SoFi vs CommonBond: The Showdown

Michael Lux Blog, Consolidation, Lower Payments, Student Loans 2 Comments

Article updated 7/11/20 to include the latest interest rate and new customer bonus information.

Two of the top names in student loan refinancing are SoFi and CommonBond. Both lenders fall firmly into the fin-tech category of lenders. Borrowers should expect a quick and easy process compared to working with a traditional bank.

The refinance services offered by both companies are also very similar. Both offer fixed-rate loans and variable-rate loans. Both companies offer a maximum repayment length of 20 years, and interest rates are comparable across the board for both lenders.

Despite the many similarities, there are a few key differences between these lenders…

SoFi vs. CommonBond: Head to Head Comparison

SoFiCommonBond
Pros:SoFi is by far the largest lender in the student loan refinance market, and they routinely have the lowest rates offered.CommonBond focuses on only student loans. The goal is to do one thing and do it well. As a result, CommonBond does well from an interest rate and customer service standpoint.
Cons:SoFi has grown into a large company offering mortgages, personal loans, and investment services. They no longer focus entirely on student loan refinancing.Like SoFi, CommonBond lacks a local presence. Borrowers will have to communicate over the phone or via email.
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Most of these similarities are in place because both companies are targeting the same borrowers. If you have a solid income and a decent credit score, the odds are good that SoFi or CommonBond will be able to lower your interest rates. (If your income isn’t huge or your credit score is less than perfect, working with a company like LendKey may be a better alternative. They will match you with a non-profit credit union to consolidate your debt – you just won’t get the rock bottom interest rates.)

The Specifics on SoFi

The SoFi approach is to roll out the red carpet for student loan refinancing. They have some perks similar to those that you might find with a premium credit card. Perhaps the best SoFi perk is their job placement program. Nobody plans on using this feature, but like a credit card that comes with free roadside assistance – it is great to have if you find yourself in an unexpected ugly situation.

SoFi, as a company, has also grown considerably. This growth is both a pro and a con for borrowers. It is a benefit because SoFi will want their student loan customers to become their mortgage or investing customers. As a result, SoFi has a huge incentive to attract and keep new customers. The downside is that the growth of SoFi means they don’t have the same incentive to have the best rates on the market.

SoFi Overview
Loan Terms5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 Years
Variable Rate Loans2.25% - 6.28%
Fixed Rate Loans2.99% - 6.28%
Minimum Refinance Amount$5,000
New Borrower Bonus$150

For further reading, be sure to check out our full SoFi refinance review.

The Details on CommonBond

Of all the student loan refinance lenders, CommonBond rates tend to move the most when market conditions change. This year alone, we have seen times were CommonBond had by far the best interest rates available and times when CommonBond lagged considerably behind other companies.

For consumers, this means that checking rates with CommonBond is probably an essential part of the refinance process, but it also means that CommonBond shouldn’t be the only lender that a borrower investigates.

CommonBond Overview
Loan Terms5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 Years
Variable Rate Loans1.99% - 5.61%
Fixed Rate Loans2.98% - 5.79%
Minimum Refinance Amount$5,000
New Borrower Bonus$150

For additional information, visit our CommonBond review.

Which student loan is best?

SoFi has a couple of extra perks that give it a slight edge over CommonBond. It is the reason SoFi is second in our Student Loan Lender Rankings, while CommonBond comes in at a very respectable sixth. We really have to split hairs to separate these two lenders.

Ultimately, the type of loan you are looking for will also make a difference. When we broke down refinance rates according to loan type and length, CommonBond had better rates on the short duration fixed-rate loans while SoFi had the edge in 15 and 20-year loans. We also noticed that the advertised rate difference between these two companies is minimal. In some cases, they were identical, while others were separated only by a fraction of a percent.

It is for this reason that most borrowers would be advised to investigate both lenders. The best company for most people will be the one that actually offers the lowest interest rate. Applying to both takes very little time and comes with little risk, especially considering that multiple applications don’t hurt your credit score as it is now considered to be “shopping around” by the major credit bureaus.

If you are ready to check your rates, visit SoFi or CommonBond directly.

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Blair Morris
Blair Morris

No mention of anything about CommonBond, only SoFi. Obviously a paid article.

krantcents

Good information and I am very happy I have no immediate need for the information!