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Most private lenders allow student loan borrowers to add a co-signer to their applications so that they can qualify for refinancing.
A co-signer can be a parent or legal guardian who meets the lender's credit and income requirements. In addition to helping borrowers qualify for a refinancing loan, co-signers with good credit scores can also help ensure the borrow will have a better chance of getting the lowest interest rate possible.
The risk to co-signers is that they take on full responsibility for payment of the loan until it is completely paid off. If the borrower misses any payment, it affects both the borrower and the co-signer's credit scores. One way to avoid this is to find a lender that offers a co-signer release option so that the parent or guardian can be removed from the loan after a certain period of time — providing borrowers more financial independence down the road.
CommonBond Student Loan Refinancing stands out for offering a co-signer release option after the borrower makes two straight years of on-time and complete (loan principal plus interest) monthly payments. This means that co-signers no longer have financial liability. In addition to refinancing student loans, CommonBond also offers undergraduate, graduate, MBA, dental, and medical loans.
Read on for the full details of CommonBond's Student Loan Refinancing, including the APRs, perks, fees, loan amounts and term lengths. (See our methodology for more information on how we choose the best student loan refinance companies.)
No origination fees to refinance
Federal, private, graduate and undergraduate loans, previously consolidated loans, corporate-sponsored student loans and international student loans
Variable and fixed
Variable rates (APR)
2.51% to 6.86% (rates include a 0.25% autopay discount)
Fixed rates (APR)
2.59% to 6.74% (rates include a 0.25% autopay discount)
5, 10, 15, 20 years
Up to $500,000
Minimum credit score
Allow for a co-signer
CommonBond offers both variable and fixed APRs. Variable interest rates fluctuate over the life of the loan, while fixed rates stay the same for the duration of the loan term.
CommonBond's variable rates range from 2.51% to 6.86%. Fixed rates range from 2.59% to 6.74%.
Both variable and fixed APRs automatically include a 0.25% autopay discount.
The biggest perk with CommonBond is that it offers a co-signer release option when you're ready to take sole responsibility for your refinanced student loan and establish some financial independence.
The direct borrower must make 24 consecutive, on-time monthly payments of the loan's principal and interest before they are eligible to remove their co-signer from any loan obligations.
CommonBond also offers payment protections for borrowers, such as up to 24 months of financial hardship forbearance over the life of their loan, as well as academic deferment and grace period deferment.
Those looking to do good will also appreciate the added social benefit of refinancing through CommonBond: When you refinance, CommonBond covers the cost of a child's education in the developing world through partnership with Pencils of Promise.
CommonBond does not charge borrowers any origination fees to take out a refinancing loan. There are no early payoff penalties.
For any late payments, CommonBond charges a 5% fee of the outstanding unpaid amount or $10, whichever is less. There is a $5 return check fee, subject to state law restrictions.
Loan amounts go up to $500,000, with no minimums.
Borrowers can chose from 5, 10, 15, 20 year loan terms.
CommonBond Student Loan Refinancing is the best option for borrowers looking to refinance with a co-signer. Leverage your co-signer's good credit in order to take out the refinanced loan at a lower rate, plus have the opportunity to remove your co-signer after 24 months, so they are no longer financially responsible for the loan.
If you don't have a co-signer who can help you, consider refinancing through a private lender that has lower-than-average credit requirements to give yourself a better chance at qualifying. There aren't many, but Earnest Student Loan Refinancing is one where fair credit applicants (minimum credit score of 650) can qualify, and there are no minimum income requirements. For these reasons, Earnest also made Select's list of the 5 best student loan refinance companies.
To determine which student loan refinance companies are the best for borrowers, Select analyzed and compared private student loan funding from national banks, credit unions and online lenders. We narrowed down our ranking by only considering those that offer low student loan refinancing rates and prequalification tools that don't hurt your credit.
While the companies we chose in this article consistently rank as having some of the more competitive interest rates for refinancing, we also compared each company on the following features:
- Broad availability: All of the companies on our list refinance both federal and private student loans, and they each offer a variable and fixed interest rate to choose from.
- Flexible loan terms: Each company provides a variety of financing options that you can customize based on your monthly budget and how long you need to pay back your student loan.
- No origination or signup fee: None of the companies on our list charge borrowers an upfront "origination fee" for refinancing your loan.
- No early payoff penalties: The companies on our list do not charge borrowers for paying off loans early.
- Streamlined application process: We made sure companies offered a fast online application process.
- Co-signer options: Each company on our list allows for a co-signer if the direct borrower does not qualify for refinancing on their own.
- Autopay discounts: All of the companies listed already calculate autopay discounts into their advertised rates.
- Private student loan protections: Though you lose federal student loan benefits when you refinance, each company on our list offers some type of their own financial hardship protection for borrowers.
- Loan sizes: The above companies refinance loans in an array of sizes, from $5,000 to $500,000. Each company advertises its respective loan sizes, and completing a preapproval process can give you an idea of what your interest rate and monthly payment would be.
- Credit requirements/eligibility: We took into consideration the minimum credit scores and income levels required if this information was available.
- Customer support: Every company on our list provides customer service available via telephone, email or secure online messaging. We also opted for lenders with an online resource hub or advice center to help you educate yourself about the student loan refinancing process.
After reviewing the above features, we sorted our recommendations by best for overall refinancing needs, having a co-signer, applying with a fair credit score, refinancing parent loans and medical school loans.
Note that the rates and fee structures for private student loan refinancing are not guaranteed forever; they are subject to change without notice and they often fluctuate in accordance with the Fed rate. Choosing a fixed-rate APR when you refinance will guarantee that your interest rate and monthly payment will remain consistent throughout the entire term of the loan.
Your refinanced rate depends on your credit score, income, debt-to-income (DTI) ratio, savings, payment history and overall financial health. To refinance your student loan(s), lenders will conduct a hard credit inquiry and request a full application, which could require proof of income, identity verification, proof of address and more.
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