Commonbond Review 2020: Refinancing and Private Student Loans

CommonBond bills itself as a lender that cares, a promise that extends both to its borrowers and its community. During our review of the company’s products, we found that it manages to live up to that commitment with a variety of competitive rates, excellent customer support, and a promise to help fund children’s education for every loan they extend. 

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    The company firmly believes that while student loans are necessary, they shouldn’t limit you for the rest of your life. CommonBond has been operating since 2012, and they have already extended $3 billion in student loans.

    Borrowers do require a cosigner, which can be a turnoff for some, but the prerequisite comes with lower costs attached.

    Additionally, they offer a great range of loans for both undergraduate and graduate students and provides mentorship and support for the duration of your loan. Read our

    CommonBond student loans review below, and see what our users are saying about the company:

    CommonBond

    Why Get a Student Loan from CommonBond?

    Because it underwrites loans exclusively with cosigners, CommonBond’s rates start lower than many of its competitors. If you’re already planning on using a cosigner, the company’s services offer a significant added value.

    Instead of simply having someone contact you if you fall behind, CommonBomd sets you up with a mentor from its team of experts to give you financial guidance, help you get more money for school, and even assist with finding internships.

    Moreover, the company is dedicated to making the lending process easy and efficient, so you don’t have to jump through the many hoops most lenders require. Instead, you can simply fill out an application on any device and quickly get started with the process.

    What Student Loans does CommonBond Offer?

    We were happy to see that CommonBonds offers a good variety of student loans both for undergraduates and a range of graduate studies.

    The company’s loans let you borrow up to the full cost of attendance (with a few conditions, as well as a $ 500,000-lifetime limit), for any of its five tracks:

    Undergraduate Student Loans

    CommonBond’s undergraduate loans include repayment options of 5, 10, or 15 years for a minimum of $2,000. However, they give you a six-month grace period and let you release your cosigner once you graduate and complete 24 consecutive months of full payments.

    Graduate Student Loans

    Graduate loans have the same repayment terms as their undergraduate counterparts and also require a cosigner. However, you also gain access to the company’s Money Mentors and other educational resources. 

    MBA Student Loans

    CommonBond offers specific loans for MBA students, and though rates start slightly higher in some cases than the standard graduate loans, it offers significant benefits. This includes the company’s MBA Internship program and career development programs, and even an invitation to CommonBond’s Social Promise trip to Ghana.

    Dental Student Loans

    The company’s dental student loans let you borrow up to the full cost of attendance at your school minus any scholarships and other forms of assistance including fellowships, other financial aid, and grants. However, the company does claim a significant savings compared to Federal Grad PLUS loans.;

    Medical Student Loan

    Finally, CommonBond’s medical student loans are designed for those looking to study in any medical field. Interest rates are slightly higher than the standard graduate loans but include the same benefits and are still an upgrade over the Federal Grad PLUS fixed rates. 

    Student Loan Refinancing with CommonBond

    We were very impressed with CommonBond’s refinancing option, which offers truly competitive rates that start as low as 1.81% and offer a wide range of repayment terms. As with their other loan products, their refinancing loans require a cosigner, but they also offer both cosigner release, and the ability to transfer loans from parents to students.

    Another major standout for CommonBond refinancing is the company’s forbearance policy, which gives you 24 months of delayed payments (though you’ll still accrue interest) if you find yourself in unexpected financial trouble.

    Additionally, CommonBond supports refinancing for international students and lets you refinance up to $500,000. The company supports repayment terms of 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 years.

    July 2020

    Fixed rates3.19 - 6.43% ⁴ APR
    Variable rates3.18 - 6.07%⁴ APR
    Hybrid4.45 - 6.10%⁴ APR
    Repayment Terms5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 years

    Private Student Loans

    Explore our CommonBond student loans review below and find the loan that works best for you: 

    Undergraduate, Graduate, MBA, Dental, and Medical student loans let you borrow a minimum of $2,000 and give you up to the total cost of attendance based on your school’s calculation (with a lifetime limit of $500,000). The company presents multiple repayment offers, including a full deferment.

    Refinancing provides a similar amount range, offering up to $500,000 in loans. The company also offers five repayment terms, and some of the most competitive rates on the market to help you set up your post-education life.

    CommonBonds Rates and Fees July 2020

    One of our favorite aspects of CommonBond is that the company doesn’t include hidden fees or prepayment penalties on any of their loans (though they do include a late payment fee). Moreover, the company supplies a great range of interest rates:

    Fixed RatesVariable Rates
    Undergraduate5.45-9.74%³1.43-7.41%³
    Graduate5.4-9.74%³1.33-7.41%³
    MBA loans5.37-7.2%¹3.15-4.87%¹
    Dental Student loans5.33-6.98%⁷3.23-4.87%⁷
    Medical Student loans5.56-6.76%⁸3.46-4.64%⁸


    Additionally, while the company doesn’t include origination or prepayment fees, there is a late payment fee of 5.00% or $10, whichever is less.

    Furthermore, CommonBond charges a $5.00 return check fee.

    Repayment options

    If you’re seeking flexibility in terms of loan repayment, CommonBond has a lot to offer. The company provides four separate repayment alternatives in addition to its student-first approach to working with borrowers:

    Deferment

    Completely put off paying your loan until your grace period ends after graduation. Although you won’t be paying, your loan will still accrue interest, which will be capitalized to your existing principal once you start repayments.

    Flat monthly $25 payments

    This option lets you start making a dent in your interest by paying a set amount every month. Any interest that goes unpaid will be capitalized to your principal at the end of the monthly payment period.

    Interest-only payments

    Cut down on your future principal by completely paying off your interest every month while you’re in school. This comes with a higher price tag, but lets you avoid adding more to your total loan amount.

    Full monthly payments

    If you can afford it, CommonBonds lets you make full monthly payments as soon as you’re in school, which will significantly cut down on how long you’re making payments after you graduate.

    Customer Service

    This is perhaps CommonBond’s strongest suit, as its commitment to helping borrowers make responsible choices and position themselves for financial success shines through.

    When you’re approved for a loan, you’re partnered with a Money Mentor who helps you by answering questions, providing guidance, and even assisting you in finding internships. If you need faster support, you can contact the company via its live chat feature on the company website or call them directly.

    In addition, CommonBond offers an extensive blog section, as well as loan calculators and an excellent FAQ section on their website.

    CommonBond Pros and Cons

    Pros:

    • The company offers one of the most generous forbearance programs in the country, with up to 24 months of deferment if you run into unexpected financial difficulties.
    • Get a personalized interest rate estimate without damaging your credit score thanks to soft checks. 
    • Apply easily and from any device in just a few minutes
    • For every loan CommonBond funds, the company covers the cost of a child’s education through Pencils of Promise. 
    • No prepayment or origination fees mean that what you pay is what you see. 
    • Get a 0.25% rate discount when you sign up for automated payments. 
    • Receive a grace period of up to six months to give yourself breathing room after graduation. 

    Cons:

    • The company’s services are still not available in all 50 states, as well as for some universities. 
    • All the company’s loans require a cosigner for approval. 
    • If you refinance your loans, you’ll lose access to the benefits that come with federal loans. 

    How to Apply for a CommonBond Student Loan

    You can easily get started with your CommonBond application from any device. However, make sure you meet the following eligibility criteria  

    • You must be a US citizen, permanent resident, or hold a valid and relevant visa.
    • Be at least a half-time student
    • Attend an eligible university
    • Have a cosigner with good credit

    For MBA students, these additional requirements apply:

    • Be enrolled full-time with an eligible graduate program
    • Be a US citizen or permanent resident
    • Meet CommonBond’s underwriting criteria

    To get started with your application, simply visit the company’s website, click on the button, and you’ll be on your way. You’ll have to provide some basic personal details, as well as information about your cosigner and your social security details.

    Once you’ve completed this step, you’ll be notified about your application status, and if you’re approved, you’ll be matched with a Money Mentor to continue your loan servicing.

    Conclusion

    Overall, it’s hard to find many flaws in CommonBond’s offering. The company’s varied student loans let you cover a significant amount, and their student-first approach means you’ll have the support you need to responsibly pay it back.

    The company’s competitive rates also stand out as a major plus, though you’ll need a cosigner to access them. Even so, with both variable and fixed rates available, CommonBond still provides you with the flexibility to repay your loan in the manner that best suits your needs and abilities. 

    Finally, it’s worth noting the company’s social promise, which means that they’re actively helping children receive education whenever they fund a new loan. If you’re seeking a lender that prioritizes your needs and offers strong support, CommonBond is a strong contender.

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