CommonBond Student Loans Review

CommonBond is worth considering if you’re looking to finance a specialized degree. It offers competitive rates, reasonable terms and mentoring not generally provided by other lenders.

Fixed APR
6.98%–10.74%
Loan Amount
$2K to 100% of costs
Fees
$10 or 5% late fee
SimpleScore
4.2 / 5.0
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SimpleScore CommonBond 4.2
Max Fixed APR 4
Perks 5
Transparency 3
Loan Amount 5
Fees 4

Borrowers can save money on specialty college programs with low-rate private student loans from CommonBond.

Founded in 2012 and headquartered in New York, CommonBond is a private lender offering private student loans, student loan refinancing and a student loan program for businesses. If you’re looking for ways to pay for college, CommonBond loans have competitive rates that can fund an undergraduate, graduate, MBA, medical or dental degree.

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In this article

    CommonBond at a glance

    LenderLoan AmountAPR RangeLoan TermsKey Benefit
    CommonBond$500,000 lifetime maximum6.98%–10.74% (fixed); 6.61% – 9.42% (variable)5 – 15 yearsFree Money Mentor 

    Rates accurate as of September, 2020 and include a 0.25% autopay discount

    What we like about it

    CommonBond is a private lender that underwrites and originates all of its loans. This allows it to offer competitive rates for borrowers to fund their education. Students can fund up to 100% of the cost of school with a $500,000 lifetime borrowing limit. This is well enough to fund a specialized degree such as a medical, dental or MBA degree.

    Borrowers can choose flexible loan terms from five- to 20-year terms, as well as different repayment options to fit their budget. Although payments start 30 to 60 days after disbursement, students can choose a payment option that fits their budget while they are in school. CommonBond’s easy-to-use platform, quick application process and excellent customer service were rated as the highest points in the CommonBond student loans ratings.

    Things to consider

    As with any lender, the best student loan rates will be reserved for those with good to excellent credit. Because of this, CommonBond may not offer the best student loans for bad credit.

    As a private lender, CommonBond has stricter loan eligibility requirements. For a refinance, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, have graduated with a bachelor’s degree or higher from one of the schools in its eligible network, have a credit score of at least 680 and an annual income of $65,000.

    A creditworthy cosigner is required for undergraduate and graduate student loans, and only certain schools are eligible for MBA, dental and medical school loans.

    What you need to know

    If you’re looking for ways to simplify your existing student loans and pay off debt more quickly, CommonBond offers refinancing with the highest maximum limits, up to $500,00) and flexible loan rate options.

    If you’re thinking about refinancing your current student loans, make sure you understand the eligibility requirements beforehand because refinancing will affect your credit score during the application process. Only U.S. citizens and permanent residents with good to excellent credit and a bachelor’s degree from an eligible school may qualify for a refinance loan with CommonBond.

    For those still in school looking for ways to finance their education, CommonBond student loan rates for undergraduate and graduate degrees are competitive for both fixed and variable loan options.

    You can also finance a specialty degree like an MBA, medical degree or dental degree. You’ll find these student loans rates to be competitive, but only certain schools will qualify for a CommonBond loan.

    Currently, CommonBond will approve, 29 U.S. MBA programs, 59 medical schools and 66 dental schools. If your desired college or specialty school is not on the list, you can still apply for a graduate degree, but a cosigner is required for undergraduate and graduate loans.

    To apply for a CommonBond loan or check your rate with a soft credit check:

    1. Fill out the online application with personal information, student loan balance and school information (name, address, Social Security number, email, phone number, loan balance, highest degree earned and annual income).
    2. Upload supporting documentation after you receive your individualized rate and e-sign any loan documents.
    3. If your application is approved, you can manage your loans and access all your information from the CommonBond account page.

    CommonBond vs. Earnest

    While CommonBond is a good option for borrowers with excellent credit and stable finances, Earnest offers student loans and refinance options with greater flexibility for those with lower credit scores.

    Like CommonBond, Earnest offers private student loans for undergraduate, graduate, MBA, medical and law degrees. Unlike CommonBond, Earnest does not require a cosigner, but it does want borrowers to have a minimum FICO score of 650 and an annual income of $35,000.

    Borrowers who choose Earnest over CommonBond won’t have fees. There are no origination, disbursement, prepayment or late payment fees for student loans with Earnest, even for MBA, medical or law school loans.

    Check Your Student Loan Rates

    View our top-rated lenders and find the best rates today. It’s quick and easy.

    CommonBond vs. Sallie Mae

    Unlike CommonBond, Sallie Mae offers student loans for a more extensive selection of degrees. For borrowers looking to finance specialty degrees and non-degree career training courses, Sallie Mae has the most options, but it does not offer student loan refinancing.

    Sallie Mae’s APRs vary depending on the loan you choose. Graduate degree loan APRs will vary depending on the specialty you choose. Sallie Mae also offers parent and K-12 loans, something not offered at CommonBond.

    We welcome your feedback on this article and would love to hear about your experience with the student loan providers we recommend. Contact us at inquiries@thesimpledollar.com with comments or questions.

    Methodology

    SimpleScore

    The SimpleScore is a proprietary scoring metric we use to objectively compare products and services at The Simple Dollar.

    For every review, our editorial team:

    • Identifies five measurable aspects to compare across each brand
    • Determines the rating criteria for each aspect score
    • Averages the five aspect scores to produce a single SimpleScore™

    Here’s a breakdown of the five aspect scores and their rating criteria for our review of the best student loans of 2020.

    Max Fixed Rate

    Lenders who offered a lower maximum fixed rate were awarded higher scores.

    Perks

    We awarded higher scores for lenders that list more perks including services, discounts and special offers for their borrowers.

    Transparency

    Lenders that laid it all bare by publishing important data about products — APR, offered loan amounts, applicable fees and customer support contact links — scored higher for transparency.

    Loan Amount

    Lenders that offered higher loan amounts compared to others received higher scores. 

    Fees

    We awarded higher scores to lenders that have fewer loan fees for borrowers. 

    Christine Renee

    Contributing Writer

    Christine C. Renee is a personal finance writer who enjoys delving into money topics like budgeting and fintech. She has been published in Careful Cents, Investor Junkie, and Money Mini Blog. When not writing, she uses her bachelor’s degree in business admin to help micro-businesses and solopreneurs manage time and money. On her days off, you may find her with a book on information technology and security.

    Reviewed by

    • Courtney Mihocik
      Courtney Mihocik
      Editor

      Courtney Mihocik is an editor at The Simple Dollar who specializes in insurance, personal finance, and loans. Previously, she wrote and edited for Interest.com, PersonalLoans.org, Ballantyne Magazine, Thread Magazine, The Post, ACRN, The New Political, Columbus Alive and the Institute for International Journalism.