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.

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 to apply?

A cosigner is not required for the CommonBond MBA loan, as long  as you meet our underwriting criteria.

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, you can still apply for a CommonBond loan. Currently, we only offer MBA loans without a cosigner to students of the schools in our network. But we offer affordable graduate  loans with a cosigner 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 a rate in our listed rate range. 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.

Hybrid loan

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Prodigy finance

Who should I contact if I have a question about Prodigy Finance?

Email info@prodigyfinance.com or head to Prodigy Finance for more information. You may also contact our Care Team and we’ll be happy to assist you. Email care@commonbond.co or you can call us at 800-975-7812.

How long does the Prodigy Finance application process take?

Once the online application is complete, Prodigy Finance offers a preliminary loan decision within five working days.

Which schools are eligible?

We’re happy to be helping non-US Citizens attending these schools to finance their student loans by introducing them to Prodigy Finance:

Babson College Boston College - Carroll

Boston University - Questrom

CEIBS

Cambridge Judge Business School

Carnegie Mellon University - Tepper

Cass Business School

Columbia University - CBS

Cornell University - Johnson

Cranfield School of Management

Dartmouth College - Tuck

Duke University - Fuqua

ESADE

European School of Management and Technology

Georgetown University - McDonough

Georgia Institute of Technology - Scheller

HEC Paris

Harvard University - HBS

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, HKUST, Business School

IE Business School

IESE Business School

IMD Business School

INSEAD

Ivey Business School

London Business School

Manchester Business School

McGill Desautels Faculty of Management

NUS Singapore

New York University - Stern

Northwestern University - Kellogg

Ohio State University - Fisher

Oxford University Said Business School

Queens School of Business

Rice University - Jones

Rotman School of Management

Rotterdam School of Management

SDA Bocconi School of Management

Sauder School of Business

Schulich School of Business

Stanford University - GSB

University of California, Berkeley - Haas

University of California, Los Angeles - Anderson

University of Chicago - Booth

University of Michigan - Ross

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill - Kenan-Flagler

University of Notre Dame - Mendoza

University of Pennsylvania - Wharton

University of Rochester - Simon

University of Southern California - Marshall

University of Texas, Austin - McCombs

University of Washington - Foster

Vanderbilt University - Owen Vlerick Business School

Washington University in St. Louis - Olin

Yale University - SOM

Why Prodigy Finance?

We’ve long wanted to be able to support non-US citizens in their pursuit of postgraduate education. In choosing to work with Prodigy Finance, we’re thrilled to see more international students get access to the funding that they need for business school. Prodigy Finance offers competitive rates, an easy online application process, and does not require a co-signer.

Application

What's the application process?

Applying for a CommonBond MBA Loan is easy.

1. Fill out our online application - it takes minutes to see your estimated rates and you can get approved in as little as1-day.

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?

CommonBond's application can be completed in 1-day and certification typically takes 1-2 weeks, depending on your school's process and timeline. CommonBond does not have any deadlines by when you need to complete your application. Each school sets  their own tuition due date and disbursement date, so check with your  financial aid office for deadlines to keep in mind.

Is a hard credit pull required?

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

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. While you are not obligated to make monthly payments during the six-month grace period, interest will still accrue. You can always make one-off payments while in deferment to reduce the total interest paid.

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.