Navigating the world of student loan refinancing and consolidation can be confusing. Decoding repayment terms, fee structures, and interest rates isn’t always simple, but with CommonBond, you can refinance existing student loans with clear, straightforward terms and information.
Founded by three Wharton MBAs, CommonBond believes that creditworthy borrowers should have access to lower rates than traditional lenders have offered in recent years.
If you’re on board with saving money through lower interest rates and no-fee loans, read on to learn more about CommonBond student loans.
CommonBond offers student loan refinancing, Parent PLUS Loan refinancing, student loans to MBA students at a select list of universities, and personal loans. This review will focus on their core product: student loan refinancing.
As with any financial product, there are some benefits and drawbacks of CommonBond student loan refinancing.
- Rates from 2.54% - 6.65% APR
- No origination fees or early payment penalties
- Easy-to-understand platform
- Simple loan terms
- You must enroll in autopay to get the best interest rates
- When you refinance your federal student loans with a private, you lose access to federal protections
CommonBond student loan refinance terms are very customizable, with fixed rates, variable rates, and hybrid rates available.
As the name implies, fixed rate loans have a locked interest rate for the entire term of the loan. Alternatively, variable rate loans adjust with market interest rates, and can potentially rise over the life of your loan.
Hybrid loans are a combination of fixed and variable rates. CommonBond’s hybrid loans set the first five years at a fixed interest rate, and the last five years at a variable rate. This takes away some of the uncertainty that comes with variable rate loans, and can sometimes offer a lower interest rate than a typical fixed rate loan.
If your current student loans have higher rates than those offered by CommonBond, refinancing your debt with them could make sense. According to the company, the average client who refinances with CommonBond saves $15,114, compared to their old interest rates before refinancing.
If you are a parent with PLUS loans, you may also be able to refinance through CommonBond at a lower interest rate. Interest rates are the same as regular student loan refinancing.
CommonBond also offers a unique option to transfer PLUS loans to the student after graduation. With no application fee or origination fee, there is no cost to find out if you could get a lower interest rate through CommonBond.
If you have federal student loans, you will lose some perks if you refinance with a private company like CommonBond.
You won’t have access to forgiveness options or income-based repayment if you refinance, but CommonBond does offer temporary loan forbearance if you are dealing with financial hardship and can’t make your payments on time. The company also allows for academic deferment if you decide to return to school for an advanced degree.
The Bank of Lake Mills or Union Bank and Trust Company of Lincoln, Nebraska underwrite and originate all refinance loans.apply at CommonBond
Using the online platform
No CommonBond review would be complete without a look at how to apply for refinancing through their online platform. Overall the platform is very user-friendly, straightforward, and offers easy opportunities to get help via live chat, phone, or email along the way.
When you start your CommonBond student loan refinance application, you are asked to fill in basic information about yourself and the type of loan you are interested in.
As you complete the application, a progress indicator lets you know how far along you are in the process. Most of the forms are very simple to fill out, and the entire application process only takes about 15 minutes if you have all of your information handy.
At the top of every page, you have an option to contact a member of their customer service team for help. Unlike some websites that only offer FAQs and limited support, CommonBond student loans make it very simple to reach a loan expert.
As you continue through the application process, you will be asked for information about your housing, job, income, and existing student loans.
After entering your information, you will be given your application approval status and your offered interest rate. If you like the rate you’re offered and decide to move forward, you’ll be asked to upload a few financial documents and digitally sign the loan documents.
Once you’ve signed on the dotted line, CommonBond will coordinate directly with your original lender to pay off your loans.
CommonBond interest rates and terms
The interest rates you are offered are determined by several variables, including your credit history, your debt-to-income ratio, the type of loan you’re applying for, and current market interest rates.
Fixed rates are currently available from 3.20% APR to 6.65% with autopay; variable rates range from 2.54% APR to 6.65% APR with autopay; hybrid loans are available with 3.87% APR to 6.31% APR with autopay.
The autopay program automatically deducts your student loan payment from your checking account every month. Enrolling in autopay is not required, but if you don’t use automatic payments your rates will be 0.25% higher.
Automatic payments ensure that you will not forget and accidentally miss a payment, which can seriously impact your credit score. Thanks to a lower rate and the ability to protect your credit, autopay is a no brainer!
Fixed and variable rate loans are available with repayment periods ranging from five to 20 years. Hybrid loans are available only with a 10-year repayment period.
CommonBond eligibility requirements
To be eligible for CommonBond student loans, you must be 18 or older and a United States citizen or permanent resident. You must also have graduated from an accredited Title IV school and reside in one of the 40+ states that CommonBond operates in.
All loans require passing a credit check, which includes a hard credit inquiry.fill out a CommonBond application
CommonBond customer service
CommonBond customer service is easy to access via phone, live chat, or email. The lender makes customer service a top priority, and that is clearly visible based on how they present themselves to current and prospective customers.
During the application process or anywhere else on the website, you can click the round chat icon to reach a live person. You can also click on the bar at the top of the application screen for additional support options, including a phone number.
More about CommonBond
CommonBond was founded by three students who met in 2011 while enrolled in the Wharton MBA program. David Klein, Mike Taormina, and Jessup Shean leveraged their top-tier business education to solve the frustrations of student lending. The executive team is led by Klein and the company is headquartered in New York.
One of the most impressive parts of CommonBond is its social activism. Through a partnership with nonprofit Pencils for Promise, CommonBond funds a year’s worth of education for a child in need every time a new loan is approved on the platform.
This one-to-one giving was popularized by companies like Toms and Warby Parker, but CommonBond is the first company to bring this model to finance.
To round out this CommonBond review, here are some options to reach CommonBond customer support and social media.
Customer care is available by phone at 800-975-7812 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The company is headquartered at 524 Broadway, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10012.
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1 = Citizens Disclaimer.
2 = CollegeAve Autopay Disclaimer: All rates shown include the auto-pay discount. The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as a valid bank account is designated for required monthly payments. Variable rates may increase after consummation.
* The Sallie Mae partner referenced is not the creditor for these loans and is compensated by Sallie Mae for the referral of Smart Option Student Loan customers.
3 = Sallie Mae Disclaimer: Click here for important information. Terms, conditions and limitations apply.
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