My job or income has been impacted by COVID-19. What help is there for me?
As COVID-19 has been classified as a national disaster, it qualifies for natural disaster forbearance for CommonBond members.
This functions in much the same way as standard forbearance, but you can take advantage of this program through the end of the national emergency declaration. Any time that you are in natural disaster forbearance does not count towards your standard forbearance. As with any form of forbearance, be aware that interest will still accrue, but there are no fees to participate.
To apply for natural disaster forbearance, visit commonbond.co/forbearance.
What is CommonBond doing to help members impacted by COVID-19?
If you are unable to make payments during the COVID-19 outbreak, you can take advantage of CommonBond’s natural disaster forbearance, which allows payments to be paused, in one month increments, for the duration of the national emergency. As with any form of forbearance, be aware that interest will still accrue, but there are no fees to participate.
To apply for natural disaster forbearance, visit commonbond.co/forbearance.
CommonBond is also waiving all late fees for our members for the duration of this national emergency.
I heard New York has stopped collecting student loan debt. What does this mean?
On March 17th, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced that the state would temporarily stop collection of outstanding student loan debt owed to State University of New York (SUNY) schools.
This does not mean you should stop paying your student loans if you live in the state of New York. This announcement only applies to student loan debt that is past due. This does not apply to private loans or federal loans for schools outside of the SUNY system.
What was the federal student loan interest waiver?
The federal student loan waiver program temporary set the interest rate on all Direct Student Loans held by the federal government to 0%.
What action has been taken by the federal government about student loans to date?
During a press conference on March 13th with respect to the United States’ response to COVID-19, President Trump announced that the government would “waive interest on all student loans held by federal government agencies.”
On March 20th, President Trump announced that the interest waiver would be in effect for “at least the next 60 days.” The interest waiver was extended on March 27th with passage of the CARES Act and all payments were suspended.
On August 8th, President Trump signed an Executive Order to extend the interest waiver and payment suspension until December 31st, 2020, and on December 4th, 2020, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos further extended student loan relief until January 31st, 2021.
Most recently, incoming President Joe Biden, extended it until September 31st, 2021.
Do federal student loan borrowers still have to make their monthly payments?
For student loans held by the US government (Direct Loans and Department of Education administered FFEL loans), all payments are suspended, and all interest is paused until September 31, 2021. If you are unsure if your loans qualify, you can use our interactive guide for help. https://go.commonbond.co/guide-to-student-loan-relief
I’ve already refinanced my loans, what does this mean for me?
If you refinanced your loans with a private company, your monthly payment and interest rates are not impacted by this announcement.
I understand interest rates are at all-time lows but I've already refinanced. Can I refinance again?
Yes, there is no limit to how many times you can refinance with CommonBond. If you have previously refinanced with CommonBond, there is no fee to refinance again and you can see your estimated rate in less than 2 minutes.
Who can apply for a CommonBond Dental Loan?
You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and you must be enrolled at least half-time at one of the schools in our network.
Is a cosigner required?
A cosigner is not required for the CommonBond Dental Loan, as long as you meet our underwriting criteria.
What programs meet the eligibility requirements for a CommonBond Dental loan?
CommonBond lends to DMD or DDS students attending any of the 66 dental schools in the US. Students studying in a recognized dental specialty at these schools are eligible to borrow as well.
Is the CommonBond program certified at my school?
Yes, the loans are certified by each of the schools in our network. We’re not endorsed by or affiliated with any educational institutions.
What if I’ve already applied for a federal loan for this year? Can I switch to CommonBond?
The federal government allows you to cancel your loan up to 120 days after disbursement without penalty, and without paying accrued interest. So, if you have a past disbursement that's within 120 days (or have a future planned disbursement), you can replace those with a CommonBond loan.
Why should I consider borrowing with CommonBond?
CommonBond's dental loan will save dental students money compared to a Federal Grad PLUS loan. Every rate CommonBond offers dental students is lower than the one rate offered by the Federal Grad PLUS (7.08%) and CommonBond's loan comes with a lower fee (2% vs. 4.25% for the Federal Grad PLUS).
How much am I allowed to borrow?
You can borrow up to 100% of your school's published cost of attendance (COA) minus any scholarships and other forms of assistance such as grants, fellowships, and other financial aid. The lifetime borrowing limit is $500,000.
Are there any fees or penalties?
There’s a 2% origination fee, but there are no other application fees or prepayment penalties of any kind. This origination fee is subject to state specific regulations. While origination fees are important, you should also be comparing APRs. APR stands for Annual Percentage Rate, which includes origination fees, and is the interest rate that you’ll pay on your student loan. The APR is the all-inclusive number that matters most. CommonBond charges a late fee of 5.00% of the unpaid amount of the payment due or $10.00, whichever is less, and a return check fee of $5.00, subject to state law restrictions.
What are your interest rates?
We offer both fixed and variable rate terms. Everyone who is approved will receive a rate in our listed rate range. Click here to see our current rates.
What is APR?
APR stands for Annual Percentage Rate. The APR considers your interest rate, fees, and expected deferment period. APR allows you to compare rates for different loan products on an apples-to-apples basis, which can be helpful if you are comparing loans that have different fee structures.
What's the difference between a fixed-rate and a variable-rate loan?
An interest rate is "fixed" if it remains unchanged over time, while a "variable" interest rate can fluctuate over time. Our variable rate loans adjust every month based on 1-month LIBOR, which is a market benchmark for interest rates.
Where do you send the funds? How does disbursement work?
Once you make a final decision, we’ll send funds directly to your school. They’ll take what they need for tuition and fees, then refund the rest to you if you borrowed for additional expenses. The exact timing depends on your school’s billing cycle.
What's the maximum I can borrow?
Your school will set your maximum borrow amount based on their published cost of attendance minus scholarships and other forms of assistance such as grants, fellowships, and financial aid. This total cost of attendance is sometimes referred to as your "financial need.” Our maximum loan amount per academic year is $110,000.
What’s the application process like?
Applying for a CommonBond Dental Loan is easy.
1. Fill out our online application - you can see your rate in minutes!
2. Once approved, select a loan product and e-sign your loan disclosures.
3. We’ll confirm your enrollment and loan amount. (This can take anywhere from five days to three weeks, depending on your school and the time of year).
4. Once your school certifies the loan, we’ll notify you by email and disburse the funds directly to your school.
Is there a hard credit pull?
Yes, we do need to perform a hard pull to fully review your credit profile and determine which rate we can offer you. This "hard" inquiry will show up on your credit report.
How is my credit score affected?
Dental student loans look and act like any other loan on your credit report. When shopping around for student loans, it’s best to do so in a shorter period of time. For example, if you do so within 30 days, there should be less impact on your credit score than if you did so beyond 30 days.
Do I need to fill out a FAFSA or will I need to provide other forms?
We don’t require that you complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). You just need to fill out our online application to get started. However, we encourage you to check in with your financial aid office as they may have forms you need to complete with them.
Once I start my application and confirm my rate, do I have to take out a loan with CommonBond?
While we hope you will choose us, you can still decide whether or not to borrow from us after you complete your hard credit inquiry. You’re not obligated to take out a student loan with us until the final paperwork where you accept or reject.
How do I enroll in autopay to receive the 0.25% rate discount?
You can enroll in autopay during the loan application process! Once you sign your final documents you can fill out the autopay form and start receiving the .25% rate discount on your next payment.
Can I change the amount of funding I have requested?
Yes, you sure can. Reach out to our Care Team, and we’ll walk you through your specific request.
Where do you send the funds? How do they get to me?
Once you are approved, all funds will be sent directly to your school. You will receive any funds above the cost of tuition and fees directly from your school. The timing is determined by your school’s billing cycle.
What are the different in-school payment options?
CommonBond offers the following repayment options:
- Full deferment: Borrowers can defer their payments while enrolled in school plus a six-month grace period. You can always choose to make one-time payments while in deferment.
- Fixed monthly payment of $100 per month: Borrowers may choose to make a fixed payment of $100 per month while enrolled in their education program and during the six-month grace period.
-Full and immediate principal and interest payment plan: Borrowers can pay the full principal and interest payment monthly while in school. Borrowers who choose this option cannot later choose to defer payments while in residency.
What are the repayment terms?
CommonBond offers repayment terms of 10, 15 and 20 years, both fixed and variable rates.
Are there any prepayment penalties?
Nope! You can make extra payments or pay more than your minimum payment any time you like!
Can I defer payments while in residency?
Yes, if borrowers choose, the loan may be fully deferred while enrolled in a research, academic, or residency program.
Are any discounts offered?
Yes! There is a 0.25% discount for enrolling in autopay. Please keep in mind that you can only be in autopay during repayment.
Do you have a grace period?
Yes, there is a 6-month grace period after graduation.
Do you offer forbearance?
We do! Under certain circumstances, including economic hardship, you can apply to defer your payments through our forbearance program. This allows you to put your payments on pause for 3 months at a time up to 12 months over the life of the loan. For more information on our forbearance eligibility requirements, please reach out to the Care Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 975-7812.
Do you offer death & disability forgiveness?
Yes, we do. In the event of death or total & permanent disability, your CommonBond loan will be cancelled and will not be passed on to anyone else.