CommonBond vs SoFi

Kalicia Bateman
Kalicia Bateman | Contributor

Commonbond and SoFi are both top lenders in the student loan refinancing industry. With both companies offering competitive terms and rates, consumers can trust that they will be able to consolidate their outstanding student loans and lower their monthly payments through one refinanced loan balance with either company. Both companies offer refinancing services for private student loans and federal student loans.

To receive loan refinance approval with either company, an excellent minimum credit score of approximately 680 is required. For recent college graduates, this may pose a challenge if they have not yet begun building their credit, or have a minimal credit history. However, both Commonbond and SoFi allow borrowers to apply with a cosigner, increasing the chances of approval by providing an additional, higher credit score. Both companies also offer a cosigner release after certain requirements have been met.

Although both companies have similar services and offerings, there are some key differences to be aware of between Commonbond and SoFi:

  • Hybrid Interest Rate
  • Fees
  • Loan Forbearance
  • Member Benefits
  • Social Impact Program
  • Full Balance Refinancing
  • Customer Reviews
CommonBond logo verified_user
#7 CommonBond
5.3 Overall Score
2.0
star star star_border star_border star_border
(27)
SoFi logo verified_user
#2 SoFi
7.6 Overall Score
4.0
star star star star star_border
(60)

Overview

CommonBond

Forbearance Option

Yes

Features
check Auto Payment
check Career Support
check Cosigner Option
Requirements
Loan Type

Both

Services Offered

Refinance

Term Lengths

5,7,10,15,20

Max Undergrad.

$500,000

Time in Business

10 Years

SoFi

Yes

check Auto Payment
check Career Support
check Cosigner Option
check Calculator

Both

Both

5, 7, 10, 15, 20

Full

10 Years

Ratings

CommonBond

Overall Score
5.3 of 10
Review Score
2.0
star star star_border star_border star_border
Value for Money
1.8
star star star_border star_border star_border
Quality of Product or Service
1.9
star star star_border star_border star_border
Company Trustworthiness
1.5
star star_half star_border star_border star_border
Likely to Recommend
1.3 of 10

SoFi

7.6 of 10
4.0
star star star star star_border
3.8
star star star star star_border
4.0
star star star star star_border
3.7
star star star star_half star_border
5.0 of 10

Reviews

CommonBond

Number of Reviews
27
Review Breakdown
2.0
star star star_border star_border star_border
5 star
22%
4 star
0%
3 star
0%
2 star
7%
1 star
70%

SoFi

60
4.0
star star star star star_border
5 star
67%
4 star
10%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
23%

Reviews for CommonBond

Helpful Favorable Review

star star star star star

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

Helpful Critical Review

star star_border star_border star_border star_border

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

Reviews for SoFi

Helpful Favorable Review

star star star star star

Mayowan Kenobi Puyallup, WA

SoFi enabled me to refinance my student loans when no one else would lend to me due to my debt ratio. SoFi recognized the needs of student debt holders, and setup a service that enables them to pay off otherwise expensive loans. I paid off my student debt long before it was due and was able to start building wealth rather than being indebted to the government. Highly recommend!

7 months ago

Helpful Critical Review

star star_border star_border star_border star_border

Lena Albany, NY

SoFi Financial is identity theft entity. It knows that it will not help you with refinancing, but try to obtain as much as possible your personal identification information, your income and other personal financial information. They are dangerous!

3 years ago

The Final Word

When choosing a lender to refinance your student loan debt, it is important to compare and contrast the services offered by multiple companies. In this case, Commonbond and SoFi are both top choices in the student loan refinancing industry, offering similar services. However, there are some differences that you should be aware of:

Hybrid Interest Rate

Both Commonbond and SoFi offer fixed interest rate loans and variable interest rate loans. However, Commonbond also offers a hybrid interest rate loan, which is unique to the student loan refinancing industry. Hybrid loans are a common practice in mortgage lending, but are not a common practice within education financing. In fact, Commonbond was the first lender in the student loan refinance industry to provide a hybrid rate offering.

Hybrid interest rates combine the best parts of fixed and variable rates, helping borrowers reduce their interest rate, monthly payments, and total interest paid. A borrower will have a fixed rate for the first half of their hybrid loan and then transition to a variable rate for the latter half, which generally means that they will have a lower interest rate to start off with. This is a particularly good option for those who would like to pay off their loans early because they can repay their loan before it switches to a variable interest rate, saving them more money in the long run.

Fees

Both Commonbond and SoFi do not charge a loan origination fee or a prepayment penalty fee. Most lenders do not have prepayment fees, but the majority do have origination fees, so it is nice that both lenders do not charge that fee.

SoFi does not even charge a late fee. Commonbond, on the other hand, does charge a late fee of 5 percent of the unpaid amount of the payment due. Late fees are a common practice in the loan industry, so the fact that Commonbond charges this fee is not unusual. It is a nice perk that SoFi does not charge a late fee, but any borrower should strive to make on-time payments each month, as their credit score could be negatively affected if they do not. Therefore, not having a late fee could remove some stress, but it could also be a detriment if you fall into a pattern of late payments.

Loan Forbearance

Both Commonbond and Sofi offer loan forbearance if a borrower is experiencing financial hardship. However, Commonbond offers up to 24 months of loan forbearance, while SoFi only offers up to 12 months.

Loan forbearance is a very helpful service if you are unable to make your monthly payments for whatever reason. During a period of forbearance, you are not required to make payments, but in some cases, as is with Commonbond, you can still make payments during this time, when you are able. Forbearance also should not affect your credit score.

It is important to note that even though Commonbond has a longer period of available forbearance than SoFi, you may not be approved for that whole term. 

Member Benefits

Commonbond and SoFi have similar services, assisting borrowers with career planning and connecting customers with specialists. But, SoFi has a membership program that provides multiple benefits.

To become a SoFi member you can either pick a loan product, or simply make an account. Once you are a member, you will have access to financial planning tools and services, member interest rate discounts, deals from SoFi partner companies, and you can even draft your will for free. These offerings are a great way to plan for your financial future, beyond paying off your student loan debt.

Social Impact Program

Commonbond goes one step beyond in helping students finance their education and pay off student debt, by making a commitment to help children around the world receive an education.

In partnership with Pencils of Promise, a nonprofit organization that builds schools and increases educational opportunities for children in developing countries, Commonbond is making a difference in the developing world. And if you choose to refinance your student loans with Commonbond, you will not only be helping yourself get out of debt, but you will be helping a child receive their education. 

To date, Commonbond has donated $1 million to students in need and built over 470 schools. Overall, if you choose to refinance with Commonbond, you will also be making a global impact.

Full Balance Refinancing

SoFi has no upper limit on how much you can borrow to refinance your student loans. The line is drawn only when the total balance owed on your loans has been reached. This is a great offering if you have multiple student loans, allowing you to consolidate them all into one loan with better rates.

Commonbond allows you to refinance up to $500,000. However, for the majority of borrowers, their total student loan debt will likely be far less than this maximum loan amount, so this upper limit should not be problematic.

Customer Reviews

Commonbond and SoFi both have limited numbers of customer reviews. However, based on the reviews that we do have, SoFi is ranked significantly higher than Commonbond with many positive reviews.

Commonbond currently only has 25 reviews, but 68 percent of them are one star reviews, outlining difficulties with customer service, as well as a very slow funding time that often left borrowers waiting for weeks while both the old and new loan were potentially accruing interest.

If you've refinanced your student loans with Commonbond, please tell us about your experience and leave a review.

SoFi currently has 57 reviews, 67 percent of which are five star reviews. Customers most often highlight incredible customer service and lowered rates, as well as a much shorter repayment term, saving them much more money than they would have otherwise.

If you've refinanced your student loans with SoFi, please tell us about your experience and leave a review.

Top Choice

SoFi Logo
SoFi

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