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.
I am experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19, what are my options for my federal student loans?
Federal loans currently have 0% interest and no payments due. For more information visit our free, interactive guide about the temporary changes to federal student loans in response to COIVD-19. You can access it here: https://go.commonbond.co/guide-to-student-loan-relief
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.
What is the CARES Act?
The “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act’’, or the ‘‘CARES Act’’, was legislation passed in November 2020, that included an interest waiver and the suspension of payments on all student loans held by the Department of Education until September 30, 2020. This provision has been extended three times, most recently in an executive order by President Joseph Biden.
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
Where can I get can information about how the current federal intervention impacts my student loans?
We have created a free, interactive guide that can help you navigate the temporary changes to federal student loans in response to COIVD-19. You can access it here: 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.
What is CommonBond?
Launched in 2011, CommonBond was founded by people just like you who felt the pain of the student loan process – high interest rates, poor service, and a confusing process – so they started CommonBond to provide affordable educational products with best in class customer service. We offer a variety of affordable loans, whether you are looking to refinance existing student loans or to pay for school. Plus, we believe business can and should be a force for good. With our 1-for-1 Social Promise, for every loan funded we support the education of a child in the developing world. In 2017 we launched CommonBond For Business, to empower companies with benefit solutions to address employee student debt challenges.
How can CommonBond offer lower rates than other loan providers?
Our investors believe, as do we, that creditworthy borrowers deserve lower rates than traditional institutions tend to provide. We’re therefore able to provide funds to these creditworthy borrowers at more affordable terms. It's really a win-win for both parties.
What happens to my loan if CommonBond is no longer around?
Not to worry; you're good. The loan lives on and is tied to the servicer of that loan. You will continue to make payments as scheduled through your servicer.
Is CommonBond a nonprofit?
We’re a for-profit company with a strong social mission.
Can I make a donation to CommonBond?
If you would like to make a direct donation, we'd like to point you to our non-profit partners. Click here to make a gift to Pencils of Promise.
What is CommonBond's Social Promise?
Inspired by companies like TOMS Shoes and Warby Parker, we have been committed since our launch to proving that business can and should be a positive force for change—we call it our "Social Promise." It means that for every degree fully funded through us, we fund the tuition of a student in need for a full year through our partnership with Pencils of Promise. We’re the first-ever company to bring the "1-for-1" model to education and finance.
Why Pencils of Promise?
Pencils of Promise, or PoP, is a non-profit founded in 2008 to increase access to quality education for children in the developing world. Based in NYC, PoP has developed over 200 schools and educational programs across four countries already: Laos, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Ghana. We're excited to help new PoP students achieve their educational dreams.
What is the CommonBond Social Impact Award?
Our Social Impact Award is an annual prize awarded to the nation's top college entrepreneur with a business idea for social good. Nominees are assessed by our Selection Committee. Assessment criteria include: number of nominations, innovative nature of the idea, likelihood of long-term impact, and traction to date.