Frequently asked questions about 

CommonBond

Social Promise

Eligibility

Loan terms

Hybrid Loan

Prodigy finance

Application

Repayment

General questions

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Social Promise

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Eligibility

Who can apply for a CommonBond MBA 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. We’ll review your credit profile to quickly make a decision on your application.

Are there loans available for international students?

Our student loan product is currently for US citizens or permanent residents. However, we’re now working with Prodigy Finance to assist international postgraduate students in financing their education.

Do I need a cosigner?

We don’t require a cosigner for our application, even if you have a cosigner on your current loans. However, we may ask you to add a cosigner to move forward with your application if you don’t meet our underwriting criteria and you may be eligible for a lower rate with a cosigner. Feel free to reach out to our care team to determine the best option for your unique situation.

What programs meet the eligibility requirements for a CommonBond MBA loan?

As of now, the following schools are in our network for loans without a cosigner required, though we're planning to expand both beyond MBA programs and our current schools in the future:  

Brigham Young University-Provo - Marriott

Carnegie Mellon University - Tepper

Columbia University - CBS

Cornell University - Johnson

Dartmouth College - Tuck

Duke University - Fuqua

Emory University - Goizueta

Georgetown University - McDonough

Harvard University - HBS

Indiana University Bloomington - Kelley

Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Sloan

New York University - Stern

Northwestern University - Kellogg

Rice University - Jones

Stanford University - GSB

The University of Texas at Austin - McCombs

University of California, Berkeley - Haas

University of California, Los Angeles - Anderson

University of Chicago - Booth

University of Michigan - Ross

University of Minnesota - Carlson

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - Kenan-Flagler

University of Notre Dame - Mendoza

University of Pennsylvania - Wharton

University of Southern California - Marshall

University of Virginia - Darden

University of Washington - Foster

Vanderbilt University - Owen

Yale University - SOM

If my school isn’t listed, can I still apply?

Yes. Currently, we only offer MBA loans without a cosigner to students of the schools in our network. But we offer affordable graduate loans to students enrolled in any of our 2,000+ accredited non-profit universities. Find out more here.

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?

Most lenders have cancellation policies that may allow you to replace your existing loan. For example, the federal government allows you to cancel your loan up to 120 days after disbursement without penalty, and without paying accrued interest. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Care Team if you need help! We’ll work with you to see if we can replace your current federal loans. Please click here for a note on federal loans.

What if I already have federal loans outstanding? Am I still eligible for an MBA Student Loan?

Yes! Having outstanding graduate and/or undergraduate student loans will not prevent you from taking out a graduate-level MBA Student Loan from us, provided you meet our underwriting criteria.

Loan terms

How are your loans different from those of the federal government?

The federal government offers income-based repayment and special forgiveness programs for borrowers in public service professions. Students with federal loans working in such industries may therefore prefer to keep their federal loans to maintain these extra borrower protections. For more information on Federal Student Loans, please click here.

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’s the maximum amount 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 are your interest rates? How do you determine my specific interest rate?

We offer both fixed and variable rate terms. Everyone who is approved will receive one of two rates, depending on the loan product (fixed or variable) and repayment term you choose. Click here to see our current rates.

What’s an APR?

APR stands for Annual Percentage Rate. The APR takes into account any fees and other charges over the life of the loan. 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 is a Money Mentor?

Money Mentors are real people with real answers that can help borrowers become smart financial consumers as they enter college and beyond. Our Money Mentors are able to deliver customized guidance to CommonBond Borrowers on topics such as creating a budget, submitting the FAFSA, finding internships, mapping majors to career pathways, responsibly building credit, and more! And it’s all over text message, for free.

All undergraduate borrowers are automatically enrolled in the Money Mentors program. Grad students may elect to opt-in and be paired with a Money Mentor. Questions about Money Mentors? Learn more here.

Hybrid loan

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Prodigy finance

What happens if I can't pay my loan?

First, if you are eligible, you can apply to our forbearance program. It’s designed as a protection for you if you encounter economic hardship. If you remain unable to pay your loan, we'll work with you and our community to attempt to find a solution. If you ultimately choose not to pay or are unable to, then the loan will be subject to default as provided in the promissory note. (This process is similar for federal government loans and other private loans). For more information on our forbearance eligibility requirements, please reach out to the Care Team at care@commonbond.co or (800) 975-7812.

Where do I go to see the payments I have made?

All information regarding the various payment options and your transaction history will be provided by your new servicer once you officially accept your loan through CommonBond. If you have any questions about servicing, please reach out to The Care Team at care@commonbond.co or (800) 975-7812.

Are there ways to lower my interest rate or monthly payments?

CommonBond offers a .25% interest rate reduction for auto-draft payment enrollment. 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. If you’ve already begun repayment you can apply in your account with your new servicer. If you have any questions, please reach out to the Care Team at care@commonbond.co or (800) 975-7812.

Can I prepay my loan in full or partially, without incurring a penalty?

Yes! You are welcome to prepay the loan or pay more than the minimum monthly payment amount if you wish, without incurring any penalty. You are only responsible for the interest that has already accrued. You can make or schedule a payment at anytime. If you would like to do so, please reach out to The Care Team at care@commonbond.co or (800) 975-7812.

Does interest accrue during a grace period?

Yes. You can choose from a couple different payment options while in school, including in-school deferment. Each deferred payment option includes a six-month grace period following graduation or termination of enrollment (up to a maximum of 32 months).

Is there a grace period?

Yes. Depending on the repayment option that you select and your anticipated graduation date, there’s a grace period for MBA student loans of up to six months following graduation. During this grace period, you’re not required to make loan payments, although you can elect a repayment option in which you make principal and/or interest payments immediately.

Is an income-based repayment plan currently available?

Not at the moment, but we fully recognize the importance of flexible repayment terms. As of right now, MBA student loans carry standard terms around loan forbearance in case of financial hardship and are resolved on a case-by-case basis.

What are the repayment terms of the loan?

MBA student loans have two repayment terms:

Ten-year (120 months) repayment period          

Fifteen-year (180 months) repayment period

You can also make one-time payments at any time during the deferment or repayment period.

What are my repayment options?

We offer a couple different payment options while in school:

Full deferment: You can defer your interest payments (i.e. not having to pay) while enrolled in school, plus a six-month grace period following graduation or termination of enrollment (up to a maximum of 32 months). You can always make one-time payments while in deferment.  

Interest-only payment: You can choose to pay only interest each month while you’re in the deferment period. This can be a great alternative to the full repayment option if you do want to start making regular payments, and start making a dent in your interest while you’re in school.

Full principal and interest payment plan: You can pay the full principal and interest payment every month while in school. Some students choose this option so that they don't have to pay full tuition all at once, but they can start spreading those payments out from the moment they are offered the loan.

Application

What's the application process?

Applying for a CommonBond MBA Loan is easy.

1. Fill out our online application.

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.

When are the deadlines for applications and when will I know by?

Our application process can be completed in a matter of days. If you want extra comfort in meeting your school's specific loan application deadlines, we recommend filling out a FAFSA for federal funding in the meantime. Government loans have a 120-day cancellation policy, which allows borrowers to cancel federal loans within 120 days of disbursement, without paying any fees or penalties.Another benefit of our loans is that since we have consistent terms for our loan products, you already know the loan rate at which you would borrow. By comparison, banks will typically only quote applicants a loan rate after first running a credit check on the applicant. We’re unaffiliated with Prodigy Finance and will not be involved in the making of the loan. You can also check them out here.

Is a hard credit pull actually required?

Yes, we do need to perform a hard pull to fully review your credit profile and determine if we can offer you a rate.

How is my credit score affected?

MBA 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.

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.

Do I need to fill out a FAFSA or will I need to provide other forms?

We don’t require your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) since it’s for requesting federal loans only. 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 can have forms you need to complete with them. You won’t need to send these forms to us, but your school may require them in order to approve your private student loan with us.

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.

Repayment

What are my repayment options?

We offer a couple different payment options while in school:

Full deferment: You can defer your interest payments (i.e. not having to pay) while enrolled in school, plus a six-month grace period following graduation or termination of enrollment (up to a maximum of 32 months). You can always make one-time payments while in deferment.  

Interest-only payment: You can choose to pay only interest each month while you’re in the deferment period. This can be a great alternative to the full repayment option if you do want to start making regular payments, and start making a dent in your interest while you’re in school.

Full principal and interest payment plan: You can pay the full principal and interest payment every month while in school. Some students choose this option so that they don't have to pay full tuition all at once, but they can start spreading those payments out from the moment they are offered the loan.

What are the repayment terms of the loan?

MBA student loans have two repayment terms:

Ten-year (120 months) repayment period          

Fifteen-year (180 months) repayment period

You can also make one-time payments at any time during the deferment or repayment period.

Is an income-based repayment plan currently available?

Not at the moment, but we fully recognize the importance of flexible repayment terms. As of right now, MBA student loans carry standard terms around loan forbearance in case of financial hardship and are resolved on a case-by-case basis.

Is there a grace period?

Yes. Depending on the repayment option that you select and your anticipated graduation date, there’s a grace period for MBA student loans of up to six months following graduation. During this grace period, you’re not required to make loan payments, although you can elect a repayment option in which you make principal and/or interest payments immediately.

Does interest accrue during a grace period?

Yes. You can choose from a couple different payment options while in school, including in-school deferment. Each deferred payment option includes a six-month grace period following graduation or termination of enrollment (up to a maximum of 32 months).

Can I prepay my loan in full or partially, without incurring a penalty?

Yes! You are welcome to prepay the loan or pay more than the minimum monthly payment amount if you wish, without incurring any penalty. You are only responsible for the interest that has already accrued. You can make or schedule a payment at anytime. If you would like to do so, please reach out to The Care Team at care@commonbond.co or (800) 975-7812.

Are there ways to lower my interest rate or monthly payments?

CommonBond offers a .25% interest rate reduction for auto-draft payment enrollment. 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. If you’ve already begun repayment you can apply in your account with your new servicer. If you have any questions, please reach out to the Care Team at care@commonbond.co or (800) 975-7812.

Where do I go to see the payments I have made?

All information regarding the various payment options and your transaction history will be provided by your new servicer once you officially accept your loan through CommonBond. If you have any questions about servicing, please reach out to The Care Team at care@commonbond.co or (800) 975-7812.

What happens if I can't pay my loan?

First, if you are eligible, you can apply to our forbearance program. It’s designed as a protection for you if you encounter economic hardship. If you remain unable to pay your loan, we'll work with you and our community to attempt to find a solution. If you ultimately choose not to pay or are unable to, then the loan will be subject to default as provided in the promissory note. (This process is similar for federal government loans and other private loans). For more information on our forbearance eligibility requirements, please reach out to the Care Team at care@commonbond.co or (800) 975-7812.