CommonBond v. LendKey Student Loan Refinance Review

Updated on March 9, 2022
By Julissa Trevino

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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. 

Who should refinance with CommonBond?


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.  

Who should refinance with LendKey?


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 low interest rates and personalized customer service. This means LendKey could be a great option for people looking save money while supporting small businesses.

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.

Advantages of CommonBond and LendKey

Both CommonBond and LendKey have made names for themselves when it comes to providing excellent customer service and dedication to low interest rates and cost savings.

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. 

Comparing interest rates and loan terms

One reason LendKey is popular is because it offers extremely competitive rates, starting at 1.90% for a variable interest loan or 2.49% for a fixed interest loan. To be clear, a variable rate can fluctuate, while a fixed rate stays the same over the life of your loan. Of course, rates are also dependent on other factors, like your credit score.

LendKey also offers flexible repayment plans including 5-, 7-,10-, 15- and 20-year loan terms.

CommonBond's interest rates start as low as 1.99%. 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 4.05% 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 commonBond charge origination fees, so you can be sure all your hard-earned cash is going directly into paying back your loans.

Does either lender offer discounts?

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.

What are the eligibility requirements and application processes?


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:

  • Proof of employment,
  • A recent loan statement, or
  • Proof of residency

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.

Refinance & Save Today With These Leading Lenders

#1 - Nitro Recommended View More Details

Special offers for medical resident and fellow refinance products

  • Fixed rates: 3.29% - 8.49% APR
  • Variable rates: 2.49% - 8.90% APR
  • Minimum credit: 650
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Visit Splash View Loan Disclosure

Splash Financial is a leader in student loan refinancing with some of the lowest fixed in the industry 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.

  • Low interest rates – especially for graduate students
  • No application or origination fees. No prepayment penalties.
  • Co-signer release program - you can apply for a cosigner release form your loan after 12 months of on-time payments
  • Specialty product for doctors in training with low monthly payment

Click here to see more of Splash's offerings and to see how you can save money.

#2 View More Details

SoFi is the leading student loan refinancing provider. 

  • Fixed rates: 3.99% - 8.24% APR
  • Variable rates: 2.49% - 7.99% APR
  • Minimum credit: 650
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Visit SoFi View Loan Disclosure

$30 billion+ in refinanced student loans. SoFi has some of the lowest interest rates and, unlike the other lenders we reviewed, there's no maximum on the amount you can finance. Some state restrictions may apply.

  • Serious savings: Save thousands of dollars thanks to flexible terms and low fixed or variable rates.
  • No hidden fees, no catch: No application or origination fees. No pre-payment penalties.
  • Fast, easy, and all online: Simple online application and access to live customer support 7 days a week.
  • Access to member benefits: SoFi members get career coaching, financial advice, and more—all at no cost.
  • 98% of surveyed members would recommend SoFi to a friend

Save thousands on your student loans and pay off your loans sooner. Find your rate.

#3 View More Details

Works with 300+ community lenders for higher approval chances

  • Fixed rates: 2.49% - 7.75% APR
  • Variable rates: 1.90% - 5.25% APR
  • Minimum credit: 660
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Visit LendKey View Loan Disclosure

Connecting student borrowers to a network of over 300 community lenders with low interest rates. 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.

LendKey Student Loan Refinance review

  • Lightning fast rate check - 2-minute rate check with no impact on your credit score
  • More lenders, more options - see the best offers from over 300+ community lenders for higher approval chances
  • Life of loan relationship - With LendKey, your personal information will never be sent or passed on to third parties. Their customer service team is with you from the moment you land on their website until you've completely repaid your loan.
  • Unmatched benefits- Community lenders put people over profits and offer unique benefits like cosigner release after 12 on-time payments, interest only repayment options to keep monthly payments low, the largest unemployment protection period in the market, and more.

Get a personalized quote from LendKey now.

#4 View More Details

Best for borrowers who want to customize their repayment schedule to pay off debt fast.

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Visit Earnest View Loan Disclosure

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.

  • Commitment-free 2 minute rate check
  • Client Happiness can be reached via in app messaging, email, and phone 
  • No fees for origination, prepayment, or loan disbursement
  • Flexible terms let you pick your exact monthly payment or switch between fixed and variable rates
  • Skip a payment and make it up later
  • Online dashboard is designed to make it easy to apply for and manage your loan

Click here to apply with Earnest and to see how much you can save.

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