CommonBond Review: Private Student Loans And Student Loan Refinancing

CommonBond offers competitive rates, repayment flexibility and great customer support.

Written by
Henning Taeger
Last Update on Aug 1, 2023

Are you thinking about taking out a private student loan or refinancing your student loans? Commonbond has been a popular choice for many students and there are many reasons why. Commonbond was founded in 2012 and has funded more than $2 billion in student loans. Check out DollarGeek’s review on Commonbond’s student loan refinancing and private student loans.

Quick Summary


Student Loan Refinancing
Private Student Loan
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CommonBond offers borrowers flexible repayment terms, low rates and forbearance if you’re ever facing economic hardship. You also get access to a “money mentor” that can give you customized guidance. CommonBond will also let you check your rate without hurting your credit score.

Additional Details


  • Low interest rates
  • Multiple student loan repayment plans
  • Refinancing Parent PLUS student loans in your child’s name


  • Not available to borrowers in Mississippi and Nevada.
  • Student loan borrowers without a co-signer.
  • Must enroll in autopay to get best interest rates

Getting Started With CommonBond

It’s no secret that getting a lower interest rate on your student loans is one of the best ways to save money. 

DollarGeek’s review on Commonbond can help you figure out which of their products is best for you. You can choose from student loan refinancing or private student loans. 

CommonBond is best for borrowers that want a low rate and have a great credit score. If you’re looking to refinance your federal student loans with a private lender like Commonbond, keep in mind that you’ll lose access to government repayment programs. CommonBond does offer up to 24 months of forbearance over the life of your loan if you’re ever facing economic hardship.

CommonBond: Student Loan Refinancing Review


  • You want a personalized rate estimate with a soft credit check (won’t hurt your credit score).
  • You’re looking for flexible repayment terms.
  • You want to take over your Parent PLUS Loan(s) in your parents’ name.
  • You’re an immigrant with a work visa.

CommonBond is best for borrowers that want a low rate, have a credit score of at least 680, and a bachelor’s degree or higher.

If you’re looking to refinance your federal student loans with a private lender like Commonbond, keep in mind that you’ll lose access to government repayment programs.

Aside from it’s competitive interest rates, CommonBond offers borrowers up to 24 months of forbearance over the life of your loan. This is a great perk to have in your back pocket if you’re ever facing economic hardship.

Check out some important details on refinancing your student loan with Commonbond below.

Commonbond – Student Loan Refinancing

Loan amounts$5,000 – $500,000
Loan terms5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years
Fixed rate3.19% – 6.43%*
Variable rate3.18% – 6.07%*
Hybrid rate4.45% – 6.10%*
Loans that qualifyFederal, private and previously consolidated loans. Borrowers can refinance PLUS loans taken out by their parents
Discounts0.25% autopay discount
IncomeSufficient to show ability to repay loan
EducationMinimum of a bachelor’s degree from one of over 2,000 Title IV accredited schools
Citizenship/ResidencyU.S. citizen, permanent residents, or H1-B, J-1, L-1, E-2, E-3 visa holder
Cosigner releaseYes, after two years of on-time payments
Origination feesNone
Application feeNone
Prepayment feeNone
Late fees5% of the unpaid amount of the payment due or $10, whichever is less
*auto-pay discount is included on rates

CommonBond’s Interest Rates And Repayment Terms

When you’re refinancing your student loan, you want the utmost flexibility. Typically, you want a low interest rate and flexible repayment terms. 

Repayment terms are always something to be aware of. Your repayment term will directly affect your monthly payment. For example, if you have a repayment term of 7 years, you will have a lower monthly payment compared to if you had the same loan with a 2 year repayment term. This is because the longer the repayment term – the more time it takes to pay off your loan and the more interest you’ll pay.

If a lender can offer you a range of repayment terms it gives you options and flexibility. Commonbond shines in this area because they offer repayment terms of 5, 7, 10, 15, or even 20 years. These repayment terms apply for both variable rate and fixed rate loans. CommonBond’s flexible payment terms can help you find a monthly payment that fits your budget. 

Types of rates CommonBond offers:

  • Fixed Rate
  • Variable Rate
  • Hybrid

Loan terms that CommonBond offers:

  • 5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years
Fixed rate 3.19% – 6.43%*
Variable rate3.18% – 6.07%*
Hybrid rate4.45% – 6.10%*
Loan terms5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years
*auto-pay discount is included on rates

CommonBond Hybrid Loan

CommonBond offers a hybrid loan that offers a 10-year repayment period. This loan is a combination of fixed and variable rates. The hybrid loan has a fixed interest rate for the first five years, and a variable rate for the last five years. 

The hybrid loan takes away some of the uncertainty that comes with variable-rate loans but could help you get a lower interest rate than a typical fixed-rate loan.

Types Of Student Loans You Can Refinance With CommonBond

When you refinance your student loans with CommonBond you will combine your loans into a single loan with one monthly payment. 

You will be able to refinance your private loans, your federal loans, or both. These can include any of the following:

  • Undergraduate
  • Graduate
  • MBA
  • Law school
  • Dental school
  • Medical school

Also, if your parents took out a PLUS loan to help pay for your education, you can take over the loan by refinancing it in your name.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to refinance with CommonBond you must have good to excellent credit (660+), be a U.S. citizen or legal resident with a bachelor’s degree from an approved school to refinance your student loan debt with Commonbond.

Refinancing For U.S. Immigrants

In 2018, Commonbond expanded its student loan refinancing platform to U.S. immigrants with work visas.

Immigrants must have graduated from a nonprofit U.S. undergraduate or graduate school to qualify. They must also hold one of the following types of visas:  H1-B, J-1, L-1, E-2, and E-3.

How To Get Started Refinancing Your Student Loan With CommonBond

CommonBond makes it easy to explore your refinance options in just a few minutes online with no commitments, no documents, and no impact to your credit score.

If you choose to continue with the loan you’ll have to upload the necessary documents and sign electronic loan documents. Once CommonBond approves your loan they will arrange for your existing loans to be paid off.

If you can’t be automatically verified you might get asked to provide a few things such as proof of employment, loan statements for each loan you’d like to refinance, and proof of residency (ex: utility bill, bank statement, etc.)

CommonBond: Private Student Loans Review


  • Offering personalized rate estimates with a soft credit check (won’t hurt your credit score).
  • Those who have hit their limits on the most affordable federal student loans.
  • Those who have a cosigner.
  • Offering a variety of in-school repayment options

In addition to student loan refinancing, CommonBond also offers private loans for undergraduate students, graduate students and MBA programs. The rates and terms are very competitive — check out some of the major details below.

Commonbond – Private Student Loan

Loan amountsUp to 100% of your school’s cost of attendance
Loan terms5, 10, and 15 years
Variable rate1.44% – 7.42%*
Fixed rate5.45% – 9.74%*
Discounts0.25% autopay discount
Citizenship/ResidencyMust be U.S. citizen or permanent resident
EnrollmentUndergraduate, graduate and MBA program students who are currently enrolled at least half-time at eligible school. Overseas study allowed if school’s main campus is based in the U.S. and on approved list
Types of repaymentFull principal and interest, interest only, deferred and flat payment
Cosigner InfoCosigner required on all undergraduate loans. Cosigner release available after two years of consecutive, on-time payments (must apply for release)
Late fee5% of the unpaid amount of the payment due or $10, whichever is less

Eligibility Requirements For CommonBond Student Loans

So, how do you qualify for a private student loan with CommonBond?

  • You’ll need to be an undergraduate or graduate student that is currently enrolled at least half-time at one of 2,000+ eligible schools. If you’re studying overseas, your school’s main campus will have to be based in the United States and on CommonBond’s list of eligible schools.
  • If you are an undergraduate or graduate student you are required to have a cosigner. A cosigner could be a parent, friend, or relative who is willing to take on the responsibility to cover your loan payments if for some reason you cannot. If you’re looking at CommonBond’s MBA loan you will not need a cosigner.
  • You’ll need a minimum credit score of 660.

How To Pay Back Your Loan

Everyone has different budgets and unique circumstances so CommonBond offers you four ways to pay back your loan:

  • Defer payments: This will allow you to completely postpone making your student loan payments until graduation. It’s important to remember that interest will accrue during deferment and will be capitalized at the end of the deferment period.
  • Fixed payments: Make fixed payments of $25 that are affordable and you’ll be able to save even more over the life of your loan. A little can go a long way.
  • Interest-only: Interest-only payments can be made while you’re in school. This will pay the interest as you go so it doesn’t accrue and get added to your balance.
  • Full monthly payment: Full monthly payment of the student loan (principal + interest) begins while you’re in school.

How To Get Private Student Loans With CommonBond

CommonBond makes it easy to explore your refinance options in just a few minutes online with no commitments, no documents, and no impact to your credit score.

When you’re approved, you’ll e-sign your loan disclosures, and CommonBond will confirm your enrollment and loan amount with your school. That can take anywhere from five days to three weeks.

As soon as your school certifies the loan, the funds will be sent directly to your school.

The Bottom Line

There is a reason CommonBond has funded over $2 billion dollars worth of student loans and have been considered one of the most innovative companies by Fast Company. They offer competitive interest rates, flexible repayment schedules, and 24 months of forbearance over the life of your loan if you ever get into economic hardship.

Although if you’re looking for a lender that does not require a cosigner or you live in Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada and Vermont you might have to look elsewhere.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What’s CommonBond’s History?

CommonBond was founded by three students who met in 2011 while enrolled in the MBA program at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. David Klein, Mike Taormina and Jessup Shean leveraged their top-tier business education to try to solve the frustrations of student lending. Klein leads the executive team.

What Is CommonBond’s “Social Promise”?

On the company’s website they mentioned: “Inspired by companies like TOMS Shoes and Warby Parker, we have been committed since our launch to proving that business can and should be a positive force for change—we call it our “Social Promise.” It means that for every degree fully funded through us, we fund the tuition of a student in need for a full year through our partnership with Pencils of Promise. We’re the first-ever company to bring the “1-for-1″ model to education and finance.”

Does CommonBond Have An In-House Customer Service Team?

Yes, they do.

What Is A CommonBond Money Mentor?

Money Mentors are real people that advise borrowers and help them become smart financial consumers as they enter college and beyond. CommonBond’s “Money Mentors” are able to deliver customized guidance to CommonBond borrowers on topics like creating a budget, submitting the FAFSA, finding internships, mapping majors to career pathways, responsibly building credit, and various other things. This happens all over text message – for free.
All undergraduate borrowers are automatically enrolled in the Money Mentors program. Graduate students may elect to opt-in and be paired with a Money Mentor if they’d like.

Henning is a writer and editor here at Dollargeek who is passionate about personal finance, pets and cryptocurrency. He enjoys sharing his knowledge about financial management with readers, helping them make informed decisions about their money. In his spare time, Henning can be found playing the latest video games or jamming on his guitar. He is constantly on the lookout for new ways to improve his financial literacy and stay up-to-date on the latest trends in the world of finance.