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CommonBond

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27 User Reviews

5.4

Overall Score

CommonBond offers customizable loan options that can be used to refinance federal and private graduate and undergraduate degrees. If you refinance your student loans through CommonBond, you can expect to receive competitive rates and terms, minimal fees, and payment assistance.

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Highlight: CommonBond rates and terms

  • Minimum credit score — 660
  • Loan amounts — refinance up to $500,000
  • Fixed rate — 2.59–6.74% APR
  • Variable rate — 2.56–6.87% APR
  • Hybrid rate — 2.98–6.57% APR
  • Autopay discount available — 0.25%

Continue reading for more information about the company's fixed rate and variable rate loans, loan term options, and repayment options, as well as verified CommonBond reviews.

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The Good

  • Low and Transparent Rates
  • No Hidden Fees
  • Refinancing Term Lengths
  • Forbearance Options
  • Employment Services
  • Pencils of Promise

Low and Transparent Rates

CommonBond has charts laid out on its site for a variable loan, fixed loan, or hybrid loan. For each type of loan, consumers can see a high and low APR rate, estimated monthly payment, estimated interest, and an estimated cost of a $10,000 student loan. And you can easily see which rates you qualify for by pre-qualifying.

Not only is CommonBond transparent, but it also features lower rates than other private lenders in the student debt industry. The site states that CommonBond investors believe that creditworthy borrowers deserve lower rates than those provided by traditional institutions. Individual rates depend on the credit profile, choice of variable or fixed rate, and the term (length) of the student loan.

Fixed interest rate:

  • 2.59–6.74% APR
  • Terms — 5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years

Variable interest rate:

  • 2.56–6.87% APR
  • Terms — 5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years

Hybrid interest rate:

  • 2.98–6.57% APR
  • Terms — 10 years

Variable rates can change with the market, so monthly payments may vary. However, CommonBond's rates are competively low in the industry overall.

No Hidden Fees

There is no prepayment penalty fee if a borrower would like to pay off their loan sooner, and there is no loan origination fee, an uncommon practice in the industry.

It is important to note that CommonBond does have a late payment fee of 5 percent of the unpaid amount for the month's payment. However, most, if not all, loan lenders have a late payment fee.

Refinancing Term Lengths

CommonBond boasts some of the most flexible options for student loan refinancing terms in the industry; when borrowers refinance their student loan debt with CommonBond, they can choose from a variety of terms: 5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years.

CommonBond also offers a 10-year hybrid loan. With the hybrid CommonBond student loan, the first 60 payments (5 years) of the student loan have a fixed interest rate. The last 60 payments (last 5 years) will have a variable interest rate which is the total of the margin plus 1-month LIBOR.

The CommonBond Hybrid Loan is a great option for borrowers who would like to pay their student loan off early.

Forbearance Options

CommonBond offers a degree of repayment flexibility that many other private lenders lack.

Students can apply for in-school deferment of a CommonBond student loan during the time they are enrolled. Like most private lenders, the loans will accrue interest while the student is in school, but deferment can be an attractive option for consumers who plan on attaining higher education to improve their career outlook.

CommonBond also offers military and residency forbearance. In addition, graduates may apply for loan forbearance in three-month periods for a total of 24 months over the lifetime of their student loan, offering a brief grace period of lower or paused payments. These options allow for greater customization in student loan repayment plans.

Employment Services

Like many student loan refinancing companies, CommonBond has an employment protection clause (known as a forbearance period). Not only will the lender pause any payments if a borrower loses their job, but its employment specialists will also help them find a new job.

Borrowers can also join the "CommonBond Community" and gain access to networking events. These events help members make connections in their industry and are especially great for those looking for a new job or a mentor.

Pencils of Promise

Inspired by other companies like TOMS Shoes and Warby Parker, CommonBond strives to prove that business can and should be a positive force for change. Through their partnership with the non-profit organization, Pencils of Promise, for every degree fully funded through CommonBond, the lender will fund the tuition of a student in need.

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The Bad

  • Must Be a Graduate
  • Late Payment Penalty
  • Hard Credit Pull
  • Cosigner Required
  • Limited State Availability
  • Customer Reviews

Must Be a Graduate

To start refinancing student loans, borrowers must be a graduate. This seems to be standard in the student debt industry, but some student loan refinance companies can still consolidate or refinance a student loan if borrowers did not graduate or are no longer enrolled in school.

Late Payment Penalty

CommonBond charges a late fee of 5.00 percent of the unpaid amount of the due payment or $10.00 (whichever is less), and a return check fee of $5.00, subject to state law restrictions.

There is no origination fee or prepayment penalty for student loan refinancing.

Cosigner Required

While a cosigner is optional for students applying for an MBA loan, undergraduate and graduate students require a creditworthy cosigner to refinance student loans. 

CommonBond offers cosigner release after the borrower graduates from his or her degree program, passes the age of 21, completes 24 months of repayment, and meets CommonBond's underwriting criteria.

Limited State Availability

CommonBond refinancing is available in all states except Mississippi and Nevada. If you live in either of these states, you will need to look into other student loan refinancing options.

Customer Reviews

It is important to note that CommonBond reviews are currently limited, but the majority of reviews are negative, frequently outlining bad experiences with customer service, as well as long waits for loan underwriting.

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The Bottom Line

A CommonBond student loan is perfect for refinancing a graduate degree — especially if you have excellent credit and make close to or over $100,000 annually. When compared to competitors, CommonBond has some of the lowest student loan refinancing rates in the industry, in addition to flexible loan terms.

Created by students who were paying off student debt, CommonBond is designed to meet the needs and be intuitive for college-aged students. The website's easy navigation facilitates simplifying the student loan refinancing process, providing key information (interest rates, loan terms, etc.) as well as informational blog articles to help you understand the ins and outs of student loans.

If you are a first time student loan borrower, or are looking to refinance either a federal student loan or private student loan, CommonBond is a great place to start. You will receive competitive rates, as well as forbearance options that can provide peace of mind and relief if there are periods when it may be difficult to make your payments.

However, be aware that the majority of customer reviews are negative, highlighting bad experiences with customer service as well as long waits for loan underwriting and processing. It is important to note that reviews are currently limited, but it might be worth looking into other student loan refinancing company options, especially if you are looking to refinance quickly. 

If you have worked with this company, please tell us about your experience by leaving a CommonBond refinance review.

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Star Rating

2.0

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27 Reviews

Review Breakdown

5 grade

22%

4 grade

0%

3 grade

0%

2 grade

7%

1 grade

70%

Sentiment Criteria

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Mike Tackmier Redding, CA

Well we tried to refinance my daughter's student loans but common bond drug out the whole process for two months asking for soich documentation piece by piece which delayed the whole process. They wanted bank info, paystubs from me her cosigner for the last several years, I even gave my passport and W2 and tax returns for last 2 years. Then after 2 months of back and forth they finally said sure but offered loan terms that were not acceptable, different from what was quoted and wanted to only give 5,7, or 10 year term when asked for 20 with terms they pre-qualified for. No thanks common bond. You waisted my daughter's time and mine and I believe you dragged out this whole process so you could wait for interest rates to go up as well. No more excuses. You can't make this right no matter what you print as a response. Bait and switch tactics poor customer service, predatory lending type feel as they just wanted to get asuch money from my young daughter as possible Shame on you. Don't sign a loan with these people

1 week ago

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Rose Salina Cruz, OAX

CommonBond quoted me with a 2.84% fixed APR and then raised it to almost 5% AFTER I added a co-signer. They wouldn't allow me to refinance my loan without a co-signer because I am a 1099 employee. For reference, I make $60,000+ / yearly, but since it's not a W-2, they don't consider it valid—apparently being a 1099 employee doesn't count to CommonBond. My father was my co-signer and he makes markedly more than me and has excellent credit, but they managed to almost double my interest rate after he was added to my application. CommonBond clearly only refinances loans for folks with six figure W-2 incomes, leaving anyone else behind.

1 month ago

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Hadi Ann Arbor, MI

Interacting with Common Bond is a completely different ball game and a very good one at that. I've always been pleasantly surprised to have received very personalized service and the realization that I am talking with the same person who I had been interacting with via email. There hasn't been a single thing to complain about and it's been one positive experience after another. I've been super glad to have discovered Common Bond and hope others get the experience of working with Common Bond too.

4 years ago

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Christina Maly Baltimore, MD

When I first tried to apply for refinance, I was not eligible given I had earned an MPH. I was pleasantly surprised when months later CommonBond sent me an email letting me know that the eligibility criteria had been expanded. My interest dropped 2%, there were no fees and every single staff person I had an interaction with (either over the phone or via email), was professional, helpful and efficient. I cannot recommend CommonBond highly enough.

4 years ago

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Richard Griffith Acworth, GA

Commonbond saved us thousands of dollars in additional interest to Sallie Mae. Thankful for their help in transferring our loan to them. The process was very simplistic and was handled with professionalism. Love Commonbond!

4 years ago

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Maggy Sharobeem NJ

The whole process was pretty easy and they gave me the best rates. I shopped around for a while to find a good company to refinance my loans with and CommonBond exceeded them all. Other companies even tried to tell me there was no way I got the rates I got with CommonBond. Very happy so far.

4 years ago

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Dave Carter New York, NY

I used commonbond for my MBA loans at stern instead of going with federal loans and it saved me a lot of money (close to 20k). I had a good experience with them - they sent me a book on entrepreneurship and took me out to a few borrowers dinners (on them). Good experience overall.

5 years ago

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Aurelia Woodstock, GA

I would give more stars for the CommonBond Care Team. They are responsive but they cannot correct the problem. There is one thing you need to keep in mind when you apply to refinance your existing student loan with CommonBond. The approval process itself might be quick, but once you are approved the check to pay off your existing loan goes to the lender via regular mail. This method of payment was not disclosed to me before or during the application period. It all became apparent after the loan was disbursed and the existing loan remained unpaid after a week. I contacted CommonBond to investigate why it was taking so long to pay off the existing loan and I was told that the payoff check goes to the existing lender via regular mail and it can take 2-3 weeks for the existing loan to be paid. What? In 2018, with all the great opportunities available to use some kind of faster method of payment, CommonBond still uses regular mail? There is something wrong with this process because typically student loan companies (Navient in my case) provide a 10-day payoff statement from the date of the request. However, the processing time plus the delivery method CommonBond uses will take easily twice that, perhaps more. In fact, the disbursement of my loan by CommonBond occurred on March 14, 2018 and as of today, March 27, 2018 (13 days later) the existing loan is still not paid. I also contacted Navient and apparently, they have not received the check and no way to find out when it will arrive. What is more worrisome is that the interest keeps accruing in both the old and the new loan at the same time. So, I am being penalized by the antiquated process CommonBond uses, which results in unnecessary increased interest payments. CommonBond does not want to take responsibility for this outdated method of payment. To be fair to the customer, CommonBond should disclose this upfront and not charge interest on the new loan until the old loan is paid off.

3 years ago

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Sogol St Louis, MO

Horrible experience! Applied to CommonBond loan for my dental school 1 month ago and got a better rate (Fixed rate of %6.24) than anywhere else! Accepted the loan and waited for a month to receive the certification! Never received it! contacted them 4 times, they admitted that the problem is on their side and they can't send the certification to Elm (the service my school processes alternative loans through) but they will fix it! After a month of wasting my time and people's time in the financial office of my school, calling them 4 times , passing the deadline of the semester for tuition by 3 weeks, finally accepted the loan from another bank. The sad part is from the 2 people who applied for the loan with CommonBond, none of us got the certification!

1 year ago

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Lisa San Francisco, CA

Common Bond has a great concept and pretty website, and the customer reps on the phone seemed genuinely helpful. But when it came down to underwriting, it was a long and arduous process that takes AT LEAST TWO WEEKS, IF NOT MONTHS. While I was assured they would put it as a "priority" since I had a competing offer, the answers and explanations I got were canned and not transparent on timelines. At the same time, I was consolidating my federal loans with Great Lakes, one of the larger student loan servicers contracted with the DOE--even they can relay much better expectations and information about my application. Since I had a competing offer for my private student loans that was going to expire, and I didn't want to remain under the clutches of ACS Loan servicing any longer than necessary, I cancelled my application with Common Bond and went with Citizens Bank -- much faster response time and easy application process with competing rates.

4 years ago

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James Washington, DC

Commonbond's primary value proposition is their rates -- supposedly lower than federal loan rates by a material amount. This is NOT the case for me, and I'm not sure this is the case for many folks. My Commonbond rates turned out to be higher than my federal rates: 6.74% (Commonbond 2014) vs. 6.21% (federal 2014); and 5.95% (Commonbond 2015) vs. 5.84% (federal 2015). This was both a surprise and a disappointment. The student loan business model is broken, and Commonbond is not promising a solution, rather, they are adding to it. They have a modern, cool marketing pitch, but are they really different? Not really. Perhaps it good knowing that the extra you are paying on your Commonbond loans may go to a good cause.

5 years ago

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Nand D. New York, NY

Lost $4k when I refinanced, has taken months and it has still not been resolved. It is January 22nd and they have said that the holidays have impacted the 1-2 week timeline, but the holidays were 3 weeks ago. They gave me a revised timeline of 1-3 weeks today and nothing has been applied to my account. Everytime I email them, they are reactive and not proactive in resolving the issue that I have. Would not recommend them as a loan provider for anyone

1 year ago

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Chris H Columbus, OH

I have had a horrific experience with their service side. The loan process was relatively straight forward, however my credit was inquired twice. Secondly, I was told I would receive a $150 PayPal credit. Months, and many many emails later, I still have not received my bonus and their customer team has been incredibly difficult and opaque in getting this resolved. Really horrible company to deal with.

1 year ago

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very unhappy customer Los Angeles, CA

It's taken over 4 months and counting for them to process a refund check from my previous loan servicer. I've called, emailed, and chatted with CommonBond dozens of times, and every time, they say they're going to get back to you within the next day or so, but they never do. I regret using CommonBond to refinance my student loans. The headache is not worth it.

1 year ago

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Donna Reynolds Brazoria, TX

I have a Parent Plus loan from my daughter's education. I, however, do not hold a degree. CommonBond refuses to work with me to refinance this loan because of that. They did not check my credit score (it's over 850) nor did they ask my annual income. I find this to be a terribly prejudicial policy. I may not hold a degree, but my husband and I make close to $100K a year. We are perfectly capable of repaying this loan, we just want to not pay so much in interest.

3 years ago

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Larry Louis Midland, TX

Terrible. There site is a mess, sent me a link to co-sign for my daughter, first attempt wa a loop going nowhere, they would follow up with me, then site had me applying for a loan, sent me an email asking me to cosign for my own loan, then said they would follow up, next day an email came, I was back online and they saw a mess asking me that same questions, again another follow scenario. Not sure if this place is a real businss,

3 years ago

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Brett Thompson Waynesboro, VA

I helped my son though college and still carry $5800.00 loans at 8% so while I was in my Credit Karma account, their information was there. I thought I would give it a try. No such luck! Even though I am 61 years old, have a successful business and a great credit score, I am not good enough because I did not personally attend college in the '70's. Don't waste your time if you fall into this category! What they did for me is remind me that both USAA and PFCU want my business for the same thing and the best part... a better rate.

3 years ago

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Sherri mcnamara George West, TX

I think they are sharks that shop around to kleen user info and sell your info. I have near perfect credit but all we got to was a denial based on the school I graduated from. I should have been denied as soon as I enterd the school name before they got the last 4 of my social. They got my email address, my phone number, home address and ;last 4.....I feel totally violated. Should have checked the BBB before I went for this site. They have no rating becuase they suck!

4 years ago

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C McManus Tampa, FL

Refinancing a ParentPlus loan and the application process was unbelievable. Over 3 weeks after being approved still asking for more and more documentation (every 5 days or so) - submitted 2 years W2's, 3 pay stubs, proof of graduation, Loan documentation, updated documents because Commonbond went into another month for approval. Also raised the interest rate 2 points after being approved. I got a lower rate with less headache at SoFi Lending.

4 years ago

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J.R. Saint Michael, MN

Not a fan of Commonbond. It took them 2 to 3 weeks to finally tell me that my wife wasn't qualified as a co-signer even though she makes $50k per year working part time. My wife and I had a good laugh about that one. Not to mention they raised my rate last minute right before I was going to sign with them without co-signer. I ended up trying Lendkey and got a decent rate, 4.25% with my wife as a co-signer. This is much better than my current 7.2% rate with federal loans. Stay away from Commonbond - their underwriters are awful and try to cover it up with their cool marketing.

5 years ago

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Cass Springfield, MO

Yikes...I have a high credit score, low DTI, and have never had an issue qualifying for any type of loan, including previous student loan refinances. They wanted me to have a COSIGNER....?!?!?! Um, no...pretty sure this is a scam company that just wants to source your personal information. STAY AWAY.

2 years ago

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Sean Houston, TX

If I could give them a 0 I would. I am self employed and was treated with absolute disrespect. Originally quoted rates in the 5s then suddenly bait and switched to almost 7%. Buyer beware with them they are shady.

1 year ago

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Rob Hollis, NY

Took them 2 months to review my application. I called after a month and they said they would prioritize it. I finally got fed up and told them to cancel. I'll have my loans paid off at the rate they process applications.

5 years ago

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Tom F Springfield, PA

The application process is terrible. Unable to reach a live person. Cannot back up on the site to change previously entered responses. Now they have been reviewing my documents for two weeks with no end in sight.

5 years ago

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Katie Saint Louis, MO

CommonBond was ridiculous. They told me I needed a cosigner on a $9500 refinance due to "insufficient income". I make 75k/year! They said the minimum is 80k. Really??

5 years ago

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Adam Fanelle Runnemede, NJ

Had an issue. They fixed it the next day. Now a happy customer

3 years ago

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Jay Omaha, NE

This company ruined my life, I am unable to continue my education because of them. Do not use this company

1 year ago

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