Laurel Road Student Loan Refinancing Review
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Laurel Road is a digital banking platform that caters to health professionals. Its loans are best for borrowers who want to refinance during their medical or dental residency.
Pros & Cons
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.
Payment postponement isn’t available if borrowers return to school.
Compare to Other Lenders
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 at a glance
Borrowers can refinance their parents’ PLUS loans.
No academic deferment.
How Laurel Road could improve
Laurel Road could improve by:
» MORE: Laurel Road personal loan review
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.
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, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
Must have graduated: Yes, borrowers must have earned a bachelor's degree. 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
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.
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)
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.
Frequently asked questions
- Is Laurel Road legit?
Laurel Road was previously a division of Darien Rowayton Bank — it offered student loan refinancing under DRB branding until June 2017. It caters to health professionals, offering special pricing to physicians, dentists, nurses and physician assistants.
- How much can I refinance with Laurel Road?
The minimum to refinance with Laurel Road is $5,000 and you can refinance up to your total outstanding loan balance. If you refinance more than $300,000, Laurel Road will break it into two loans.
- Do I need a degree to refinance with Laurel Road?
Laurel Road requires borrowers to have at least an associate degree for select professions. But borrowers in their last year of undergrad can refinance. For parent PLUS loans, the child does not need to have graduated to refinance.