Laurel Road Student Loan Refinancing Review

Laurel Road refinances undergraduate, graduate and parent student loans, specializing in loans for medical and dental residents.

Ryan LaneDecember 2, 2020
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Our Take

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: Laurel Road, which grew out of Darien Rowayton Bank, caters to health professionals. Its loans are best for borrowers who want to refinance during their medical or dental residency.

Laurel Road Student Loan Refinance
Check Rate

on Laurel Road's website

Fixed APR

2.99 - 6.20%

Variable APR

1.99 - 6.10%

Min. Credit Score

700

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • You can refinance parent PLUS loans in your name.

  • Refinancing available for medical and dental residents.

  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.

Cons

  • Payment postponement isn’t available if borrowers return to school.

Compare to Other Lenders

Laurel Road Student Loan Refinance
Education Loan Finance Student Loan Refinance
College Ave Student Loan Refinance
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Fixed APR

2.99 - 6.20%

Fixed APR

2.79 - 5.99%

Fixed APR

3.34 - 6.54%

Variable APR

1.99 - 6.10%

FIXED APR Fixed rate options consist of a range from 3.00% per year to 5.00% per year for a 5-year term, 3.60% per year to 5.30% per year for a 7-year term, 4.10% per year to 5.60% per year for a 10-year term, 4.50% per year to 5.65% per year for a 15-year term, or 4.60% per year to 6.20% per year for a 20-year term, with no origination fees. The fixed interest rate will apply until the loan is paid in full (whether before or after default, and whether before or after the scheduled maturity date of the loan). The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 3.75% per year to 5.80% per year for a 5-year term would be from $183.04 to $192.40. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 5.14% per year to 6.25% per year for a 7-year term would be from $142.00 to $147.29. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 5.24% per year to 6.65% per year for a 10-year term would be from $107.24 to $114.31. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 5.30% per year to 7.05% per year for a 15-year term would be from $80.65 to $90.16. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 5.61% per year to 7.27% per year for a 20-year term would be from $69.41 to $79.16. However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the fixed rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular fixed interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account. VARIABLE APR Variable rate options consist of a range from 1.99% per year to 6.05% per year for a 5-year term, 3.75% per year to 6.10% per year for a 7-year term, 4.00% per year to 6.15% per year for a 10-year term, 4.25% per year to 6.40% per year for a 15-year term, or 4.50% per year to 6.65% per year for a 20-year term, with no origination fees. APR is subject to increase after consummation. The variable interest rate will change on the first day of every month (“Change Date”) if the Current Index changes. The variable interest rates are based on a Current Index, which is the 1-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) (currency in US dollars), as published on The Wall Street Journal’s website. The variable interest rates and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) will increase or decrease when the 1-month LIBOR index changes. The variable interest rates are calculated by adding a margin ranging from 0.98% to 3.80% for the 5-year term loan, 2.35% to 3.85% for the 7-year term loan, 2.40% to 3.90% for the 10-year term loan, 2.65% to 4.15% for the 15-year term loan, and 2.90% to 4.40% for the 20-year term loan, respectively, to the 1-month LIBOR index published on the 25th day of each month immediately preceding each “Change Date,” as defined above, rounded to two decimal places, with no origination fees. If the 25th day of the month is not a business day or is a US federal holiday, the reference date will be the most recent date preceding the 25th day of the month that is a business day. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 3.49% per year to 6.31% per year for a 5-year term would be from $181.87 to $194.77. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.86% per year to 6.36% per year for a 7-year term would be from $140.68 to $147.82. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.91% per year to 6.41% per year for a 10-year term would be from $105.63 to $113.09. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 5.16% per year to 6.66% per year for a 15-year term would be from $79.92 to $87.99. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 5.41% per year to 6.91% per year for a 20-year term would be from $68.28 to $76.99. However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the variable rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular variable interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.

Variable APR

2.39 - 6.01%

Subject to credit approval. Terms and conditions apply. https://www.elfi.com/terms/

Variable APR

3.24 - 6.04%

College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply. All rates shown include the autopay discount. (1)The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as a valid bank account is designated for required monthly payments. Variable rates may increase after consummation. (2)This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a refi borrower who selects the Full Principal & Interest Repayment Option with a 10-year repayment term, has a $40,000 loan and a 5.5% Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $434.11 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $52,092.61. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary. (3)$5,000 is the minimum requirement to refinance. The maximum loan amount is $250,000 for those with medical, dental, pharmacy or veterinary doctorate degrees, and $150,000 for all other undergraduate or graduate degrees.

Min. Credit Score

700

Min. Credit Score

680

Min. Credit Score

Upper 600s

Full Review

Laurel Road refinances federal and private student loans. Any eligible borrower can refinance with Laurel Road, but the lender caters to health professionals, offering special pricing to physicians, dentists, nurses and physician assistants.

Laurel Road is also one of the few lenders that lets doctors and dentists refinance as soon as they match to a residency or fellowship. These borrowers are not eligible for the additional health professional discount, though.

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

  • Reduced rates for physicians, dentists, nurses and physician assistants.

  • Borrowers can refinance their parents’ PLUS loans.

  • No academic deferment.

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.

  • Allowing biweekly payments via autopay.

Laurel Road student loan refinancing details

  • Soft credit check to qualify and see what rate you’ll get: Yes.

  • 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.

  • Application or origination fee: No.

  • Can transfer a parent loan to the child: Yes.

  • 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.

Financial

  • Minimum credit score: 700.

  • 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.

Other

  • 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: At least an associate degree for select professions. Borrowers in their last year of undergrad can refinance. For parent PLUS loans, the child does not need to have graduated to refinance.

  • Must have attended a school authorized to receive federal aid: Yes.

  • Percentage of borrowers who have a co-signer: Did not disclose.

Many lenders are offering relief related to COVID-19. Check this list of private loan relief options to see what this lender offers.

  • 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.

  • Co-signer release available: Yes, after 36 consecutive on-time payments.

  • Death or disability discharge: Yes. Laurel Road will forgive all or part of the student loan in the event of death or documented permanent disability.

  • Loan discharge if co-signer dies or becomes disabled: No.

repayment preferences:

  • Allows greater-than-minimum payments via autopay: Yes.

  • 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.

  • Average time from approval to payoff: 4-6 business days (including the 3 day, mandatory right to cancel period)

  • Specialized pricing for health professionals: Laurel Road offers lower interest rates to physicians, dentists, nurses and physician assistants. This is not a set discount, but the lender says rates for eligible applicants may be lower than what it advertises.

  • 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.

Before refinancing 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 aren’t eligible to refinance with Laurel Road

If Laurel Road denies your refinance application, the lender will let you know why. Depending on the reason, you may want to consider other lenders or need a co-signer.

NerdWallet recommends prequalifying with multiple refinance lenders before you apply. This will let you know which lenders you may be eligible with, without affecting your credit.

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.

Frequently asked questions