CommonBond Reviews: Student Loan Refinancing and Private Student Loans

CommonBond no longer offers student loan refinancing or private student loans.
May 13, 2022

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

Student loan ratings

CommonBond Student Loan Refinance
  • Student loan refinancing

  • Private student loan

The bottom line:

CommonBond no longer offers student loan refinancing or private student loans. It will continue to support existing loans.

Student loan refinancing review

CommonBond Student Loan Refinance
CommonBond Student Loan Refinance

5.0

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
Min. credit score
680
Fixed APR
4.49-7.74%
Variable APR
4.44-8.09%

Pros

  • Forbearance of 24 months is longer than many lenders offer.

  • You can refinance parent PLUS loans in your name.

  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.

Cons

  • Loans aren’t available in Mississippi and Nevada.

Best for borrowers who have a bachelor's degree and value repayment flexibility.

Full Review

As of May 12, 2022, CommonBond no longer accepts applications for student loan refinance. It will continue to process submitted applications and support existing CommonBond refinance loans.

CommonBond refinanced loans for borrowers with a bachelor's degree or higher. Its loan stands out for its 24-month maximum forbearance period, which is longer than most lenders offer.

CommonBond allows borrowers to funnel their monthly refi savings into an account with high-yield savings via CommonBond's SmartSave program. The company also makes a donation to the educational nonprofit Pencils of Promise.

COMMONBOND STUDENT LOAN REFINANCING AT A GLANCE

  • Generous forbearance options.

  • Borrowers can refinance their parents' PLUS loans.

  • Loans aren't available to customers in Mississippi and Nevada.

CommonBond student loan refinancing details

Interest rates, fees and terms
  • Soft credit check to qualify and see what rate you’ll get: Yes.

  • Loan terms: 5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years for fixed- and variable-rate loans; 10 years for hybrid-rate loans.

  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $500,000.

  • Can transfer a parent loan to a child: Yes.

  • Application or origination fee: No.

  • Prepayment penalty: No.

  • Late fees: Yes, the lesser of $10 or 5% of the monthly payment, charged 15 days after missed payment.

Compare CommonBond’s range of interest rates with other student loan refinance lenders. Your actual rate will depend on factors including your — or your co-signer’s — credit history and financial situation. To see what rate CommonBond will offer you, apply on its website.

Requirements

Financial

  • Minimum credit score: 680.

  • Minimum income: Did not disclose.

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: Did not disclose.

  • Typical income of approved borrowers: Did not disclose.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Did not disclose.

  • Can qualify if you’ve filed for bankruptcy: Yes, after seven years have passed.

Other

  • Citizenship: Must be a U.S. citizen; permanent resident; or H1-B, J-1, L-1, E-2 or E-3 visa holder.

  • Location: No loans available to customers in Mississippi or Nevada.

  • Must have graduated: Yes, with a bachelor's degree or higher.

  • Must have attended a school authorized to receive federal aid: Yes.

  • Percentage of borrowers who have a co-signer: 20%.

Repayment options

Many lenders are offering relief related to COVID-19. Check this list of private loan relief options to see what this lender offers.

  • Academic deferment: Yes, borrowers can ask to defer payments when returning to school.

  • Military deferment: Yes.

  • Internship, residency or fellowship forbearance: Borrowers can defer payments during residency with a signed job offer letter.

  • Forbearance: Borrowers are eligible for 24 months of forbearance, in three-month increments, over the life of the loan.

  • Co-signer release available: Yes, after 36 months of timely payments.

  • Death or disability discharge: Yes.

  • Loan discharge if co-signer dies or becomes disabled: Yes.

Repayment Preferences

  • Allows greater-than-minimum payments via autopay: Yes.

  • Allows biweekly payments via autopay: No.

Customer service
  • Loan servicer: Firstmark Services.

  • In-house customer service team: Yes.

  • Process for escalating concerns: Yes.

  • Borrowers get assigned a dedicated banker, advisor or representative: If requested.

  • Average time from approval to payoff: Five business days.

Extras
  • CommonBond partners with the international education nonprofit Pencils of Promise to fund a child’s education whenever the company makes a loan.

  • You can opt in to CommonBond's SmartSave service, which automatically deposits monthly savings from your refinancing loan into an account with high-yield savings. Visit CommonBond's website for current rates and requirements.

  • Referral bonus: Earn $200 for every person you successfully refer to CommonBond. More details.

If you were considering refinancing with CommonBond

Before deciding on a student loan refinance lender, compare student loan refinance options to make sure you’re getting the best rate you qualify for. In addition to interest rates, compare lenders’ repayment options and the flexibility they offer for borrowers who are struggling to make payments.

STUDENT LOAN REFINANCE RATINGS METHODOLOGY

Our survey of more than 29 banks, credit unions and online lenders offering student loans and student loan refinancing includes the top 10 lenders by market share and the top 10 lenders by online search volume, as well as lenders that serve specialty or nontraditional markets.

We consider 41 features and data points for each financial institution. Depending on the category, these include the availability of biweekly payments through autopay, minimum credit score and income requirement disclosures, availability to borrowers in all states, extended grace periods and in-house customer service.

The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.

Private student loan review

CommonBond Private Student Loan
CommonBond Private Student Loan

4.5

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
Min. credit score
660
Fixed APR
3.74-10.74%
Variable APR
3.79-9.35%

Pros

  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.

  • You are assigned a dedicated Money Mentor.

Cons

  • Loans aren't available in Nevada and Mississippi.

  • Co-signer required.

Best for students who are already planning to use a co-signer and value customer support.

Full Review

CommonBond no longer offers student loan origination as of April 1, 2022. It will continue to support existing loans.

CommonBond’s undergraduate private student loan was available to students pursuing bachelor's degrees with a co-signer. While most undergraduate students can't qualify for a private student loan on their own, CommonBond was one of the only lenders that required a co-signer.

CommonBond provides existing borrowers with a free Money Mentor — a real person who offers assistance on topics such as student loans, budgeting and internships via text messaging.

CommonBond private student loans at a glance

  • Offers personalized rate estimates via a soft credit check.

  • Has a variety of in-school repayment options.

  • A co-signer is required.

CommonBond private student loan details

Interest rates, fees and terms
  • Soft credit check to qualify and see what rate you’ll get: Yes.

  • Loan terms: 5, 10 or 15 years.

  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $500,000, depending on the school's cost of attendance.

  • Application or origination fee: None.

  • Prepayment penalty: No.

  • Late fees: Yes: the lesser of $10 or 5% of the monthly payment, charged 15 days after missed payment.

Compare CommonBond's range of interest rates with other private student loan lenders. Your actual rate will depend on factors including your — or your co-signer's — credit history and financial situation. To see what rate CommonBond will offer you, apply on its website.

Requirements

Financial

  • Minimum credit score: 660.

  • Minimum income: No set minimum.

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: Did not disclose.

  • Typical income of approved borrowers: Did not disclose.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Did not disclose.

  • Can qualify if you’ve filed for bankruptcy: Yes, after seven years have passed.

Other

  • Citizenship: Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

  • DACA borrowers: Did not disclose.

  • Location: No loans available to customers in Mississippi or Nevada.

  • Must be enrolled half-time or more: Yes.

  • Loan can be used for past due tuition: Yes.

  • Types of schools served: Borrowers must be pursuing a bachelor's degree at an eligible Title IV or nonprofit school.

  • Percentage of borrowers who have a co-signer: All undergraduate borrowers must have a co-signer.

Repayment options

Many lenders are offering relief related to COVID-19. Check this list of private loan relief options to see what this lender offers.

In-school repayment options:

  • Immediate repayment: Make full payments as soon as the loan is disbursed, while you’re still in school.

  • Fixed repayment: Pay $25 every month while enrolled in school and during the grace period.

  • Interest-only repayment: Pay interest every month you’re in school and during the grace period.

  • Full in-school deferment: Yes.

Post-school repayment options

  • Grace period: 6 months.

  • Income-based repayment option: Did not disclose.

  • Academic deferment: Yes, borrowers can request to defer payments when returning to school.

  • Military deferment: Yes.

  • Internship, residency or fellowship deferment: Borrowers can defer payments during residency with a signed job offer letter.

  • Forbearance: Borrowers are eligible for 12 months of forbearance, in three-month increments, over the life of the loan.

  • Co-signer release: Yes; borrower must graduate, make 24 full monthly payments in a row and meet additional eligibility requirements to qualify.

  • Death or disability discharge: Yes.

  • Loan discharge if co-signer dies or becomes disabled: Yes.

Repayment preferences

  • Allows greater-than-minimum payments via autopay: Yes.

  • Allows biweekly payments via autopay: No.

Customer service
  • Loan servicer: Firstmark Services.

  • In-house customer service team: Yes.

  • Process for escalating concerns: Yes.

  • Borrowers get assigned a dedicated banker, advisor or representative: Yes, CommonBond provides each borrower with a Money Mentor.

  • Average time for approval: One business day.

Extras
  • CommonBond partners with the international education nonprofit Pencils of Promise to fund a child’s education whenever the company makes a loan.

  • Referral bonus: Earn $200 for every person you successfully refer to CommonBond. More details.

If you were considering a CommonBond student loan

Before taking out a private student loan, exhaust your federal student loan options first. Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as the FAFSA, to apply.

Compare your private student loan options to make sure you’re getting the best rate you qualify for. In addition to interest rates, look at lenders’ repayment alternatives and the flexibility they offer to borrowers who struggle to make payments.

STUDENT LOAN RATINGS METHODOLOGY

Our survey of more than 29 banks, credit unions and online lenders offering student loans and student loan refinancing includes the top 10 lenders by market share and top 10 lenders by online search volume, as well as lenders that serve specialty or nontraditional markets.

We consider 40 features and data points for each financial institution. Depending on the category, these include the availability of biweekly payments through autopay, minimum credit score and income requirement disclosures, availability to borrowers in all states, extended grace periods and in-house customer service.

The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.

Frequently asked questions