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CommonBond Review โ€” Student Loan Refinancing to Solar (2023)

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After over 10 years, 100,000 customers, and more than $5 billion in student loans funded, CommonBond has left the student loan market (and is now focusing exclusively on solar loans). This news may have you wondering about similar loan refinancing options or what's happening with existing CommonBond student loans.

We're here to help you get answers. In this CommonBond review, we'll discuss what the company's exit means for you, whether you already have a CommonBond loan or are looking for other student loan refinance lender reviews.

CommonBond: What's Changing and What's Staying the Same

CommonBond no longer offers private student loans or refinancing student loans, but current borrowers will still have their loans serviced. Here's what you need to know.

  • CommonBond is no longer offering student loans or accepting new student loan refinance applications. The company stopped offering new student loans in April 2022 and stopped refinancing student loans in May 2022.
  • CommonBond is pivoting to offering loans for residential solar panels.
  • If you currently have a student loan with CommonBond, you won't experience any changes. Loans will be handled by Firstmark Services, who will continue to service any existing loan accounts you have with CommonBond.
  • All contact information will be the same. You can call (800) 975-7812 or email care@commonbond.co to discuss any questions or concerns.

CommonBond: The Basics

Even if the company isn't accepting new student loan applications, CommonBond is a well-reputed provider that will continue to serve thousands of loan holders. Here's some basic information about the company.

  • CommonBond was founded in 2012, making it one of the first companies to enter into online student loan refinancing.
  • It was created by Wharton MBA students who were struggling with their own student loan debt.
  • CommonBond partnered with Pencils of Promise to provide schools, teachers, and technology to students in developing countries. The company has donated more than a million dollars to the cause, and they're continuing that partnership with their solar loans.
  • CommonBond's recent decision came after the company was hit hard by the student loan payment and interest pause during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The company launched a solar financing business in 2021 and experienced rapid growth in this area.

CommonBond: What Loan Holders Still Have

Current CommonBond loan holders (many serviced by Firstmark Services and Nelnet) will continue to have the following benefits:

  • No penalty if you pay off early
  • .25% discount for enrolling in autopay
  • Generous forbearance (up to 24 months)
  • Forbearance also applies if you return to school
  • Co-signer release available

CommonBond: Products Offered

Before exiting the student loan industry, CommonBond provided various types of loans and refinancing options, including:

  • Student loan refinance for student borrowers
  • Student loan refinance for parents with Parent PLUS loans
  • Consolidation of federal and private loans
  • Repayment terms ranging from 5 to 20 years
  • Fixed-rate loan interest rates ranging from 3.2% to 7.25%
  • Variable-rate loan interest rates ranging from 2.55% to 7.05%
  • A unique hybrid loan rate that carried a fixed rate initially, then a variable rate after a set amount of time; rates ranged from 4.32% to 6.27%

CommonBond: What Now?

Currently, CommonBond is offering residential solar financing so homeowners can save on electricity and reduce their carbon footprint. CommonBondโ€™s solar loans are eligible for the federal solar investment tax credit (ITC), which gives borrowers a 30% tax credit for their solar panel purchases. There are no prepayment penalties, which allows borrowers to pay off loans early to save on interest.

Although CommonBond no longer offers options to refinance student loans, you have plenty of other choices if you're looking for great rates, flexible repayment options, and supportive customer service.

No matter which lender or loan you choose, you'll be committing to a long-term relationship, so it pays to do your homework. Check out our lender reviews to get an idea of other great loan options to refinance your student debt.

Jacob Wade

I've been writing about personal finance since 2012 and have been featured as a money expert in many national publications such as Yahoo! Finance, CBS News, MSN Money, Forbes, Nasdaq, and more.

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