Laurel Road Student Loan Refinancing Review

Laurel Road refinances undergraduate, graduate and parent student loans, specializing in loans for medical and dental residents.
Jun 16, 2022

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Our Take

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line:

Laurel Road is a digital banking platform and brand of KeyBank that 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
Min. credit score
660
Fixed APR
3.99-6.40%
Variable APR
2.50-6.30%
Check rate

on Laurel Road's website

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
College Ave Student Loan Refinance
Education Loan Finance Student Loan Refinance
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Min. credit score

660

Min. credit score

Upper 600s

Min. credit score

680

Fixed APR

3.99-6.40%

Fixed APR

3.49-7.99%

Fixed APR

3.99-6.99%

Variable APR

2.50-6.30%

Variable APR

3.44-7.99%

Variable APR

1.86-7.98%

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, a brand of KeyBank, 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

Interest rates, fees and terms
  • 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.

  • 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.

Requirements

Financial

  • 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.

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, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

  • 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.

Repayment options

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: Yes.

  • 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.

Customer service
  • 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)

Extras
  • 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.

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 LOAN REFINANCE RATINGS METHODOLOGY

Our survey of more than 29 banks, credit unions and online lenders offering student loans and student loan refinancing includes the top 10 lenders by market share and the top 10 lenders by online search volume, as well as lenders that serve specialty or nontraditional markets.

We consider 41 features and data points for each financial institution. Depending on the category, these include the availability of biweekly payments through autopay, minimum credit score and income requirement disclosures, availability to borrowers in all states, extended grace periods and in-house customer service.

The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.

Check rate

on Laurel Road's website

Frequently asked questions