CommonBond Student Loans Review

CommonBond

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

Fixed-Rate APR:
5.70%–9.99%
Loan Amount
100% of costs
Fees
Late fee, returned check
SimpleScore
4 / 5.0
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SimpleScore
CommonBond
4
  • Max Fixed Rate
    4
  • Perks
    5
  • Transparency
    3
  • Loan Amount
    5
  • Fees
    3
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.
Full review

Our Two Cents — 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.

CommonBond at a glance

Lender Loan Amount APR Range Loan Terms Key Benefit
CommonBond $500,000 lifetime maximum 5.45% – 9.74% (fixed); 1.44% – 7.42% (variable) 5 – 15 years Free Money Mentor 

Rates accurate as of July 15, 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 including fixed (3.21% to 6.45%), variable (3.20% to 6.08%) or hybrid (4.25% to 6.10%). With a hybrid loan, the rate is fixed for the first half of the term, then switches to a variable rate for the last half of the term.

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. Fixed loans are 5.45% to 9.74% APR for undergraduate loans and 5.40% to 9.74% APR for graduate loans. Variable loans are 1.43% to 7.41% for undergraduate loans and 1.33% to 7.41% for graduate loans.

You can also finance a specialty degree like an MBA (5.37% to 7.2% fixed; 3.15% to 4.87% variable), medical degree (5.56% to 6.76% fixed; 3.46% to 4.64% variable) or dental degree (5.33% to 6.98% fixed; 3.23% to 4.87% variable). 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. All Earnest variable loans start at 1.24% APR, and fixed loans start at 4.39% APR.

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. For career training school loans, fixed rates are 6.62% to 13.83%, and variable rates are 4.25% to 12.35%. Undergraduate and 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.

Too long, didn’t read?

CommonBond student loans are perfect for borrowers with good to excellent credit and a stable job. CommonBond student reviews rank high satisfaction for refinancing. But when it comes to private student loans for undergraduate, graduate and specialty degrees, borrowers with lower credit scores may find greater flexibility with other lenders that don’t require a cosigner and have more lenient eligibility requirements.

Keep reading

Methodology

The SimpleScore is our proprietary scoring metric to compare products and services at The Simple Dollar in a transparent, evidence-based way. Our editorial team identifies five quantifiable aspects to compare for every brand, determines the rating criteria for each aspect score, then averages the five aspect scores to produce a single SimpleScore. For student loans, we compared interest rates, perks, loan amounts, transparency and fees for every major lender. Our ratings are meant to be a directional tool to help you in the process of choosing a student loan provider. Be sure to continue your research and shop around for the best student loan that fits your specific needs.

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.

Christine Renee
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 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.