Frequently Asked Questions

About CommonBond

Founded in 2011 by three Wharton MBAs, CommonBond is an online lending company that connects borrowers and investors to make education finance better. Through CommonBond, borrowers gain access to a robust suite of low fixed- and variable-rate student loan products to refinance existing student loans after graduation or to finance graduate degree education while in school.

When comparing CommonBond to federal government and other private lenders, many students choose CommonBond due to 1) our best-in-class customer service, 2) a greater diversity of low interest rate product options, 3) access to our talented, successful community of borrowers (what we call the "CommonBond Family"), and 4) the social mission of our business (what we call our "Social Promise").

Our founders felt firsthand the personal pain of the student loan process when they were in business school: high interest rate loans, poor service, and a confusing process. They founded CommonBond to change all of that - to bring to market a product and a service they wished had existed when they were in grad school.

At CommonBond, you can expect to be treated well. We want our borrowers to succeed well beyond just a better rate on their student loans. For that, we bring to bear the power of the CommonBond Network - a network of prominent alumni, accomplished professionals, and a diverse set of fellow students, all of whom connect our borrowers to professional and personal opportunities that borrowers would not have discovered any other way. Once you join the CommonBond Family, we've got your back.

You're good. The loan lives on and is tied to the servicer of that loan. You will continue to make payments as scheduled through the servicer.

We like to think of our community as our family: a group of optimistic people who believe in the power of new ideas to change the world. The community comes together in several meaningful ways: networking opportunities, panel/speaker events, dinners in cities across the country, career assistance, and support of our non-profit partners. As the CommonBond Family grows, we will continue to host events to connect our borrowers to incredible people (including each other) who can help them grow personally and professionally, and to offer direct opportunities for borrowers to take action in their own communities.

In addition to borrowing through the lending platform, there are several ways to learn about, and become part of, our family, including:

  • Submit your email address on our site at www.commonbond.co/community to receive updates and information about our upcoming community events.

  • Join our team in New York City. If you or someone you know wants experience with a start-up that is disrupting finance, then come join us. We have an incredibly strong social mission, a deeply committed team, and great affinity for our customers. You can apply here.

  • Check out our company pages online on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Eligibility

CommonBond's refinance product - the Grad Refinance Loan™ - allows graduates to replace their existing educational loans - whether federal or private - with those provided by CommonBond.

Read about all of the types of loans CommonBond can refinance here

It's as easy as 1-2-3:

  1. You have to be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. That means if you are an international student, we are not (currently) able to lend to you, but we are working to change that.

  2. You must have graduated from (for the Grad Refinance Loan™) one of the graduate school degree programs in our eligible network (see below). Our network has expanded from one program back in winter 2013 to now over 100 programs, so if your school is not on the list, please let us know at info@commonbond.co.

  3. CommonBond's originating bank partner, Bank of Lake Mills (our bank origination partner), considers your credit history and other credit factors and quickly makes a decision regarding your application.

As of now, the following schools are in our network, though we're planning to expand both beyond MBA programs and our current schools in the future:

Accounting - MAcc or MS or higher

  • Arizona State University
  • Babson College
  • Bentley University
  • Boston College
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • George Washington University
  • Michigan State University
  • Ohio State University
  • Penn State University
  • Syracuse University
  • Texas A&M University
  • University of Florida
  • University of Illinois
  • University of Louisville
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Miami
  • University of Michigan
  • University of North Carolina
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Rochester
  • University of San Diego
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Texas, Austin
  • University of Texas, Dallas
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • Washington University

Business - MBA

  • American University - Kogod
  • Arizona State University - Carey
  • Babson College - Olin
  • Baylor University - Hankamer
  • Bentley University - McCallum
  • Boston College - Carroll
  • Boston University
  • Brigham Young University - Marriott
  • Carnegie Mellon University - Tepper
  • Case Western Reserve University - Weatherhead
  • College of William and Mary - Mason
  • Columbia University - CBS
  • Cornell University - Johnson
  • Dartmouth College - Tuck
  • DePaul University - Kellstadt
  • Duke University - Fuqua
  • Emory University - Goizueta
  • George Washington University
  • Georgetown University - McDonough
  • Georgia Institute of Technology - Scheller
  • Harvard University - HBS
  • Indiana University - Kelley
  • Michigan State University - Broad
  • MIT - Sloan
  • New York University - Stern
  • Northwestern University - Kellogg
  • Ohio State University - Fisher
  • Penn State University - Smeal
  • Purdue University - Krannert
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - Lally
  • Rice University - Jones
  • Rutgers University - Rutgers Business School
  • Stanford University - GSB
  • Syracuse University - Whitman
  • Temple University - Fox
  • Texas A&M University - Mays
  • Tulane University - Freeman
  • University of Arizona - Eller
  • University of Arkansas - Walton
  • University of California, Berkeley - Haas
  • University of California, Davis
  • University of California, Irvine - Merage
  • University of California, Los Angeles - Anderson
  • University of California, San Diego - Rady
  • University of Chicago - Booth
  • University of Cincinnati - Lindner
  • University of Colorado, Boulder - Leeds
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Florida - Hough
  • University of Georgia - Terry
  • University of Houston - Bauer
  • University of Illinois
  • University of Illinois, Chicago - Liautaud
  • University of Kansas
  • University of Maryland - Smith
  • University of Miami
  • University of Michigan - Ross
  • University of Minnesota - Carlson
  • University of Missouri - Trulaske
  • University of North Carolina - Kenan-Flagler
  • University of Notre Dame - Mendoza
  • University of Oregon - Lundquist
  • University of Pennsylvania - Wharton
  • University of Pittsburgh - Katz
  • University of Rochester - Simon
  • University of South Carolina - Moore
  • University of Southern California - Marshall
  • University of Tennessee
  • University of Texas, Austin - McCombs
  • University of Texas, Dallas
  • University of Utah - Eccles
  • University of Virginia - Darden
  • University of Washington - Foster
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • Vanderbilt University - Owen
  • Wake Forest University
  • Washington University - Olin
  • West Virginia University
  • Yale University - SOM

Dental - DDS or DDM

  • Boston University
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Columbia University
  • Harvard University
  • Howard University
  • Indiana University
  • LSU
  • Marquette University
  • New York University
  • Ohio State University
  • Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville
  • Stony Brook University
  • Temple University
  • Texas A&M University
  • Tufts University
  • University of Alabama
  • University of Buffalo
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of California, San Francisco
  • University of Colorado, Denver
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Florida
  • University of Illinois, Chicago
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Louisville
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore County
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Mississippi
  • University of Missouri, Kansas City
  • University of Nebraska
  • University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • University of North Carolina
  • University of Oklahoma
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Tennessee
  • University of Texas, Houston
  • University of Texas, San Antonio
  • University of Utah
  • University of Washington
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • West Virginia University

Engineering - MS or higher

  • Arizona State University - Fulton
  • Auburn University - Ginn
  • Boston University
  • Brown University
  • California Institute of Technology
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Clemson University
  • Columbia University - Fu Foundation
  • Cornell University
  • Dartmouth College - Thayer
  • Drexel University
  • Duke University - Pratt
  • George Washington University
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Harvard University
  • Johns Hopkins University - Whiting
  • Lehigh University - Rossin
  • Michigan State University
  • MIT
  • New York University
  • Northeastern University
  • Northwestern University - McCormick
  • Ohio State University
  • Oregon State University
  • Penn State University
  • Princeton University
  • Purdue University
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Rice University - Brown
  • Stanford University
  • Stony Brook University
  • Syracuse University
  • Texas A&M University - Look
  • Tufts University
  • University of Arizona
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of California, Davis
  • University of California, Irvine - Samueli
  • University of California, Los Angeles - Samueli
  • University of California, San Diego - Jacobs
  • University of California, Santa Barbara
  • University of Cincinnati
  • University of Colorado, Boulder
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Delaware
  • University of Florida
  • University of Houston - Cullen
  • University of Illinois
  • University of Illinois, Chicago
  • University of Kansas
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Maryland - Clark
  • University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Missouri
  • University of North Carolina
  • University of Notre Dame
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Pittsburgh - Swanson
  • University of Rochester
  • University of Southern California - Viterbi
  • University of Tennessee
  • University of Texas, Austin - Cockrell
  • University of Virginia
  • University of Washington
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Virginia Tech University
  • Washington State University
  • Washington University
  • Yale University

Finance - Master's Degree or higher

  • Boston College
  • Boston University
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • LSU
  • MIT
  • Ohio State University
  • Princeton University
  • Purdue University
  • Rutgers University
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of Illinois
  • Vanderbilt University

Healthcare Administration - MS or MA or higher

  • Arizona State University
  • Baylor University
  • Boston University
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University
  • CUNY, Baruch College
  • George Mason University
  • George Washington University
  • Georgetown University
  • Georgia State University
  • Indiana University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Medical University Of South Carolina
  • New York University
  • Northwestern University
  • Ohio State University
  • Penn State University
  • Rush University
  • Saint Louis University
  • San Diego State University
  • Temple University
  • Texas A&M University
  • Texas Tech University
  • Trinity University
  • Tulane University
  • University of Alabama, Birmingham
  • University of Arkansas
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of Colorado, Denver
  • University of Florida
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Kansas
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Miami
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Missouri
  • University of North Carolina
  • University of North Carolina, Charlotte
  • University of Oklahoma
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of South Carolina
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Washington
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Washington State University
  • Xavier University
  • Yale University

Law - JD

  • American University - Washington
  • Arizona State University - O'Connor
  • Baylor University
  • Boston College
  • Boston University
  • Brigham Young University - Clark
  • Brooklyn Law School
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • College of William and Mary - Marshall-Wythe
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University
  • Duke University
  • Emory University
  • Fordham University
  • George Mason University
  • George Washington University
  • Georgetown University
  • Harvard Law School
  • Indiana University
  • Loyola Marymount University - Loyola Law School
  • Loyola University Chicago
  • Marquette University
  • Michigan State University
  • New York University
  • Northwestern University
  • Ohio State University - Moritz
  • Penn State University
  • Pepperdine University
  • Seton Hall University
  • Stanford University
  • Temple University - Beasley
  • Tulane University
  • University of Alabama
  • University of Arizona - Rogers
  • University of Arkansas
  • University of California - Hastings
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of California, Davis
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Colorado, Boulder
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Georgia
  • University of Hawaii, Manoa - Richardson
  • University of Houston
  • University of Illinois
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Kansas
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Louisville - Brandeis
  • University of Maryland - Carey
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Missouri
  • University of Nebraska
  • University of North Carolina
  • University of Notre Dame
  • University of Oklahoma
  • University of Oregon
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Richmond - Williams
  • University of Southern California - Gould
  • University of Texas, Austin
  • University of Utah
  • University of Virginia
  • University of Washington
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Villanova University
  • Wake Forest University
  • Washington and Lee University
  • Washington University
  • Yale University
  • Yeshiva University

Medicine - MD

  • Baylor University
  • Boston University
  • Brown University - Alpert
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University - Weill
  • Creighton University
  • Dartmouth College - Geisel
  • Drexel University
  • Duke University
  • Emory University
  • George Washington University
  • Georgetown University
  • Georgia Regents University
  • Harvard University
  • Indiana University
  • Jefferson Medical College
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Mayo Medical School
  • Medical University Of South Carolina
  • Mount Sinai Ichan School Of Medicine
  • New York University
  • Northwestern University - Feinberg
  • Ohio State University
  • Oregon Health and Science University
  • Rush University
  • Rutgers University - UMDNJ
  • Saint Louis University
  • Stanford University
  • Stony Brook University
  • Temple University
  • Texas A&M University
  • Tufts University
  • University of Alabama, Birmingham
  • University of Arizona
  • University of Arkansas
  • University of Buffalo
  • University of California, Davis
  • University of California, Irvine
  • University of California, Los Angeles - Geffen
  • University of California, San Diego
  • University of California, San Francisco
  • University of Chicago - Pritzker
  • University of Cincinnati
  • University of Colorado, Denver
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Florida
  • University of Hawaii, Manoa - Burns
  • University of Illinois
  • University of Illinois, Chicago
  • University of Iowa - Carver
  • University of Kansas
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Louisville
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Massachusetts
  • University of Miami - Miami
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Missouri
  • University of Nebraska
  • University of New Mexico
  • University of North Carolina
  • University of Oklahoma
  • University of Pennsylvania - Perelman
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Rochester
  • University of South Florida
  • University of Southern California - Keck
  • University of Tennessee
  • University of Texas
  • University of Texas, Houston
  • University of Utah
  • University of Vermont
  • University of Virginia
  • University of Washington
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Wake Forest University
  • Washington University
  • Wayne State University
  • West Virginia University
  • Yale University
  • Yeshiva University

Nursing - MS or higher

  • Arizona State University
  • Baylor University
  • Boston College
  • Brigham Young University
  • California State University, Los Angeles
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Columbia University
  • CUNY, Hunter College
  • Duke University
  • Emory University
  • George Mason University
  • George Washington University
  • Georgetown University
  • Georgia Regents University
  • IUPUI
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Loyola University Chicago
  • Marquette University
  • MGH Institute Of Health Professions
  • Michigan State University
  • New York University
  • Northeastern University
  • Ohio State University
  • Oregon Health and Science University
  • Pace University
  • Penn State University
  • Purdue University
  • Rush University
  • Rutgers University
  • Saint Louis University
  • Texas Tech University
  • University of Alabama, Birmingham
  • University of Alabama, Huntsville
  • University of Arizona
  • University of Arkansas
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of California, San Francisco
  • University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
  • University of Colorado, Denver
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Florida
  • University of Hawaii, Manoa
  • University of Illinois, Chicago
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Kansas
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Louisville
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore County
  • University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • University of Massachusetts, Boston
  • University of Miami
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Mississippi
  • University of Missouri
  • University of Missouri, Kansas City
  • University of Missouri, St. Louis
  • University of Nebraska
  • University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • University of North Carolina
  • University of North Carolina, Greensboro
  • University of Oklahoma
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Rochester
  • University of San Diego
  • University of San Francisco
  • University of South Carolina
  • University of Tennessee
  • University of Texas, Arlington
  • University of Texas, Austin
  • University of Texas, Galveston
  • University of Texas, Houston
  • University of Texas, San Antonio
  • University of Utah
  • University of Virginia
  • University of Washington
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Villanova University
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Washington State University
  • Yale University

Optometry - OD

  • Indiana University
  • Ohio State University
  • SUNY College of Optometry
  • University of Alabama, Birmingham
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of Houston
  • University of Missouri, St. Louis

Pharmacy - PharmD

  • Auburn University
  • Creighton University
  • Idaho State University
  • Medical University Of South Carolina
  • North Dakota State University
  • Northeastern University
  • Ohio State University
  • Oregon State University
  • Purdue University
  • Rutgers University
  • South Dakota State University
  • Temple University
  • Texas A&M University
  • Texas Tech University
  • University of Arizona
  • University of Arkansas
  • University of Buffalo
  • University of California, San Diego
  • University of California, San Francisco
  • University of Cincinnati
  • University of Colorado, Denver
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Florida
  • University of Georgia
  • University of Hawaii, Hilo
  • University of Illinois, Chicago
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Kansas
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Louisiana, Monroe
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore County
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Mississippi
  • University of Missouri, Kansas City
  • University of Montana
  • University of Nebraska
  • University of New Mexico
  • University of North Carolina
  • University of Oklahoma
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Rhode Island
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Tennessee
  • University of Texas, Austin
  • University of Utah
  • University of Washington
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • University of Wyoming
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Washington State University
  • Wayne State University
  • West Virginia University

Physician Assistant - MS or MA or higher

  • Baylor University
  • Cornell University
  • Drexel University
  • Duke University
  • Emory University
  • George Washington University
  • Idaho State University
  • Northeastern University
  • Pace University
  • Quinnipiac University
  • Rochester Institute Of Technology
  • Rutgers University
  • Stanford University
  • Stony Brook University
  • University of Alabama, Birmingham
  • University of California, Davis
  • University of Colorado, Denver
  • University of Florida
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Nebraska
  • University of Oklahoma
  • University of South Dakota
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Texas, Dallas
  • University of Texas, Galveston
  • University of Texas, San Antonio
  • University of Utah
  • University of Washington
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • Wake Forest University
  • Wichita State University
  • Yale University

Public Policy - MS or MA or higher

  • American University
  • Arizona State University
  • Brandeis University
  • Brigham Young University
  • Brown University
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University
  • Duke University
  • George Mason University
  • George Washington University
  • Georgetown University
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Harvard University
  • Indiana University
  • IUPUI
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • New York University
  • Northwestern University
  • Ohio State University
  • Penn State University
  • Pepperdine University
  • Princeton University
  • Rutgers University
  • Syracuse University
  • Texas A&M University
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Colorado, Denver
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Georgia
  • University of Illinois, Chicago
  • University of Kansas
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore County
  • University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Missouri
  • University of Nebraska, Omaha
  • University of North Carolina
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Texas, Austin
  • University of Virginia
  • University of Washington
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • Virginia Tech University

Real Estate - MS or MRE or higher

  • American University
  • Arizona State University
  • Auburn University
  • Clemson University
  • CUNY, Baruch College
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • New York University
  • Ohio State University
  • Texas A&M University
  • University of Arizona
  • University of California, Irvine
  • University of California, San Diego
  • University of Denver
  • University of Illinois
  • University of Utah

Veterinary - DVM

  • Auburn University
  • Colorado State University
  • Cornell University
  • Iowa State University
  • Kansas State University
  • LSU
  • Michigan State University
  • Mississippi State University
  • North Carolina State University
  • Ohio State University
  • Oklahoma State University
  • Oregon State University
  • Purdue University
  • Texas A&M University
  • Tufts University
  • University of California, Davis
  • University of Florida
  • University of Georgia
  • University of Illinois
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Missouri
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • Virginia Tech University
  • Washington State University

While our in-school program requires loan certification by a borrower's school, our refinance program does not require loan certification your school's financial aid office. CommonBond, Bank of Lake Mills, and the Grad Refinance Loan™ product are neither endorsed by nor affiliated with any educational institutions.

Grad Refinance Loans™ are offered on a first-come, first-serve basis based on loan applicants that meet our underwriting criteria, which includes a credit check.

The Grad Refinance Loan™ is currently offered to graduates from over 100 graduate degree programs across the country. And we are growing! So please email us at info@commonbond.co if you'd like us to expand our loan program to graduates of your school.

We do not require a cosigner. However, if you do not meet the minimum underwriting criteria, then CommonBond generally allows you to re-apply with a cosigner.

It depends. If your cosigner has a more favorable credit profile, you may receive a lower rate than you otherwise would if you apply on your own.

Our Grad Refinance Loan™ is currently only for United States citizens or permanent residents. We recognize that there's an incredible need for an international product and are working with our partners on solutions for international students. The solution may come in a few different forms and is still to be determined. If you register on our website, you will be one of the first to know of our progress.

Understanding Your Refinance Terms

No, there is no origination fee for the Grad Refinance Loan™.

The interest rate for a Grad Refinance Loan™ depends on the applicant's credit profile, the choice of variable rate or fixed rate, and the term of repayment for the loan. Rates do not depend on the school attended or the amount of the loan request.

  • Our 5-year term loans have fixed interest rates ranging from 3.89% to 5.99% (with auto pay) and variable interest rates ranging from 1-month LIBOR + 1.75% (with auto pay) to 1-month LIBOR + 5.12% (with auto pay). Currently, 1-month LIBOR is 0.17%, implying starting rates of 1.92% and 5.29%.*

  • Our 10-year term loans have fixed interest rates ranging from 4.74% to 6.49% (with auto pay) and variable interest rates ranging from 1-month LIBOR + 3.24% (with auto pay) to 1-month LIBOR + 5.12% (with auto pay). Currently, 1-month LIBOR is 0.17%, implying starting rates of 3.41% and 5.29%.*

  • We also have a 10-year Hybrid Loan. Annual Percentage Rates (APR) for the 10-year Hybrid rate loans range from 3.97% to 5.83% (with auto pay). The first 60 payments (5 years) of the hybrid loan have a fixed rate which ranges from 4.14% to 5.99% (with auto pay). The last 60 payments (last 5 years) have a variable rate which is the total of the margin plus 1-month LIBOR. Using today's rates, the lowest variable loan rate of 3.41% is based on today's 1-month LIBOR of 0.17% plus a margin of 3.24% (with auto pay). The highest variable loan rate of 5.29% is based on today's 1-month LIBOR of 0.17% plus a margin of 5.12% (with auto pay).

  • Our 15-year term loans have fixed interest rates ranging from 5.62% to 6.99% (with auto pay) and variable interest rates ranging from 1-month LIBOR + 3.54% (with auto pay) to 1-month LIBOR + 5.37% (with auto pay). Currently, 1-month LIBOR is 0.17%, implying starting rates of 3.71% and 5.54%.*

  • Our 20-year term loans have fixed interest rates ranging from 5.99% to 7.24% (with auto pay) and variable interest rates ranging from 1-month LIBOR + 4.12% (with auto pay) to 1-month LIBOR + 5.50% (with auto pay). Currently, 1-month LIBOR is 0.17%, implying starting rates of 4.29% and 5.67%.*

The Grad Refinance Loan™ has no origination or prepayment fees.

*All rates shown include a 0.25% reduction for setting up automatic payments. Failure to make payments may result in the loss of the 0.25% autopay reduction.

All of our graduate refinance loans have these common features:

  • No origination fees.
  • Monthly payments start between 30 and 60 days after your refinance loan is disbursed.
  • No prepayment penalty. All payments greater than the monthly minimum go straight to reducing the principal of the loan.
  • Grace period deferment is available if you graduated this year and your current loans are currently in grace period deferment.
  • Academic deferment if you haven’t had enough and decide to go back to school.
  • Financial hardship forbearance.

The Grad Refinance Loan™ allows recent graduates to consolidate up to $220,000 of student loans through CommonBond. Qualified U.S. student loans are eligible for consolidation.

Our investors believe, as do we at CommonBond, that creditworthy borrowers are being assigned too high a risk premium by traditional institutions (private lenders and the government), and are therefore willing to provide funds to finance graduate education at more affordable terms. It's really a win-win.

Not necessarily. The federal government has special forgiveness programs for employees in specific industries (e.g., public service). Graduates with federal loans working in such industries may therefore prefer to keep their federal loans to maintain these extra borrower protections.

An interest rate is "fixed" if it remains unchanged over time, while a "variable" interest rate changes over time based on changes in a market benchmark rate, such as 1-month LIBOR, which represents the rate at which major financial institutions can borrow U.S. dollars for one month. The interest rate for a floating rate loan is typically based off of a calculation that adds a percentage spread to 1-month LIBOR. For example, let's assume an applicant is quoted the following interest rate for a variable rate loan: 1-month LIBOR + 2.00%. If current LIBOR is at 1.00%, then the effective loan interest rate would start at 3.00%. If LIBOR increases, so too would your rate, and vice versa (as LIBOR decreases, so too would your rate).

Some variable rate loans have a "cap" - a rate above which the variable interest rate cannot exceed. A cap is included to protect borrowers from excessively high interest rate environments. Interest rate caps on CommonBond loans vary according to the length of the repayment term between 8.99% and 12.99%.

The interest rate of the Grad Refinance Loan™ does depend on the credit profile of the borrower or the cosigner (whoever has the higher credit score).

The Hybrid Loan

By “Hybrid” we mean the interest rate is fixed for a portion of the repayment term and variable for the remainder:

  • The first five years of the loan are at a fixed interest rate
  • For the remainder of the loan (last five years), the rate varies monthly along with the 1-month LIBOR

Besides this rate change feature at the five year mark, the Hybrid Loan has the same terms as all of our other refinance loans.

It’s important to understand that the rate for the variable portion of the Hybrid Loan isn’t actually set until five years after the loan is disbursed. The rate at that time is the sum of:

  1. A “margin” that is set based on your application when you apply for the loan.
  2. Whatever 1-month LIBOR is five years after your loan is disbursed.

The CommonBond Hybrid Loan option balances the many competing tradeoffs of choosing a particular repayment term, helping to minimize: 1) interest rate, 2) size of required monthly payment, and 3) total interest paid. The Hybrid also helps reduce the uncertainty of a variable rate loan by fixing the interest rate for the first five years of repayment, and then switching to a variable rate for the remainder of the loan period. For borrowers who tend to prepay, this period of interest rate uncertainty can be relatively short, allowing Hybrid borrowers to benefit from a fixed rate lower than our normal 10-year fixed rate loan.

The Refinancing Process

We think so. Here are the steps:

  1. Apply online. You can get started here on our site and have a preliminary decision in 7 minutes.

  2. Provide the necessary information, upload any supporting documentation, and submit the application.

  3. If your application is approved, we will arrange the student loan(s) with your lender(s) to be paid off.

There are three types of documents you will need:

  1. Proof of employment: a letter of acceptance from a future employer OR two recent pay stubs OR tax forms if the applicant is an independent contractor.

  2. Recent loan statement for each loan you wish to refinance. Each statement must have your name, account number, loan balance, and physical address where you would mail a payment.

  3. Proof of residence: Your driver's license if it has your current address on it OR a recent utility bill OR a recent bank statement OR any document with your name and current address.

The Bank of Lake Mills underwrites and originates all Grad Refinance Loan™. The Bank of Lake Mills does not have an ownership stake in CommonBond nor is it affiliated with the school you attended.

For a Grad Refinance Loan™, if you are approved and funded, all funds are directed to the existing lender(s).

A Grad Refinance Loan™ looks and acts like any other loan on your credit report. When shopping around for refinancing options, it is best to do so in a shorter period of time. For example, if you do so within 30 days, there should be less impact on your credit score than if you did so beyond 30 days. Also, check out this post by our very own, Nate Howard.

The online CommonBond application process can be completed in as few as seven minutes and the entire process in matter of a few days.

The Repayment Process

You can enroll in autopay by electronically filling out the autopay enrollment form

Yes. Similar to federal student loans, under certain circumstances, including for economic hardship, you may be eligible for a forbearance, in which case you may temporarily postpone making monthly loan payments for a specific period of time.

Yes. You will receive all information regarding the various payment options from our servicer, ECMC, once you officially accept your loan through CommonBond.

You can make a one-time payment by electronically filling out the one-time payment form

Yes. You are welcome to prepay the loan or pay more than the minimum monthly payment amount if you wish, without incurring any penalty. You only have to first pay any unpaid interest that has accrued on the loan to that point in time.

You can make a one-time payment by electronically filling out the one-time payment form

First, if you are eligible, you can elect to choose economic hardship forbearance. If you are still unable to pay your loan, we'll work with you and our community to attempt to find a solution. If you ultimately choose not to pay or are unable to pay, then the loan will be subject to default as provided in the promissory note. (This process is similar for Federal government loans and other private loans).

We do not offer an income-based repayment plan at the moment, but we fully recognize the importance of flexible repayment terms. As of right now, the Grad Refinance Loan carries standard terms around loan forbearance in case of financial hardship. Situations are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. If an income-based repayment plan is of interest to you, and you have existing federal loans, you may prefer to keep those loans to take advantage of special government programs such as income-based repayment.

The CommonBond Social Promise

From Day one, we have had a strong social mission - what we call our "Social Promise."

The CommonBond Social Promise: for every degree fully funded on the CommonBond platform, we fund the education of a student in need abroad for a full year. We have partnered with Pencils of Promise to make good on this promise and will be funding the educations for of hundreds of children in 2014 alone. CommonBond is the first-ever company to bring the "1-for-1" model to education and finance.

Inspired by the likes of TOMS Shoes and Warby Parker, we firmly believe that business can and should be a positive force for change. By empowering our students and investors to become Social Promise champions, we hope to exponentially make a difference.

Pencils of Promise, or PoP, is a non-profit founded in 2008 to increase access to quality education – a mission that resonates strongly with our own here at CommonBond – for children in the developing world. Based in NYC, PoP has developed over 200 schools and educational programs across four countries already: Laos, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Ghana. We're excited to help new PoP students achieve their educational dreams for every degree fully funded on our platform.

The CommonBond Social Impact award is an annual prize awarded to the nation's Top MBA Social Entrepreneur. Nominees are assessed by our Selection Committee, which this year consisted of Pencils of Promise CEO Adam Braun, Girls who Code CEO Reshma Saujani, and CommonBond CEO David Klein. Assessment criteria include: number of nominations, innovative nature of the idea, likelihood of long term impact, and traction to date. The inaugural 2014 award was won by Christine Su, Stanford MBA and co-founder of Summer Technologies.

CommonBond is a for-profit company with a strong social mission.

If you would like to make a direct donation, we'd like to point you to our non-profit partners.

Click here to make a gift to Pencils of Promise.

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