Laurel Road refinances federal and private student loans. It’s one of a few lenders that cater to health professionals in particular by letting doctors and dentists refinance as soon as they match to a residency or fellowship.
Laurel Road was previously a division of Darien Rowayton Bank — it offered student loan refinancing under DRB branding until June 2017.
Laurel Road at a glance:
- Co-signer release option available.
- Borrowers can refinance their parents’ PLUS loans.
- No academic deferment.
|Reviewed loan||Student loan refinancing|
|Interest rates||Fixed: 3.5% - 7.02%
Variable: 2.43% - 6.65%
includes autopay discount of 0.25%
|Loan terms||5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years|
|Loan amounts||$5,000 up to your total outstanding loan balance. If you refinance more than $300,000, Laurel Road will break it into two loans.|
|Co-signer release available||Yes, after 36 consecutive on-time payments|
|Can transfer a parent loan to the child||Yes|
How Laurel Road scores
NerdWallet student loan experts evaluated more than 50 data points across five categories to see whether Laurel Road ranks below average, average or above average compared with other student loan refinance lenders.
Enables faster repayment:
Lenders score highly if they offer a variety of term lengths and make extra payments easy.
Discloses requirements, limits costs:
Lenders score highly if they limit fees and interest rates, are transparent about their underwriting criteria and allow borrowers to get personalized rate estimates before applying.
Serves range of borrowers:
Lenders score highly if they cater to customers in varying locations, in different financial situations, and with varying citizenship statuses.
Offers payment flexibility:
Lenders score highly if they offer longer than 12-month forbearance periods, in-school and military deferment, and any other flexible policies that help borrowers during tough times.
Lenders score highly if they assign borrowers an advisor, offer multiple ways to get in touch, and have in-house customer service. Websites should display full APR ranges, fees and forbearance policies.
How Laurel Road could improve
Laurel Road could improve by:
- Offering more than 12 months of forbearance.
- Allowing academic deferment for borrowers returning to school.
- Letting borrowers make greater-than-minimum payments via autopay.
» MORE: Laurel Road personal loan review
Laurel Road student loan refinancing details
- Soft credit check to qualify and see what rate you’ll get: Yes.
- Application or origination fee: No.
- Prepayment penalty: No.
- Late fees: Yes; a fee equal to 5% of the late payment or $28, whichever is less, applies after a payment is 15 days late.
Compare Laurel Road’s range of interest rates with other student loan refinance lenders. Your actual rate will depend on factors including your — or your co-signer’s — credit history and financial situation. To see what rate Laurel Road will offer you, apply on its website.
- Minimum credit score: 660.
- Minimum income: No minimum.
- Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: Did not disclose.
- Typical income of approved borrowers: Did not disclose.
- Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Did not disclose.
- Can qualify if you’ve filed for bankruptcy: Yes; after four years.
- Citizenship: Must be a U.S. citizens or permanent resident. Permanent residents must have a valid I-551 card, known as a green card.
- Location: Available in all 50 U.S. states.
- Must have graduated: Yes, borrowers must have graduated with a bachelor’s degree or higher. Associate degrees are acceptable for select professions.
- Must have attended a Title IV-accredited school: Yes.
- Percentage of borrowers who have a co-signer: Did not disclose.
- Academic deferment: No.
- Military deferment: Laurel Road offers economic hardship forbearance for military leave.
- Reduced payments for medical and dental residents: Medical and dental residents and fellows can pay $100 a month until six months after their residency or fellowship ends. Interest will accrue during this time, and any unpaid interest will be capitalized at the end of the reduced-payment period.
- Forbearance: Postpone loan payments for three months at a time, for up to 12 months total, if you document a qualified economic hardship such as involuntary job loss or unpaid maternity leave.
- Are loans discharged in the event of death/disability of borrower? Yes. Laurel Road will forgive all or part of the customer’s student loan in the event of death or documented permanent disability.
- Allows greater-than-minimum payments via autopay: No.
- Allows biweekly payments via autopay: No.
- Loan servicer: MOHELA.
- In-house customer service team: Yes.
- Process for escalating concerns: Yes, complaints and disputes are escalated to customer service managers who work to resolve the issue at hand.
- Borrowers get assigned a dedicated banker, advisor or representative: No.
- Referral bonus: Earn up to $400 for each person you refer to Laurel Road. They must refinance through Laurel Road for you to get the referral bonus.
How to refinance with Laurel Road
Before deciding on a student loan refinance lender, compare multiple student loan refinance options to make sure you’re getting the best rate you qualify for. In addition to interest rates, compare lenders’ repayment options and the flexibility they offer borrowers who are struggling to make payments.
If you’re ready to borrow, you can apply on Laurel Road’s website.
STUDENT LOANS RATINGS METHODOLOGY
NerdWallet believes the best student loan is one you can repay at the lowest interest rate you can get. That’s why NerdWallet’s student loan ratings reward lenders that offer a variety of loan terms, limit their fees and penalties, and extend borrowers multiple options to avoid default. Points are also awarded for soft credit checks, underwriting transparency and other consumer-friendly features. Use these ratings as a guide, but we encourage you to shop around for the lowest interest rate you can qualify for. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for its reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.
— Among the very best for consumer-friendly features
— Excellent; offers most consumer-friendly features
— Very good; offers many consumer-friendly features
— Good; may not offer something important to you
— Fair; missing important consumer-friendly features
— Poor; proceed with great caution