CommonBond Student Loans Review for 2021
Are you looking for private student loans with flexible repayment options to pay for part or all of your college education?
CommonBond can help. They offer private student loans for undergraduates, graduate, and MBA programs as well as refinancing.
Let’s get familiar with CommonBond and the types of student loans they offer.
What is CommonBond?
CommonBond is a private lender that provides private student loans and loan refinancing. CommonBond has been helping students pay for college since 2011.
Loans include options for undergraduates as well as graduate programs like an MBA as well as dental and medical school.
CommonBond offers some of the lowest private loan rates around. They also stand out from other lenders because of their commitment to social justice around the world.
CommonBond Student Loans
If you have to get private loans to pay for school, CommonBond has options that will be appealing.
Below are current interest rates through CommonBond. All of the rates reflect a 0.25% rate reduction for setting up automatic payment withdrawals.
|LOAN TYPE||FIXED RATES||VARIABLE RATES|
|Dental School Loans||5.33-6.98%||3.23-4.87%|
|Medical School Loans||5.56-6.76%||3.46-4.64%|
Each type of CommonBond student loan has different terms available. They have options if you’re looking to lower your payments as well as snag the lowest interest rate possible. Here are the term lengths available for each loan:
- Undergraduate loans: 5, 10, and 15-year terms
- Graduate loans: 5, 10, and 15-year terms
- MBA loans: 10 and 15-year terms
- Dental school loans: 10, 15, and 20-year terms
- Medical School loans: 10, 15, and 20-year terms
CommonBond Repayment Options
Not only does CommonBond have flexible student loans, but they also offer four repayment options for borrowers. There is something to fit everyone’s budget.
This repayment option is for you if you don’t want to worry about loan payments while in school. You can completely defer payment until graduation. One thing to remember is that interest will accrue on your loan while in school. At the end of deferment, that interest will capitalize. This means that the interest will be added on to your loan principal. Essentially, you’ll be paying interest on your interest, which can add up quickly. This will be the most expensive repayment option in the long run.
Fixed Monthly Payment of $25
choosing this repayment option can help to ease the interest payment burden while still offering financial flexibility while in school. Again, any unpaid interest will capitalize at the end of deferment.
To avoid interest capitalization, you can choose to only make full interest payments while in school.
Full Monthly Payment
Another option is to make full monthly student loan payments. This would include interest and principal loan payments. Most borrowers either don’t want to pay for loans while in school or don’t have the funds necessary to pay full payments.
If you choose an in-school payment option, your first payment will be due the first month after your loan funds are disbursed.
Grace Period with CommonBond
For each repayment option, there’s a six-month grace period following graduation or termination of your enrollment. You are not required to make any payments during this time. Interest will continue to accrue during the grace period, though.
Refinancing with CommonBond
CommonBond also offers student loan refinancing. This option allows borrowers to potentially qualify for a lower interest rate or better terms than their current loans. This could cut thousands of dollars in interest off of your student loans.
If you have federal student loans, but don’t need protections like loan forgiveness and income-driven repayment plans, refinancing could be a viable strategy to save money.
Make sure that you don’t need access to federal programs before going through with refinancing. When you refinance, your student loans become private loans and you lose access to any federal protections that came with your federal student loans.
Interest Rates for Refinancing
CommonBond offers competitive interest rates for student loan refinancing. They offer three options for borrowers:
Variable interest rates are available with 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20-year terms. Rates range from 3.22% APR to 6.05% APR.
Fixed interest rates start at 3.22% APR and go up to 6.45% APR. They also are available with 5, 7, 10, 15 and 20-year terms.
There’s also a hybrid interest rate option through CommonBond. This is an interesting option for students to consider. How does it work? For the first five years of the loan, borrowers will have a fixed rate that’s lower than CommonBond’s normal fixed rate.
This is great because that time is usually a transition period in the life of borrowers. Avoiding any payment increase during this time would be huge. After 5 years, the loan switches to a variable interest rate for the remainder of the loan repayment period. Interest rates range from 3.99-6.09% APR. This might be the best option for students.
Borrowers are required to have graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree or higher to refinance. The minimum loan amount to refinance is $5,000 and the maximum is $500,000. Refinancing is not available to residents of Nevada or Mississippi. You must be a U.S.citizen or permanent resident to qualify for refinancing with CommonBond.
It’s always good to shop around to see what kind of rates are available for you. Be sure to look at the loan terms and other loan protections available with any private lender.
CommonBond Loan Requirements
Like any lender, CommonBond has criteria for determining whether an applicant is creditworthy.
First, students must be enrolled at least half-time at a Title IV school to qualify. If you are looking for an MBA loan, CommonBond only offers these to a specific network of business schools. If your school doesn’t fall within that network, you can instead choose a CommonBond graduate loan.
The minimum loan amount is $2,000 and the maximum is $500,000. Loans are limited to U.S. Citizens and permanent residents. CommonBond loans are not available to residents of Nevada or Mississippi.
Does CommonBond Require a Cosigner?
Another requirement of CommonBond private student loans is a cosigner. Nobody can get a private student loan through them without a creditworthy cosigner.
With a cosigner, you’re looking for someone you trust (and who trusts you) that has a high income and excellent credit. This will help you get approved for a loan and score a lower interest rate. Often, cosigners are parents, grandparents or family friends. Remember, they are on the hook for your loan balance if you can’t make your payments.
How to Apply with CommonBond
It’s easy to apply for a private student loan or refinancing with CommonBond. It’s all done online and only takes a few minutes to fill out. You’ll know whether you are approved or not within minutes.
During the process, you’ll be asked for personal information, information about your cosigner, the school you are attending and the degree you are pursuing. You’ll be asked about your financial situation as well. They want to get a full picture of you as a borrower before they can make a judgment as to if you qualify.
At the end of the process, if not approved, you’ll be given recommendations on how to proceed as well as access to a money mentor who may be able to steer you in the right direction.
A nice feature available on CommonBond’s website is the ability to see your rates ahead of time. You can do this as a student or as a cosigner. You’ll enter information about your school and the loan you are interested in getting. After answering a couple more basic questions you’ll see potential interest rates. These are not quotes and aren’t binding, but this gives you a picture of rates you’re likely to receive if you apply for a private loan through CommonBond.
Pros & Cons of CommonBond
- No fees: Commonbond doesn’t charge any fees, including application fees, origination fees or prepayment penalties.
- Forbearance options: Commonbond allows for up to 24 months of forbearance total over the loan repayment. If you need to pause your loan payments due to a hardship, CommonBond gives you that option.
- Cosigner release: Yes, you have to have a cosigner but you have a better chance of securing a great one if they know they can be released from any financial responsibility at some point.
- Rate preview: Check interest rates through CommonBond with a soft credit check, which doesn’t negatively affect your credit.
- Social Justice: CommonBond is the private lender with a heart. They are committed to social action by partnering with Pencils of Promise. Through the program, they’ve been about to build 450+ schools in Ghana. They’ve also donated over $1 million to students in need through this program. It’s nice to know your money is going to help fund education in other parts of the world.
- Availability: Unfortunately for residents in Nevada and Mississippi, they aren’t eligible for loans through CommonBond
- Cosigner Requirement: Most students end up needing a cosigner because they haven’t established credit yet. Requiring a cosigner, though, is beyond the requirements of other private lenders.
Final Thoughts on CommonBond
College students should always seek to max out federal financial aid options before seeking other help.
If you’ve done that, but still have college costs to pay for, CommBond can provide loans to help pay for the rest of your school costs. See if CommonBond has the right student loan for you.