Laurel Road Student Loan Refinance Review [2024]: Low Refi Rates for Medical Loans

LOANS - STUDENT LOANS
Laurel Road offers quick and easy student loan refinancing with competitive rates for student borrowers, parents, and healthcare professionals.
Updated April 3, 2023
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If you’re looking to refinance your student loans, it’s important to find a trustworthy lender that offers competitive rates. One reputable lender is Laurel Road, which offers student loan refinancing at competitive rates for both student and parent borrowers.

Laurel Road’s refinancing offers might especially appeal to borrowers with medical school loans, as it offers special rates to health care professionals and reduced payments to doctors in training.

Whether you have private student loans, federal loans, or both, refinancing with Laurel Road has the potential to make your student loan debt more affordable. Read on for a closer look at what this lender has to offer so you can make an informed decision about this Laurel Road student loan refinancing.

In this Laurel Student Loan Refinance Review

What is Laurel Road Student Loan Refinance?

Established in 2013, digital banking platform Laurel Road previously operated under the name Darien Rowayton Bank (DRB). It was acquired by KeyBank in 2019 but continues to offer student refinance loans at competitive rates. The company has helped thousands of borrowers refinance more than $9 billion in school loans.

Along with general student loan refinance for student and parent borrowers, Laurel Road also offers student loan refinance with reduced rates and special benefits to borrowers with medical school loans. Outside of its student products, Laurel Road also provides mortgages, personal loans, credit cards, and checking and savings accounts.

Which products does Laurel Road offer?

Laurel Road offers the following student loan refinancing services:

  • Student loan refinancing: If you owe private student loans, federal student loans, or both, you can exchange them for a new refinanced loan from Laurel Road. Depending on your credit history and income, you could qualify for a better rate.
  • Refinancing plus Laurel Road Checking: If you open a Laurel Road checking account and set up monthly payments through direct deposit to refinance your student loans, you could qualify for lower student loan refinancing rates.
  • Parent loan refinancing: If you’re a parent who borrowed student loans to help your child pay for school, you can apply to refinance them with Laurel Road. Your child can also assume the debt in their own name if they can meet Laurel Road’s lending requirements.

Laurel Road does not charge origination or application fees or prepayment penalties on its student loan refinancing products. However, it does charge a late fee of 5% of the late payment or $28, whichever is less, if your payment is more than 15 days late. You will also incur a non-sufficient funds charge of $20 if your payment is returned or refused due to insufficient funds.

If you’re experiencing financial hardship or went through a natural disaster, you can also request to postpone loan payments temporarily through forbearance by contacting Laurel Road’s loan servicing partner, MOHELA.

Student loan refinancing

Laurel Road offers student loan refinance to U.S. citizens or eligible permanent residents who borrowed student loans for a Title IV accredited institution. You must have graduated with your undergraduate or graduate degree or be in the final semester of school with a signed contract or letter of employment. If you have an associate degree, you must have it in a medical profession, such as nursing or dental hygiene.

You can refinance both private and federal student loans, but it’s worth noting that refinancing federal loans turns them private. That means you’ll lose access to federal and loan forgiveness and repayment options. If you want access to federal plans to help pay off your student debt, it might not make sense to refinance federal loans with Laurel Road.

You can check your potential refinancing rates on Laurel Road’s website with a soft credit check that won’t impact your credit score. If you find an offer you like, you can choose between a fixed and variable interest rate and repayment terms of five, seven, 10, 15, or 20 years. If you choose to submit a full application, Laurel Road will run a hard credit inquiry, which could impact your credit.

If you’re not able to qualify on your own, you could boost your chances by applying with a co-signer. Laurel Road gives you the option of applying for co-signer release after 36 months of consecutive, on-time payments.

Medical school loan refinancing

Laurel Road also offers special student loan refinancing rates to medical school graduate students and residents. If you’re an eligible doctor or physician assistant, you could qualify for reduced rates when you refinance your student loans.

More specifically, Laurel Road offers special rates to physicians, dentists, physician assistants, and optometrists with these degrees:

  • Doctor of Medicine (MD)
  • Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO)
  • Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry (DMD)
  • Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD)
  • Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS)
  • Doctor of Optometry (OD)
  • Physician Assistant Master of Science in Medicine (PA)

Although residents, fellows, and students are not eligible for this special pricing, they can qualify for payments of $100 per month throughout the duration of their residency or fellowship. If you’re a doctor in training, Laurel Road understands that you might not be earning a high enough income yet to make full student loan payments. As a result, it offers reduced payments until you’ve finished your training and started earning a higher salary.

Refinancing plus Laurel Road checking

If you’re looking for a new bank account, it might be worth opening a checking account with Laurel Road. When you add a Laurel Road checking account during student loan refinancing, you’ll get a 0.25% interest rate discount for the first three months.

Depending on the amount of your direct deposits, you could get a refi interest rate cut of up to 0.55% after your three-month intro period:

Direct deposit amount 3-month intro rate discount Post-intro rate discount*
$0 to $2,499 0.25% 0.00%
$25,00 to $7,499 0.25% 0.25%
$7,500+ 0.25% 0.55%
*Potential discount after three months and qualifying monthly direct deposits.

Laurel Road checking accounts have no monthly maintenance fees or minimum balance requirements, and you’ll have access to 40,000 no-fee ATMs.

Parent loan refinancing

Finally, Laurel Road offers loan refinancing options to parents who took out student loans (such as Parent PLUS loans) to help their kids pay for college. Parents can similarly choose between fixed and variable APRs and repayment terms between five and 20 years.

If you want to transfer ownership of the loan, your child can refinance the loan in their own name — if they can meet Laurel Road’s student loan refinance requirements for credit and income on their own.

If your child is going to take over the loan, they need to have graduated or be in their final semester. If you’re refinancing the loan in your own name, your child does not need to have graduated already or be in their final year. You can refinance at any time.

What Laurel Road customers are saying

Laurel Road has an A rating from the Better Business Bureau, and the majority (80%) of its 394 customer reviews on TrustPilot are excellent. Happy customers said that the refinancing process was easy and that communication from customer service was fast and helpful.

However, some unhappy reviewers said they had trouble getting ahold of customer service or received inaccurate information. Although the overall TrustPilot rating of Laurel Road is positive at 4 stars out of 5, customers report mixed experiences with the lending process and customer support.

FAQs about Laurel Road Student Loan Refinance

Is refinancing a student loan smart?

Refinancing a student loan could be a good idea if you can qualify for better interest rates than you have now. Getting a low interest rate has the potential to save you money over the life of the loan.

However, refinancing federal loans means you lose eligibility for federal repayment plans and loan forgiveness programs. If you want to retain access to federal protections, it might not be a good idea to refinance your federal loans with a private lender.

What is a good credit score for refinancing student loans?

Most lenders look for a good credit score when you apply to refinance your student loans. A good credit score is 670 to 739 on the FICO Score range and 661 to 780 on the VantageScore range. Borrowers with the highest credit scores tend to get a lower interest rate. You might be able to boost your chances of qualifying or get better rates if you apply with a creditworthy co-signer.

How long does Laurel Road take to approve a loan?

According to a customer service representative, it takes three to five business days for Laurel Road to begin the underwriting process on a student loan application once it has received all the supporting documentation and pulled the applicant’s credit.

Once approved, you’ll choose your rate and term and sign your final documents. Laurel Road also allows you to cancel your refinance contract within three days of acceptance.

How to get started with Laurel Road Student Loan Refinance

Laurel Road offers a straightforward online application process for student loan refinancing. Here’s how to get a loan with Laurel Road:

  • Select the loan product you’re interested in. After heading to the Laurel Road website, you can choose between student loan refinancing, parent loan refinancing, medical school loan refinancing, or refinancing with a checking account.
  • Provide some personal details. You can check your rates by providing a few basic pieces of personal information and agreeing to a soft credit check, which won’t impact your credit.
  • Check out your offers. Laurel Road will instantly run your information and show you prequalification offers. Note that these offers are not locked in until you submit a full application and sign a loan agreement.
  • Submit a full application. If you see an offer you like, you can submit a full application. You’ll provide personal information and upload supporting documentation, such as loan statements and pay stubs. You’ll also need to allow a hard credit inquiry, which will impact your credit.
  • Choose your rate type and loan terms. Once your application is approved, you can choose between a fixed and variable rate, as well as select loan terms between five and 20 years.
  • Sign your loan documents. Finally, you’ll sign your loan agreement with the agreed-upon terms. Laurel Road will pay off whichever existing loans you choose to refinance and set you up with your new, refinanced student loan.

Bottom line on Laurel Road Student Loan Refinance

Laurel Road offers competitive rates and an easy online application process for borrowers looking to refinance their student loans. Doctors and other medical school graduates might especially appreciate its discounted rates for medical school loan refinancing.

If you open a checking account with Laurel Road or sign up for automatic payments, you can enjoy an additional autopay discount. At the same time, it’s a good idea to shop around and compare offers from multiple refinancing lenders before you commit to one.

Every lender sets its own terms, so you might be able to find a better rate elsewhere. Similar to Laurel Road’s student loan refinancing process, many lenders let you check your rates with no impact on your credit score.

To start comparing your offers, check out our list of the best student loan refinancing companies.

Credible Benefits

  • Accepts Credit Scores From 630
  • 100% Free Prequalification
  • Works with Federal, Private, Parent PLUS Loans

Author Details

Rebecca Safier Rebecca Safier is a personal finance writer and a Certified Student Loan Counselor who loves helping individuals make informed financial decisions. Her work has been featured on MarketWatch, U.S. News & World Report, Business Insider, and other leading publications.

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