CommonBond vs. SoFi: Best Student Loan Refinancing Comparison
Deciding which lender to refinance with is a big decision. This article will help you compare some options.
One way to reduce what you pay each month in student loans is to refinance. There are a number of companies that can help you refinance your student loans, but two of the biggest and most well-known are CommonBond and SoFi.
Before you choose a SoFi or CommonBond student loan refinance, it’s important to compare offers, as well as look at different benefits and perks of each. Here’s what you need to know about CommonBond vs. SoFi.
Compare CommonBond vs. SoFi student loan refinancing
Both of these companies offer relatively low fixed and variable rates for student loan refinancing — as long as you have good credit and are well-qualified. Additionally, neither charges an origination fee and both offer a variety of terms ranging from five to 20 years.
Here’s a basic overview of SoFi vs. CommonBond:
Credit score range
Good to excellent
Good to excellent
5 to 20 years
5 to 20 years
$5,000 to $500,000
$5,000 and up (no maximum)
Up to 24 months
Up to 12 months
CommonBond student loan refinance
- Cosigner release* (co-signers of student loans are almost always released when you refinance unless you choose to add them. Separately, if you are in the minority with a co-signed refinance loan, you can release them with CommonBond)
- Up to 24 months of forbearance for hardship
- Hybrid loan options
- Limit of $500,000 when you refinance
- Must have good credit to take advantage of a CommonBond student loan refinance
A CommonBond student loan refinance might be the best option for:
- Those who have lower credit scores and want a cosigner. If you can’t qualify for a CommonBond student loan refinance on your own, a well-qualified cosigner could help. Because CommonBond offers a cosigner release, you could be more likely to convince someone to cosign your loan. Once you make a certain number of on-time payments and improve your credit score, you could release your cosigner and be entirely responsible for the loan.
- Those who plan to pay off your loan early. CommonBond offers a hybrid loan option that allows you to take advantage of five years of a fixed interest rate before it switches to variable. If you have a plan to pay off your loan quickly, this option could allow you to get a lower interest rate than a regular fixed loan, helping you pay less in interest while you reduce your student loan balance.
- Borrowers concerned about long-term job security. If you’re worried about your job’s stability, and think you might need to make use of forbearance, you get a longer hardship option with a CommonBond student loan refinance as compared to SoFi.
SoFi student loan refinance
- No limit on the amount of student loan debt you can refinance
- Up to 12 months of forbearance for hardship
- Additional perks and benefits for SoFi membership
- No cosigner release* (cosigners of student loans are almost always released when you refinance unless you choose to add them. Sofi does not offer a cosigner release for a cosigned refinance loan according to our research)
- Must have good credit to take advantage of a SoFi student loan refinance
A SoFi student loan refinance might be the best option for:
- Those with very high loan balances. For those whose student loan balances exceed $500,000, it can make sense to use SoFi for student loan refinancing. If you can qualify to pay off all your balances, it might make sense in the long run.
- Borrowers who want access to additional benefits. SoFi offers more than just student loan refinancing. SoFi offers other borrowing, banking products and services, and investing. On top of that, members get access to career coaching and financial planning help, as well as the chance to participate in members-only events and networking opportunities.
- Parents who want to refinance a Parent PLUS loan. SoFi offers Parent PLUS loan refinancing. So, if you took out a loan on behalf of your child, you might be able to have them refinance it through SoFi, as long as they qualify for student loan refinancing.
Compare student loan refinancing options
Before you decide, make sure to carefully compare CommonBond vs. SoFi. You can also look into other student loan refinancing options.
For example, an organization like Juno offers access to a number of deals on student loan refinancing. Rather than just comparing two different student loan refinancing choices, you could see other deals and decide whether to take advantage of them. Before you settle on a student loan refinancing lender, consider joining Juno to see what’s being offered by partners.
Different factors to keep in mind when you compare student loan refinancing options include:
- How much you can borrow
- Whether there’s an origination fee
- Cosigner release (for those in the small group that will have a cosigned refinance loan)
- Whether there’s a hardship program
Start by considering what matters most to you, and what kinds of things you’re looking for. If you don’t need a cosigner to qualify for student loan refinancing, then a cosigner release won’t be as important to you. For those with smaller student loan balances, having a big cap might not matter because you won’t use it. Think about what features and benefits are likely to create the best deal for you and choose a lender that best fits your needs.
What about federal student loans?
Before you decide between a SoFi vs. CommonBond student loan refinance, it’s also a good idea to consider what to do about your federal student loans. If you refinance federal loans, you lose access to benefits like income-driven repayment and Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
If you hope to take advantage of federal protections and benefits, consider consolidating your federal loans together, and then refinancing your private student loans separate from your federal loans. Refinancing your federal student loans works best if you’re already making too much money to take advantage of income-driven repayment, and if you’re not planning to use Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
Student loan refinancing can help you reduce what you end up paying overall — as long as you do your research and refinance with the right lender. Carefully consider your needs and use a service like Juno, or shop around to get different quotes, so you can compare different offers and get the loan that’s likely the best choice for you.
Miranda has 10+ years of experience covering financial markets for various online and offline publications, including contributions to Marketwatch, NPR, Forbes, FOX Business, Yahoo Finance, and The Hill. She is the co-host of the Money Tree Investing podcast and she has a Master of Arts in Journalism from Syracuse University
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