UX + UI + Rapid Prototyping
I led the design work for CommonBond's first *fully remote* third party integration for the refinance app during the (first?) peak of the pandemic.
WTF is refinancing?
I thought you'd never ask... Refinancing is a tool that people can use to help relieve the burden of high interest rate student loans. We pay off your old loans and replace them with a better single loan.
Houston, we have some problems...
44% of our Refi users get declined after soft credit pull (requesting a quote). If those users don't have a cosigner that can help them qualify for a loan, they're out of luck.
CommonBond can only lend to people that have graduated from one of the schools in their network of about 2,000 Title IV accredited universities or graduate programs. According to the National Center for Education Statistics there were 3,982 degree-granting postsecondary institutions in 2020.
CommonBond cannot lend to people living in Nevada or Mississippi. Why? These states have special regulatory rules where lenders must have a physical office in the state.
While surfacing Credible offers increases optionality for our borrowers, there is a risk of losing potential borrowers to competing offers in the marketplace.
Credible's quote experience caters to the requirements of multiple lenders. So it's no surprise that there are differences user data fields required to get a quote between CommonBond and Credible.
We still want users to save money on their student loans, even if it isn't with us. By surfacing Credible to cosigned users, we can give them prequalified offers from up to 10 other lenders with the same information that they supplied to us for a quote.
There was urgency from stakeholders to get Credible live ASAP. So, I recreated our cosign solicit page in Webflow (no-code!) with a new block that referred users to Credible. We temporarily routed users to this page while we built out the more robust functionality.
We measured credible referral link clicks to get an initial sense of opt-in, and to help set goal expectations for the API integration.
We designed an opt-in into our soft credit pull experience which gives users the option to check their rates with Credible while checking rates with us.
Credible requires a users full higher education history in order, but CommonBond only needs a husers highest degree.
To deal with this we had to create an additional eligibility page that captured undergraduate details from any cosign solicited user with a graduate degree.
Once all required data points are captured, a user is routed to one of three possible cosign solicit experiences, based upon the status we get back from Credible's API.
While we made the decision that users that qualify for refinance offers from CommonBond shouldn't see credible offers, because that could harm our business goals.
We did discover other user groups that would be a great fit for Credible.
Typically borrowers that don't meet our lending eligibility criteria are instantly declined, with no option to move forward.
So we added Credible referrals to decline modals to help users find external refinance opportunities.