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CommonBond Review
CommonBond student loans come with several built-in protections including a generous grace period and forbearance for economic hardship.
CommonBond Review
CommonBond student loans come with several built-in protections including a generous grace period and forbearance for economic hardship.
May 06, 2021 / Nadav Shemer
CommonBond Review
CommonBond student loans come with several built-in protections including a generous grace period and forbearance for economic hardship.
May 06, 2021 / Nadav Shemer

In a Nutshell

CommonBond is a private student lender serving undergraduates, graduates, and MBA, medical, and dental students. CommonBond offers its borrowers a range of protective measures including a post-graduation grace period and forbearance for economic hardship. Borrowers have a choice of four types of repayments, subjects to relevant state law restrictions.


  • Grace period and forbearance options
  • Co-signer release after 2 years of payments
  • Automatic enrollment in Money Mentors program


  • No loan without a co-signer
  • High variable APRs

CommonBond at a Glance

Loan types: Undergraduate, graduate, MBA, medical/dental

APRs: 3.80% - 9.36% variable, 3.74% - 10.74% fixed

Repayment terms: 5-15 years

Loan amount: Up to 100% of cost of attendance

Origination fees: No

Loan Rates and Fees

CommonBond doesn’t offer the same low variable rates as other student lenders, making it a poor option for borrowers bringing co-signers with excellent credit. However, the narrow range of APRs suggests that CommonBond is suitable for the average student loan borrower. An automatic 0.25% rate discount applies when using autopay to make monthly payments. The rates below include autopay.

Loan type Variable APRs Fixed APRs
Undergraduate loans 3.80% - 9.36% 3.74% - 10.74%
Graduate loans 3.80% - 9.36% 3.74% - 10.74%
MBA student loans 6.15% - 7.11% 6.04% - 7.25%
Medical/dental student loans 5.90% - 7.26% 5.79% - 7.16%

Repayment Options

CommonBond offers a choice of three repayment terms: 5, 10, or 15. The longer your loan, the smaller your monthly payments but the more you pay in interest overall. Additionally, CommonBond offers a choice of four repayment options, subject to state law restrictions.

  • Full monthly payment. Full monthly payment of the student loan (principal plus interest) begins while you are in school.
  • Interest-only payment. Allows you to make interest-only payments each month while you are in school.
  • Fixed monthly payment of $25. Allows you to make fixed payments of $25 each month while you are in school. Any unpaid interest will be capitalized at the end of the fixed monthly payment period.
  • Deferment. Allows you to completely postpone making your student loan payments until graduation. Interest will accrue during deferment and will be capitalized at the end of the deferment period.

Each repayment option comes with an optional six-month grace period following graduation or termination of enrollment. During that grace period, you won’t be required to make any payments, but interest will continue to accrue.

CommonBond has deferment and forbearance options for students who encounter economic hardship after graduation. Furthermore, as of May 2021, CommonBond was still waiving all late fees for members impacted by COVID-19.

Discounts and Rewards

Aside from the flexible repayment options, CommonBond offers a handful of other incentives to prospective borrowers.

  • Money Mentor program. Money Mentors help CommonBond borrowers become smarter financial consumers. All undergraduate borrowers are automatically enrolled in the Money Mentors program. Grad students may elect to opt-in to the program.
  • Refer-a-friend. Earn $200 every time someone takes out a student loan or refinances using your referral link.
  • Pencils of Promise. Through its partnership with Pencils of Promise, CommonBond has provided schools, teachers, and technology to thousands of students in the developing world.

Application Process

To apply for a CommonBond student loan for the upcoming academic year, begin by filling out an online application. Once approved, select a loan product and e-sign your loan disclosures. CommonBond will confirm your enrollment and loan amount with your school, a process that can take between five days to three weeks, depending on your school. Once your school certifies the loan, CommonBond will notify you and disburse the funds.

To qualify, you must:

  • Be a US citizen or permanent resident;
  • Be enrolled at least half-time at one of the schools in the CommonBond network; and
  • Meet the minimum credit score requirements (exact credit criteria are not disclosed).

Co-Signer Options

CommonBond requires students to apply with a creditworthy co-signer. A co-signer commits to paying the balance of the loan in the event that you cannot. Students become eligible to apply for co-signer release after graduation and 24 consecutive months of full payment. The student must be the age of majority (16-21 years old, depending on the state in which you live) and meet the current underwriting criteria under the loan program at the time of applying for co-signer release. Any period of forbearance interrupts consecutive payments.

Customer Service

Applications are strictly online. If you need assistance, hit the live chat button on the CommonBond website, email, or call 800.975.7812 during business hours.

About CommonBond

CommonBond was founded in New York in 2012 with the aim of supporting students through their student loan journey. Since then, it has funded more than $4 billion in student loans. Its investor list includes Fifth Third Bank, Neuberger Berman, August Capital, Tribeca Venture Partners, Social Capital, Nyca Partners, Victory Park Capital, and individual investors like former Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit, and former Thomson Reuters CEO Tom Glocer.


CommonBond goes farther than most private student lenders in offering protections for its student borrowers – and itself. Although restrictive to some applicants, the co-signer requirement ensures CommonBond only takes on borrowers capable of making payments over the duration of the loan. If, after all, you find yourself struggling to make payments, CommonBond offers a generous post-graduation grace period, forbearance options, and even COVID-19 relief.

By Nadav Shemer
Nadav Shemer specializes in business, tech, and energy, with a background in financial journalism, hi-tech and startups. Nadav writes for He enjoys writing about the latest innovations in financial services and products.
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