<-- View all of my refinancing options
Updated on May 23, 2019
By Julissa Trevino
Once you've decided to refinance your student loans, selecting the right lender is your next step.
Two popular lenders are CommonBond and LendKey. While they each have their advantages, you might find that one works best for your particular circumstances. Let's take a look at how they compare.
If you're looking to refinance with a company that's committed to making student loan payments simpler, CommonBond might be for you.
The company offers a diverse range of fixed- and variable-rate loans to fit a wide range of financial situations. It has also been recognized for its best-in-class customer service.
They do a lot of good, too. While keeping interest rates below double-digits for their lenders, CommonBond also finds time to partner with an organization that builds schools and promotes literacy in Ghana.
LendKey is known for its unique approach to refinancing.
Its mission is to connect people with lenders they might not normally have access to — like credit unions and community lenders that offer
And since LendKey operates as a portal — a platform that connects you to direct lenders based on your individual needs — it offers side-by-side comparisons of lenders and terms so you can make an informed decision without any of the legwork.
CommonBond's loan products offer flexibility for a wide range of financial needs (more about that in a minute).
But they're also committed to helping you advance in your career. The company runs regular networking events, panel discussions, and dinners that help connect customers with industry thought leaders.
For customers between jobs, their CommonBridge program helps customers transition to their next role—a novel benefit for a lender.
With LendKey, the focus is on meeting your particular needs through a wide range of loan options.
With one single application, LendKey's portal helps you find a lender by showing you refinance quotes from more than 300 community banks and credit unions.
That means you don't have to shop around for the best rate on your own or have to fill out multiple applications.
Throughout your application process, you will have access to LendKey's loan specialists who can help you decide which loan option best fits your needs. Those same customer service reps will be there to help you through your application and during your entire payment period.
One reason LendKey is popular is
LendKey also offers flexible repayment plans including 5-, 7-,10-, 15- and 20-year loan terms.
CommonBond's interest rates start as low as 2.48%. Their refinancing options include a fixed interest rate loan and variable interest rate loan.
Plus, they also offer a unique hybrid option in which the interest on your loan stays fixed for five years before becoming variable for the next five. Interest rates start at 4% and term loans range from five to 20 years.
CommonBond boasts another impressive figure: their customers save about $24,000 over their loan’s lifetime on average.
Neither LendKey nor
Yes, both offer a .25% interest rate reduction when you sign up for automatic monthly payments.
CommonBond also offers an option that's similar to forbearance that allows you temporarily postpone loan payments if you qualify during a time of financial hardship.
You must have at least $5,000 in student loans and be a graduate of a Title IV-accredited university or graduate programs in the United States. Your credit history will also help determine eligibility and interest rates.
You can apply online, and you'll need two of the following:
A preliminary decision is usually made within minutes. Once your application is approved, CommonBond will handle the refinance process with your current lenders.
To qualify, you must have between $5,000 and $300,000 of existing student loan debt (the exact amount varies based on your degree), an income of at least $24,000 a year, a credit score in the mid 600s, and a degree from an eligible school.
LendKey's online application process takes 15 minutes. All you have to do is go to LendKey’s “check your rates” page and enter information about yourself, your school, and your existing loan. If you qualify for refinancing, you will be shown several offers from different lenders. LendKey will handle origination and servicing.
Want to see what interest rates you qualify for with LendKey and CommonBond? Compare the two and cash in the savings.
Works with 275+ not-for-profit community lenders for higher approval chances
LendKey operates student loan programs for over 275 not-for-profit and community lenders across the country. By partnering with these lenders, LendKey is able to give consumers direct access to the best rates available from the most borrower friendly institutions. As the servicer of all loans obtained through its platform, you can rest easy knowing your personal information will be safe and that the best customer service team will be ready to answer your questions from application until your final payment.
Offers unemployment protection and career/coaching/networking
SoFi, which stands for “Social Finance,” was created by a group of Stanford business students who found themselves with a mountain of debt after graduation. They set out to change the student loan industry and help borrowers like themselves to get lower interest rates. SoFi has some of the lowest interest rates and, unlike the other lenders we reviewed, it has no maximum amount you can finance. However, Nevada residents can’t currently refinance with SoFi. Minimum loan balances are higher in Arizona, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania due to state laws. Additional state restrictions may apply.
For every loan they fund, they contribute to the education of a child in need
CommonBond was founded in 2011 by three MBA graduates from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School who wanted to help their peers escape from high-interest student loan debt. Its original focus was on grad students, but it has since expanded to cover undergrads as well.
Of all the companies we reviewed, CommonBond has some of the best customer service. The company prides itself on being easy to reach by email, phone, or live chat. It offers networking events, expert panels, insider newsletters, and even has a program help borrowers who lose their jobs to find new ones. CommonBond also makes you feel good about choosing to refinance with them by donating money to an education nonprofit for each loan they write.
Get a personalized review of your refinancing options with CommonBond today.
Earnest empowers people with the financial captial they need to live better lives.
Using technology, data, and design to build affordable products, Earnest's lending products are built for a new generation seeking to reach life's milestones. The company understands every applicant's unique financial story to offer the lowest possible rates and radically flexible loan options for living life.
Click here to apply with Earnest and to see how much you can save.
Operates in all 50 states; 2nd largest student loan refinancing lender
Laurel Road is a national online lender with customers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Many of our non-bank competitors are not able to lend in all 50 states.Laurel Road has grown to be the second largest player in the student loan refinancing space in large part because of our reputation as the go-to low rate provider.
Special offers for medical resident and fellow refinance products
Splash Financial is a leader in student loan refinancing with new rates as low as 3.25% fixed APR which can save you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your loans. No application or origination fees and no prepayment penalties. Splash Financial is in all 50 states and is intensely focused on customer service. Splash Financial is also one of the few companies that offers a great medical resident and fellow refinance product. You can check your rate with Splash in just minutes.
Click here to see more of Splash's offerings and to see how you can save money.