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In Depth: CommonBond Student Loan Refinance Review (CommonBond.co Refinancing)

CommonBond gets a 4.5/5 rating due to excellent interest rates and high approval numbers. However, CommonBond isn’t the best choice for some borrowers.

Written By: Michael P. Lux, Esq.

Last Updated:

In Depth: CommonBond Student Loan Refinance Review (CommonBond.co Refinancing)

CommonBond gets a 4.5/5 rating due to excellent interest rates and high approval numbers. However, CommonBond isn’t the best choice for some borrowers.

Written By: Michael P. Lux, Esq.

Last Updated:

This CommonBond student loan refinance review was last updated on 10/2/21 to include the latest interest rate information and a $150 borrower bonus.

CommonBond has one of the better reputations of the many student loan refinance companies. Over the years, we have seen approval rates with CommonBond fluctuate, but for the most part, CommonBond usually offers excellent interest rates with better than average approval numbers.

As a result of the customer feedback and rates offered, CommonBond has been a regular in our student loan refinance lender rankings. That being said, like other lenders, CommonBond does have some flaws that borrowers should understand before starting the refinance process.

The CommonBond Basics

CommonBond is different than many other student loan refinance companies because its business focus is centered around student loans.

Some lenders are traditional banks that have added student loans to their many other features. Others, such as SoFi, have started in student loan refinancing but quickly expanding into other financial services. At CommonBond, the exclusive specialty seems to be student debt.

In our investigation of CommonBond the company, we found evidence of efforts by CommonBond to be socially responsible. This millennial-friendly corporate approach includes charitable contributions and a yearly trip to Ghana for customers and employees to build classrooms.

CommonBond Refinance Rates, Terms, and Options

CommonBond Overview
Loan Terms5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 Years
Variable Rate Loans1.96% - 6.82%
Fixed Rate Loans2.26% - 6.74%
Minimum Refinance Amount$5,000
New Borrower Bonus$150

CommonBond will refinance private loans as well as a wide range of federal loans, including Parent PLUS loans.

Like most legitimate lenders, CommonBond does not charge any loan origination fees or prepayment penalties.

FirstMark is the servicer for all CommonBond refi loans. When CommonBond checks borrower credit reports, they use TransUnion.

Because CommonBond rate offerings are reasonable for most loan types, borrowers will have some flexibility with loan duration. The 20-year loans will certainly have higher interest rates than the short-term loans, but when jumping from one loan increment to the next, the interest rate jump usually isn’t very severe. As a result, a borrower can opt for a 15-year loan instead of a 10-year loan to get lower monthly payments without facing a dramatic interest rate increase.

CommonBond is also starting to develop a reputation for having a higher approval rate than other student loan refinance companies. Borrowers with excellent credit can expect a low interest rate while borrowers with less than perfect credit may still find approval.

Advantages to Working with CommonBond

The interest rates offered by CommonBond are some of the lowest student loan consolidation interest rates available. The lack of origination fees and prepayment penalties is another huge advantage. They also offer five different length repayment plans. Having the option of 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20-year plans allow borrowers to tailor monthly payments to their specific needs.

CommonBond also offers what they call CommonBridge. CommonBridge is a program to help borrowers who lose their job find a new one. They seem to be taking the calculated risk that spending money helping borrowers find a new job will be more profitable in the long run. This is definitely a rare approach, and something we hope to see other lenders follow.

CommonBond also has a Hybrid Loan that is both a fixed rate loan and a variable rate loan. The Hybrid Loan has a 10-year repayment term, but the interest rate starts as a fixed-rate loan for the first five years and then becomes a variable interest rate loan for the final five. From a borrower perspective, it isn’t abundantly clear who this type of loan is best for, but it is definitely a unique option.

A Few Reasons for Concern

In our review of the CommonBond student loan refinance option, one potential concern is CommonBond’s willingness to consolidate Federal student loans with private student loans.

While this approach may work in certain limited circumstances, converting federal debt into private debt is one of the major risks of Student Loan Refinancing. Borrowers interested in consolidating their Federal loans into a private loan would be wise to very carefully consider their options before irreversibly consolidating their loans. That being said, this particular concern applies to all student loan refinance companies and is not unique to CommonBond.

CommonBond Review: Final Thoughts

If you have a solid income and credit score and plan on aggressively paying off your student debt, CommonBond could be a great option. To find out what rate you qualify for, click here.

About the Author

Student loan expert Michael Lux is a licensed attorney and the founder of The Student Loan Sherpa. He has helped borrowers navigate life with student debt since 2013.

Insight from Michael has been featured in US News & World Report, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and numerous other online and print publications.

Michael is available for speaking engagements and to respond to press inquiries.

39 thoughts on “In Depth: CommonBond Student Loan Refinance Review (CommonBond.co Refinancing)”

  1. The same thing happened to me just last week. It is ridiculous that they still haven’t put that requirement up on their website.

    Reply
  2. Commonbond’s application process is horrible. From the reviewers, to the underwriters to the folks who answer the phones its a mess. Applied to redo student loans and they dragged out the process. I would never waste my time again.

    Reply
  3. Anyone who is in the same position I am in might as well not waste their time. I am 61 years old and helped my son get through college. He has a few loans in his name and I have only 5800.00 in mine at that great 8% interest. While in my Kedit Karma account it was suggested I go this route. I found out that I am not good enough because I personally didn’t go to college. Great credit score and a very successful business but they act as though I am worthless because I didn’t go the college route in the 70’s, like so many others.

    The good thing they did for me is to get me to take a look a USAA and PFCU where I can get a better rate and they don’t discriminate!

    Reply
  4. Applied as a cosigner with 820 credit score. Took a week for them to gather enough info to deny the loan. I called to ask why and suggested that they didn’t take my assets into account and they said that they already closed that application and that I could reapply if I wanted.

    I applied to Discover and got 3 1/4 percent offer in less then 24 hours. Not really impressed and can’t say I like them.

    Reply
  5. Just got off phone with Common Bond customer service to learn about their program and process. One key thing I learned, not specifically covered in Sherpa reviews but should be, is that in case of borrower’s death, Common Bond passes the loan repayment responsibility on to the co-signer. In case of SoFi, and maybe other lenders, the loan is forgiven if the borrower dies. Important point for co-signers.

    Reply
  6. I have perfect credit and I make 60k a year and they gave me a 5.55% rate fixed. It’s ridiculous. Then they’ll tell you that you have to make “minimum salary requirements.” It’s a scam. They asked for a cosigner. I can finance a 40k car but can’t refinance 10k? Oh okay.

    Reply
    • Well there’s a difference. They can take back the car (collateral).

      but anyways.

      I also applied and and I never got to the rate because they ask for a cosigner. I make 95k a year in a steady field with 6 years experience. I only wanted to refinance 30k. Credit Scores in the 700. 130k in credit limits. All the other lenders 4-5% depending on which one with no need for cosigners.

      Reply
    • Lots of money have I but I am retired. With a home paid for, retired pay even more than I made while working, liquid assets in stocks and bonds totalling a large sum common bond turned me down because they only accept less than a quarter of my annual income as “assets” according to them. Seems I might have lucked out as these people seem to not follow their own terms. Stay away, I say.

      Reply
  7. I submitted all of my documents about 4 months ago and still haven’t gotten a response on when the process will be completed. Every time I chat with someone online I get the same computer response that they have had increased applications and it’s taking them longer to review all of them. I”m sorry, but 4 months without a solid response is unacceptable

    Reply

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