CommonBond Student Loan Refinancing Review
A CommonBond review wouldn’t be complete without a discussion of how CommonBond is different from the other student loan refinancing companies. The big points that might be of interest to you are: (1) social mission; (2) dedicated lawyer group; (3) Pre-Fi program; and (4) unemployment protection.
Social mission. CommonBond is the only student loan refinancing company that combines student loan refinancing with a social mission. If you refinance your loans with CommonBond, they’ll fund the education of a child in need through a partnership with Pencils of Promise. Pretty cool, huh? Pencils of Promise builds schools, supports teachers and even has a program to teach kids about potable water, sanitation and hygiene. I’m always a fan of programs that are looking at the root causes. Sick child = child unable to go to school to learn.
Dedicated lawyer group. If the social mission doesn’t encourage you to refinance your student loans with CommonBond, the fact that they have a dedicated lawyer group might help. Biglaw Investor has partnered with the team of folks at CommonBond that are specifically interested in helping lawyers refinance their loans. This group understands the bimodal salary distribution, the six-figures of law school debt and what it’s like for a young lawyer who just graduated from law school. They’re ready to work with you to find a creative solution to get the underwriters happy with your application and having direct access to them should make the loan process smoother.
Pre-Fi. As I said above, there’s a bunch of folks at CommonBond that are trying to come up with creative solutions for law students and lawyers specifically. I’ve had a lot of 3Ls write in saying that they can’t wait to refinance their student loans once they graduate and that it’s a bummer they have to pay the high interest rates during law school. That’s when CommonBond decided to roll out the Pre-Fi program, which is a way for 3Ls to refinance their loans while still in school based on the strength of a job offer letter.
Unemployment protection. CommonBond has your back if there comes a time when you’re not able to make regular payments. They give you the option of deferring payments or forbearance. In this case, it means you’ll be able to pause payments for a specified period of time.
Who are CommonBond's competitors?
CommonBond is a solid student loan refinancing company with a legitimate chance of giving you a great deal but to get a full sense of the interest rates available to you it's a good idea to check out the competition. The list below includes the other student loan refinancing companies that you may want to consider when searching for the lowest interest rate.
- Earnest. Flexible repayment plans allows you to pick your own term. Financially backed by Navient, giving them some of the lowest interest rates available in the current market.
- First Republic Bank. This is a traditional bank looking to build a long-term customer relationship with you and is willing to refinance your student loans at below-market rates to build the relationship. You'll be required to open up a checking account, initiate direct deposit of your paycheck, and jump through other hoops, but if you're willing to do so they offer the lowest rates available.
- SoFi. SoFi is by far the largest lender in the student loan refinancing market. They may not be able to offer you the best rate as they can rely on their brand name to bring in borrowers but there are lots of other perks when you refinance with SoFi and they are actively expanding their products if you're interested in keeping your financial life with one company.
- Credible. Known as the "Kayak of student loan refinancing", Credible offers you access to a marketplace of lenders. Fill out a form once and Credible will pre-qualify you with a bunch of lenders to get rates (soft credit check). To confirm the actual rates, you'll have to continue the application with the individual lender.
- LendKey. If you're looking to borrow from a local credit union, LendKey is the lender for you. They partner with local banks and credit unions to offer you student loan refinancing in your neighborhood.
- ELFI. A relatively new player, ELFI is backed by SouthEast Bank, a retail bank that recognized the value of getting into the student loan refinancing market. More competition is always better and if you end up with multiple offers, you can use them to play off the various student loan refinancing companies to get the best deal for you.
- Splash Financial. Splash Financial is based in Cleveland and one of the newest players in the refinancing space. Originally they only offered loans to medical residents and fellows but have recently been expanding thanks to a partnership with Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed).
- Laurel Road. Primarily a good option for medical professionals (which seem to be their target audience), Laurel Road is an option for parents that want to refinance Parent PLUS loans in their child's name.
- Interest Rates: 2.02%+
- Bonus Cashback: $400
- Loan Types:
- Loan Terms:
- Minimum Credit Score: 660
- Rating: 9/10
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