CommonBond is a private lender specializing in student loan refinancing and private student loans. It was founded in New York in 2012 and has since funded more than $4 billion in student loans. It only takes one or two minutes to see if you qualify for a student loan refinance from CommonBond, and it won’t impact your credit score. If you qualify, CommonBond’s customizable options let you choose a refinance that suits you. There’s even a hybrid option where your rate is fixed for the first five years and then adjusts each month for the remainder of the loan term.
Loan types: Refinance federal, private and Parent PLUS loans
APRs: Variable rates start from 2.49%, fixed rates start from 2.59%
Repayment terms: 5-20 years
Loan amount: Up to $500,000
Origination fees: No
CommonBond’s rates are competitive if not market-beating, with the best rates reserved for borrowers (or cosigners) with excellent credit. An automatic 0.25% rate discount applies when using autopay to make monthly payments.
CommonBond offers a choice between a fixed, variable, or hybrid rate. A hybrid loan is a loan where the interest rate is fixed for the first five years of the loan, and then varies monthly in accordance with the 1-month LIBOR for the remainder of the loan. The hybrid loan option balances competing tradeoffs, namely your interest rate, monthly payment, and total interest paid. It also helps reduce the uncertainty of a completely variable loan.
Current rates (including 0.25% autopay discount) are:
Loan terms for fixed-rate and variable rate loans are 5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years. The loan term for a hybrid-rate loan is 10 years.
CommonBond offers up to 24 months of forbearance during your loan period for certain circumstances, including economic hardship, natural disaster, or being unable to make payments during the COVID-19 outbreak. As with any form of forbearance, interest will continue to accrue, but there are no fees to participate.
CommonBond offers a handful of other incentives to prospective borrowers.
It only takes a couple minutes to fill out CommonBond’s short online form and see your prequalified rate, with no impact to your credit score. If you go ahead with your application, then you’ll get the chance to choose from a range of customizable refinancing options. At this stage, your credit score will be impacted.
To qualify, you must:
CommonBond permits students to apply with a creditworthy cosigner, although this is not obligatory. A co-signer commits to paying the balance of the loan in the event that you cannot.
Borrowers become eligible to apply for cosigner release after 36 consecutive months (three years) of full payment. The borrower must be the age of majority (16-21 years old, depending on the state in which they live) and meet the current underwriting criteria under the loan program at the time of applying for cosigner release. Any period of forbearance interrupts consecutive payments.
Applications are strictly online. If you need assistance, hit the live chat button on the CommonBond website, email , or call Monday to Friday, 9 am – 8 pm EST. The website offers a comprehensive FAQ page.
CommonBond goes farther than most student loan refinance providers in offering protections for its borrowers – and itself. Its support for cosigners (demonstrated by the fact that it allows a cosigner release after three years of consecutive payments) ensures that a wide range of borrowers can access refinancing. If you find yourself struggling to make payments, CommonBond offers generous forbearance options, including COVID relief.