CommonBond partners with Fifth Third Bank for student loan refinancing

Back in March CommonBond closed one $50 million Series D investment led by the venture capital arm of Fifth Third Bank, a top 25 bank (by assets) based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Today, we see some of the fruits of this strategic partnership as the two companies announce the launch of student loan refinancing for Fifth Third Bank customers.

I met briefly with CommonBond CEO David Klein today to discuss this deal. The first thing he said was that this is a co-branded offering between CommonBond and Fifth Third, it’s not a white label solution. Until today, Fifth Third Bank had no student loan refinance offers and today they have a dedicated page explaining this new partnership. On this page, interested customers can click on a CommonBond landing page and from there they go through the standard CommonBond funnel when applying for a loan.

So what you actually have is a large captive distribution channel for CommonBond that will share some of the economy of those converted leads with Fifth Third. But David was quick to point out that this is only the first phase of what will eventually be a much deeper multi-pronged relationship. Here’s what he had to say in the official Press release:

With this partnership, we combine the best of financial and banking technology to improve consumers’ personal finances. Both companies enjoy providing great financial products to their customers, building lasting brands that matter, and having an outsized impact on communities across the United States.

There was a flurry of new bank-fintech partnerships announced in the second half of the year, but this is one of the first in the area of ​​student loans. The reality is that the student loan problem is huge and getting worse every year. Anything that can be done to alleviate at least some of the debt burden should be encouraged. I think every bank will eventually offer some sort of student loan given the magnitude of the problem. Fifth Third is one of the early adopters here and I think it will work well for them and for CommonBond.

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