05/19/2015 02:16 pm ET Updated May 19, 2016

CommonBond's Mission-Driven Approach to Refinancing Your Graduate School Student Loans

As an independent, transparent marketplace for student loan refinancing, Credible will be producing a series of articles profiling lenders in the refinancing space. 

Student loan refinancing has recently emerged as an option for graduates to explore in the last three years. Big banks are no longer the only players as young innovative companies, like CommonBond, can also provide relief to graduates facing high interest rate loans.

CommonBond Student Loan Refinancing Highlights:
  • Flexible repayment terms, rates as low as 1.93%*
  • Deferment and forbearance, social promise, CommonBond community
  • Must have graduate degree


CommonBond initially launched in 2012 as a loan program at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School to help its MBA graduates receive lower interest rate loans. The company has grown rapidly, now offering loans to over 700 graduates programs across masters, medical, law, and MBA degree programs. To date, CommonBond has received over $250 million in private equity funding to help finance and deliver low interest rate loans to graduates.


The company prides itself on its social promise and the CommonBond community as secondary benefits to refinancing. When a borrower's loan is funded, a Pencils of Promise student will also be funded for an entire education year. As part of this social promise and creation of a borrowing community, CommonBond has also created a "CommonBridge" program for borrowers who are in between jobs, to receive a consulting opportunity at a mission-driven company. Additionally, borrowers can also take part in social events, dinners, and receive professional introductions for career growth all through the CommonBond community.

 Product Offerings

 CommonBond offers competitive rates for graduate professionals. Loans are currently only offered to U.S citizens or permanent residents, but they are looking to expand loan offerings to international students in the future.

Rates: (Valid as of May 18, 2015)




5-year loan
3.74% - 5.64%
1.93% - 4.75%
10-year loan
4.74% - 5.74%
3.15% - 4.78%
15-year loan
4.99% - 5.99%
3.40% - 4.78%
20-year loan
5.34% - 6.14%
3.73% - 4.80%

*All rates shown include the auto pay (ACH) rate reduction of 0.25%

CommonBond also has a rather unique hybrid product: a 10-year loan where the first five years are at a fixed rate and last five years are variable. The fixed rate of this hybrid product is offered 0.5% lower than on the 10-year standard repayment term making this offer tempting to borrowers who receive offers.


Borrowers may receive up to $220k and can add a cosigner if they would like to further enhance their borrowing profile (interest rate will depend on whoever has the higher credit score.) CommonBond currently does a soft credit pull as an initial qualification estimate, but will conduct a hard pull in order to validate the interest rate and continue with the application. CommonBond also states the entire process can be completed in just a few days.


For borrowers concerned with losing federal benefits, CommonBond does a great job of passing on key deferment and forbearance options to their borrowers. Currently, borrowers can take part in grace period deferment as well as education deferment if he or she is currently in grace period or wishes to go back to school. If the borrower is experiencing financial hardship, forbearance is available as an option much like federal loans.

Who Should Explore CommonBond?     

Borrowers must have a graduate degree from a qualifying institutional program. If you meet their initial qualifications, CommonBond has broad product offerings if you are looking to optimize for monthly payment or overall total repayment. CommonBond has the most unique and forward social mission and community approach across refinancing lenders; if these benefits are important to you, CommonBond may be your lender of choice.

If you are interested in refinancing with CommonBond or exploring other refinancing options from other great lenders, visit Credible to see what options may be available to you.