in the long run. 

Borrowers with lower income may benefit from federal options since they have income-driven repayment services via which a customer could cap at a certain portion of their income.

One major leader in the student loan market is SoFi. They offer some of the most competitive rates on student loan refinancing. SoFi also offers Unemployment Protection plans. They do not have an upper bound on how much can be refinanced with them.

Another leader in the market is Earnest. Their perks include an unlimited loan amount and  a very simple application process. Interest rates start at 1.99% (variable) and 3.20% (fixed).

LendKey is another major player in the student loan market. It works with local credit unions and community banks, and offers both fixed and variable rates. 

All of these have forbearance.


Customer Service for CommonBond

CommonBond’s Customer Service Team is available to assist customers by phone, email, and live chat throughout the process of refinancing and repayment. The feedback from customers are mostly positive.

Customers are especially favourable of the personal touch and charitable tendencies of CommonBond.

To contact CommonBond:

https://www.commonbond.co/

524 Broadway, 6th Fl.
New York, NY 10012
800.975.7812
care@commonbond.co


The bottom line

If you are someone with a reliably solid income and good credit score CommonBond could be a great option. You may also opt for CommonBond if you want your student loan choices to make an altruistic impact.If you have a solid income and credit score, and plan on aggressively paying off your student debt, CommonBond could be a great option.