CommonBond student loans review

Finance your higher education through a lender with a strong social mission and terms that fit your budget.

Whether you’re a parent or a student, stressing over how you’re going to or repay education expenses can be overwhelming. CommonBond could have your needs covered. With options for current students and graduates — as well as their parents — this lender offers a wealth of options and potential discounts.

Product NameCommonBond Student Loans
Min Loan Amount$5,000
Max. Loan Amount$500,000
Min APR From 2.79%
Minimum Loan Term5 years
Maximum Loan Term20 years
RequirementsYou must be an American citizen or a permanent resident of the US and have good to excellent credit or a creditworthy cosigner. Education requirements: You must be enrolled at or graduated from an approved Title IV undergraduate, graduate or MBA program
  • Be an American citizen or a permanent resident of the US
  • Have good to excellent credit or a creditworthy cosigner
  • Be enrolled at or graduated from an approved Title IV undergraduate, graduate or MBA program

What makes CommonBond student loans unique?

CommonBond is set apart by the dedication shown to giving back. For every loan funded through its platform, a child in need gets their education funded for a year. On top of that, CommonBond has helped establish schools in four underserved different countries.

Outside of humanitarian efforts, CommonBond offers several types of loans based on your needs. MBA and graduate students have options alongside undergraduates and their parents. There are even refinancing options for former students and parents alike.

What are CommonBond student loans?

CommonBond student loans are available for undergrads, graduate students and MBA students.

All three loans are unsecured. Applicants will need to be enrolled at least half-time or are set to be enrolled in the coming year. CommonBond lists eligible schools, all of which are either Title IV or nonprofit.

While there’s a good deal of overlap between graduate and undergraduate loans, MBA student loans have some unique characteristics. The first is that there’s no requirement for a cosigner. (Both undergraduate and graduate loans require someone who is creditworthy to cosign.)

CommonBond student loans and refinancing options are available in all states except: Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, South Dakota and Vermont.

Compare four types of borrowing options through CommonBond

Student Loans RefinancingParent PLUS Loans RefinancingMBA Student LoansUndergraduate & Graduate Student Loans
  • Consolidate and refinance existing student loans
  • Up to $500,000
  • 2.79% starting APR
  • Fixed or variable rates available
  • Forbearance available
  • Consolidate and refinance existing Parent PLUS loans
  • Up to $500,000
  • 2.79% starting APR
  • Fixed, variable and hybrid rates available
  • Forbearance available
  • Take out a loan to finance your MBA at an eligible program
  • Up to $110,000 per academic year
  • 5.11% starting APR
  • Fixed rates available
  • No cosigner required
  • Consolidate and refinance existing student loans
  • Up to 100% of your cost of attendance
  • 3.05% starting APR
  • Fixed or variable rates available
  • Requires a creditworthy cosigner

What are the benefits of CommonBond student loans?

  • Rate discount. MBA student loans are eligible for a 0.25% rate discount. When you enroll in automatic payments, the amount is discounted from your interest rate.
  • A good cause. Not every lender shows a mission that goes beyond profits. By getting financing through CommonBond, you’re helping to fund new education resources around the world.
  • Helpful resources. Everything from unemployment protection to networking opportunities are available when you finance through CommonBond. Events for members provide unique opportunities to meet entrepreneurs and sit in on panel discussions. Unemployment protection comes in the form of the CommonBridge program and gives members a chance to experience a consulting opportunity.
  • Customer-first model. CommonBond is built around the idea that customer service should be the No. 1 priority. Your questions should be answered quickly and clearly, and any concerns you raise addressed promptly. In a world of red tape, it can help to know that at least one business you’re working with puts your needs first.

What to watch out for

For all of its pluses, you still need to look out for a few things when applying with CommonBond.

  • Deferred and interest-only payments. While deferred payments can be useful while you’re in school, they can end up costing you a lot more. Same goes for interest-only payments. The principal you’re not paying is still gaining interest, and the end result is you paying more overall.
  • Cosigner release. You can apply for cosigner release once you’ve graduated and made two years of consecutive payments. But apply is the key word: Approval is not guaranteed, meaning your cosigner is not immediately off the hook once you’ve made your 24 months of payments.
  • Loss of federal benefits. When you consolidate federal loans privately, you could lose some of the benefit programs you might be eligible for. Income-based repayment, public service loan forgiveness and other features of federal loans are important to consider when deciding how you’ll refinance or consolidate. Funding your education privately also doesn’t come with access to those programs for the loan.
  • Limited selection. The list of accepted MBA programs is limited to about 30 schools. While you can email a request for CollegeBond to pick up your school, there’s no guarantee that it will be added.

Am I eligible?

One of the first things to check when comparing potential lenders is whether you’re eligible. Lenders can sometimes squirrel away requirements on unintuitive pages. Criteria you’ll need to meet for undergraduate and graduate loans with CommonBond differ from those offered for MBA students.

For undergraduate and graduate loans, you must:

    • Be enrolled at least half-time with an approved Title IV undergraduate or graduate program.
    • Have a creditworthy cosigner.

For MBA loans, you must:

  • Be enrolled full-time with an approved graduate program.
  • Be an American citizen or a permanent resident of the US.
  • Meet CollegeBond’s underwriting requirements for factors like credit history and debt-to-income ratio.

How do I apply?

CommonBond’s application process fairly straightforward. First click the “Go to site” button on this page to be directed to CommonBond’s website. There you’ll need to create an account online to apply for a student loan or refinancing.

Required documents include:

  • Proof of employment. Two recent pay stubs, two recent years of tax documents or an offer letter from your employer if you haven’t started working yet.
  • Proof of residence. You can provide a recent utility bill or bank statement.
  • Loan statements. If you’re applying for refinancing, you’ll need to provide a recent loan statement for each loan you wish to refinance. Each statement must have the lender’s name and physical address, your name, the account number and loan balance.

Be prepared to select the amount you’d like to borrow in total and when you need the funds disbursed by. Once you’ve entered all required information for you and your cosigner, if you have one, it should only take a few business days to receive a decision and your money, if approved.

I got the CommonBond student loan. Now what?

You’ve got your education financed — now it’s time to set up a few details and focus on schooling. CommonBond will apply your funds for tuition directly to your school account, with any funds applied for living expenses sent to you.

The next step relies on you choosing the repayment program that’s best for your needs. You can choose from a range of payment plans including:

  • Full deferment. Completely postpone making any payments on your loan until after graduation.
  • Fixed monthly payments. Pay a predetermined amount each month while in school. Interest will accrue during that period and unpaid interest will be added added to your loan principal when you graduate.
  • Interest-only payments. Pay only the accrued interest on your loan each month while in school.
  • Full monthly payment. Repay your loan principal and interest while you’re still in school.

Consider enrolling in autopay. Depending on your loan terms, you could receive a 0.25% rate discount with enrollment in automatic payments.

Now that you’re part of the CommonBond community, you can also take part in exclusive events that include panels, meals and talks with entrepreneurs.

Bottom line

Finding a lender to finance your education can be intimidating. CommonBond presents friendly service and a positive social promise with its many borrowing options to make the process more welcoming. If you’d like to see how other student loan providers stack up, you can compare even more options before deciding on CommonBond.

Frequently asked questions

Yes. You’re extended a grace period of up to six months following graduation or ending enrollment.

No. You can pay as much off at a time, as often as you would like without penalty fees.

Yes. If you encounter economic hardship after graduation, you could qualify for forbearance to temporarily halt your monthly payments.

Yes. A hard credit pull is required in order to determine your eligibility, and it can temporarily decrease your credit score. CommonBond allows you to submit a preliminary online application to check your rate with a soft credit pull before getting an official loan offer.

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