CommonBond to drop student lending: Here's what it's focusing on instead

How to switch your student loan servicer

CommonBond plans to drop its student lending side in mid-June and shift its focus elsewhere. (iStock)

Fintech lending company CommonBond announced earlier this month that it will drop its student lending, and shift its focus to something it says will allow homeowners to save money on electricity and reduce their carbon footprint.

The company will now focus exclusively on solar financing, a move that was first announced in February. CommonBond's solar business quickly became its largest and fastest-growing after launching in 2021.

"We are excited by the impact we're having in the residential solar market," David Klein, the company's co-founder and CEO, said in a statement. "Every day, we hear the stories of our customers saving money on their electricity bill and reducing their annual coal consumption by tons – literally, tons – because of the solar adoption we are enabling. It's incredibly rewarding." 

Now, the company is ending its new student loan originations by June 15. For those who already have CommonBond private student loans, the move won't change anything and their loans will continue to be serviced by Firstmark Services.

If you're searching for the right student loan for your situation, you can browse lenders through an online marketplace like Credible that allows you to compare multiple options.


CommonBond goes all-in on green lending

CommonBond also has plans to expand its green lending, and announced ambitions to enter other green lending markets. The company stated that consumers are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint, and it's looking to expand and provide the funding to make it possible.

"This is a giant step forward," said Brian Hirsch, managing director at Tribeca Venture Partners and CommonBond board member. "We are still very early in the consumer adoption cycle of renewable energy, and there need to be enablers of mass adoption. Digitally native financing is one of those enablers, and that is one of CommonBond's core strengths."

Solar panels and installing a residential solar system can cost the average homeowner nearly $25,000, and most homeowners pay between $17,000 and $32,000 for green energy. But costs can rise above that if, for example, the roof needs to be replaced or trees need to be removed.

When the move to solar was first announced, CommonBond said that it would be moving into the space because:

  • More than three-quarters of its customers either have a house or intend to buy one "within three years of refinancing their student loan with the company"
  • It's looking to "fill unmet needs in the market" by using "extensible lending technology"
  • Solar impact is consistent with the company's mission

If you are interested in solar panels and are looking for financing options for them, consider using a personal loan. Visit Credible to compare multiple lenders at once and choose the one with the lowest rate and best loan terms for you.


How you can switch your student loan servicer

CommonBond’s shift to solar lending won't affect borrowers who already have a student loan through them, since those loans will continue to be serviced through Firstmark Services. However, if you're looking to switch student loan servicers, there are several ways to do so. 

Borrowers of federal student loans do not get to pick their loan servicer when they first take out the loan. However, if they're looking to consolidate their payments or make future changes, they can also pick a new servicer. Federal student loan holders can pick a new servicer when they consolidate their payments, apply for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), apply for total disability discharge or if their loan is transferred by the Department of Education. 

The other way to change a student loan servicer is through refinancing. This option is available for federal and private student loan holders, but the former will lose out on federal benefits like income-driven repayment plans or student loan forgiveness programs if they refinance. 

If you are interested in refinancing your student loan in order to change your servicer or lower your monthly payment, contact Credible to speak to a student loan expert and get all of your questions answered.

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