Laurel Road Personal Loans: 2024 Review

Laurel Road offers medium to large online loans with an autopay discount, minimal fees and special terms for healthcare professionals.
Ronita Choudhuri-WadeChanell Alexander
By
and
Last updated on October 10, 2023
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed
Kim Lowe
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed

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Our Take

4.0

NerdWallet rating
The Nerdy headline:

Laurel Road’s personal loans are a strong fit for good-credit borrowers who qualify for a low rate.

Jump to:Full Review
Laurel Road Personal Loan
Laurel Road Personal Loan

Est. APR
8.99-24.25%
Loan amount
$5,000 - $45,000
Min. credit score
660
on NerdWallet

Pros

  • No origination fee.
  • Rate discount for autopay.
  • Soft credit check to pre-qualify.

Cons

  • Late fee.
  • High minimum loan amount.
  • No co-signed, joint or secured loans.
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Full Review

Editor’s note: Laurel Road did not respond to our most recent request for details regarding its personal loan product. We reviewed its website and attempted to contact company representatives, but some of the information presented here may not be accurate. Laurel Road’s star rating reflects this lack of verifiable information.

Laurel Road is an online lending platform owned by KeyBank that offers personal loans to excellent- and good-credit borrowers. The lender has special terms on personal loans for practicing and in-training physicians and dentists.

The maximum borrowing amount is $45,000 on loans for debt consolidation, major purchases and home improvements. For other purposes, like moving expenses, it’s $35,000. Medical professionals may borrow up to $80,000.

Laurel Road’s annual percentage rates are competitive with other good-credit lenders, and there’s a rate discount for borrowers who use autopay. Funding time can take up to a week, so borrowers looking for same- or next-day funding will want to consider other lenders.

Table of Contents

Laurel Road at a glance

Minimum credit score

660.

APR

8.99% - 24.25%.

Fees

Late fee: 5% of payment or $28, whichever is less.

Loan amount

$5,000 to $45,000.

Repayment terms

3 to 5 years.

Time to fund after approval

7 business days.

Loan availability

Loans available in all states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico.

Where Laurel Road personal loans stand out

Autopay discount: Laurel Road offers a rate discount of 0.25 percentage points for setting up autopay before the final loan closure. This discount incentivizes borrowers to make payments on time.

Soft credit check to pre-qualify: Like many other lenders, Laurel Road allows borrowers to pre-qualify for a personal loan to preview their potential loan offers without a hard credit inquiry.

Loans tailored to health care professionals: Practicing physicians and dentists, or those within one year of completing their training and with a signed employment contract, can borrow up to $80,000 on a personal loan. This is separate from Laurel Road's student loan refinancing option.

Full-time interns, residents, fellows or other postgraduate trainees are eligible to make reduced payments on their loans. Any unpaid interest will be added to the loan principal, and regular monthly payments will resume once the borrower has finished training or after 60 months.

Where Laurel Road personal loans fall short

No co-signed, joint or secured loans: Laurel Road only offers an unsecured personal loan. Some lenders offer co-signed, joint or secured personal loans, which are easier for some borrowers to qualify for.

Slow funding time: Upon approval of the loan application, funding can take up to seven business days, which is longer than other comparable lenders.

Limited loan terms: Borrowers can choose from three repayment options — three, four or five years. Though not uncommon, other lenders offer longer repayment terms, which could make your monthly loan payment more affordable.

A seven-year term is available for health professionals.

Do you qualify for a Laurel Road personal loan

Most lenders have basic requirements to apply, and some have financial requirements or recommendations to qualify.

Laurel Road requires applicants to be either a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident with a valid I-551 card. Physicians or dentists applying for a loan will need to show evidence of a signed contract to practice or a residency program.

Borrowers must have a minimum credit score of 660. Although Laurel Road does not disclose a minimum income requirement, the lender will look at your overall credit history and financial profile to determine eligibility.

Before you apply

  • Check your credit. You can get your free credit report on NerdWallet or at AnnualCreditReport.com. Doing so will help you spot and fix any errors before you apply.

  • Calculate your monthly payments. Use a personal loan calculator to determine what APR and repayment term you’d need to get a loan with affordable monthly payments.

  • Make a plan to repay the loan. Review your budget to see how the loan’s monthly payments impact your cash flow. If you have to cut other expenses in order to repay the loan, it’s better to know that before you borrow.

  • Gather your documents. Laurel Road may require proof of income, which can be a W-2 or paystub, as well as proof of address and a Social Security number. Having these documents handy can speed up the application process.

How to apply for a Laurel Road personal loan

Here are the steps to apply for a Laurel Road loan online.

  1. Pre-qualify on Laurel Road’s website. You’ll be asked how much you want to borrow and what the funds are for, as well as personal information like your name, birthdate and address. Then, the lender will ask for information about your income, education and employment history before you can preview loan offers. There’s only a soft credit pull at this stage.

  2. Preview loan offers and accept the one that fits your budget. Once you accept a loan offer, you’ll submit a formal personal loan application. This may require uploading documents, like W-2s, pay stubs and bank statements to confirm the information you gave during pre-qualification. Laurel Road will also do a hard credit check when you apply, so your credit score could temporarily dip.

  3. Make a plan to repay the loan. Laurel Road reports payments to all three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion), so on-time payments will help build your credit score, but missed payments will hurt it. Setting up automatic payments and keeping an eye on your budget are two ways to manage your loan payments.

Check rates on NerdWallet

Compare Laurel Road to other lenders

Personal loan lenders offer different rates, loan amounts and special features, so it pays to weigh other options. The best personal loan is usually the one with the lowest APR.

Like Laurel Road, LendingClub and SoFi are options for good- to excellent-credit borrowers. LendingClub has a lower minimum credit score requirement, and SoFi offers larger loans when compared to Laurel Road.

Laurel Road vs. LendingClub

Laurel Road and LendingClub offer online personal loans for good-credit borrowers. LendingClub has a lower minimum loan amount and a faster approval process on average. However, LendingClub charges an origination fee, while Laurel Road’s only fee is for late payments.

Laurel Road vs. SoFi

Like Laurel Road, Sofi does not charge origination fees and it offers an autopay rate discount. The lender is also more borrower-friendly with membership benefits like unemployment protection and career advice and offers a wider range of loan amounts and terms. However, if you’re a medical professional, Laurel Road’s specialized loans can be the better choice.

How we rate Laurel Road personal loans

NerdWallet writers rate lenders against a rubric that changes each year based on how personal loan products evolve. Here’s what we prioritized this year:

Category

Star rating

Affordability

Underwriting

Loan flexibility

Transparency

Customer experience

Overall

  • Affordability An affordable loan has low rates and fees compared to other similar loans and may offer rate discounts. Transparency A transparent lender makes information about the loan easy to find on its website, including rates, terms and loan amounts. Transparency also means allowing users to pre-qualify online to preview potential loan offers and reporting payment information with the major credit bureaus. Loan flexibility A flexible loan is one that lets users customize terms and payments. That means offering a wide range of repayment term options, allowing the borrower to change their payment date, offering loans in most states and funding it quickly. Customer experience A good customer experience can include a fully online application process, financial education on the lender’s website and a customer service team that’s available most of the time and can be reached multiple ways.

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Methodology

NerdWallet’s review process evaluates and rates personal loan products from more than 35 technology companies and financial institutions. We collect over 50 data points from each lender and cross-check company websites, earnings reports and other public documents to confirm product details. We may also go through a lender’s pre-qualification flow and follow up with company representatives. NerdWallet writers and editors conduct a full fact check and update annually, but also make updates throughout the year as necessary.

Our star ratings award points to lenders that offer consumer-friendly features, including: soft credit checks to pre-qualify, competitive interest rates and no fees, transparency of rates and terms, flexible payment options, fast funding times, accessible customer service, reporting of payments to credit bureaus and financial education. Our ratings award fewer points to lenders with practices that may make a loan difficult to repay on time, such as charging high annual percentage rates (above 36%), underwriting that does not adequately assess consumers’ ability to repay and lack of credit-building help. We also consider regulatory actions filed by agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. We weigh these factors based on our assessment of which are the most important to consumers and how meaningfully they impact consumers’ experiences.

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