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Laurel Road

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16 User Reviews

5.4

Overall Score

LAST UPDATED: May 19th, 2021

Laurel Road is an FDIC insured bank offering both federal and private student loan refinancing; it has helped thousands of professionals consolidate and refinance more than $7 billion in federal and private student debt. In addition to these consolidation and refinancing options, Laurel Road offers an online suite of graduate school loan products, personal loans, and mortgages. 

A Laurel Road personal loan for student loan refinancing provides consumers with flexible terms, no fees, and award-winning lending. Laurel Road was named the Best Consumer Lending Company and Best Overall LendTech Company in 2019 by FinTech Breakthrough, an organization that recognizes top companies in the fintech industry. 

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Highlight: Laurel Road refinancing rates and terms

  • Fixed APR range — 2.80–6.00%*
  • Variable APR range — 1.89–5.90%*
  • Loan terms — 5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years

*Rates include a 0.25% autopay discount if you set up automatic payments from your bank account.

Continue reading for more information about the company's student loan refinancing options, as well as Laurel Road reviews.

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The Good

  • Experience and Reach
  • Unemployment Protection
  • Flexible Repayment Options
  • No Origination or Prepayment Penalty Fee
  • Helpful Loan Calculator
  • Parent PLUS Refinancing
  • Earn Money When You Refer a Friend

Experience and Reach

Laurel Road has been in business for seven years, which may seem short, but is enough time to make it a frontrunner in student loan consolidation and refinancing services. Unlike other competitors, Laurel Road offers its loan refinancing services in all 50 states and to all accredited undergraduate and graduate schools in the United States.

Unemployment Protection

Laurel Road offers a helpful loan feature called unemployment protection. If you lose your job or struggle in hard economic times, the bank will allow you to postpone your loan payments for up to three months at a time. You can only use 12 months total of postponed payments throughout the life of your loan. 

Laurel Road requires that you show evidence of financial hardship, and then the company will halt student loan payments. This is an awesome feature to help borrowers out when unexpected economic challenges or circumstances come up.

Flexible Repayment Options

The company offers a number of options to help borrowers pay back student loan debt. For borrowers looking to refinance student loans, they may choose a loan term of 5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years with a minimum loan amount of $5,000 and no cap on the student loan amount. If a borrower does not qualify on their own, they have the option to add a cosigner.

Unlike many other lenders, Laurel Road offers loan refinancing to customers from select associate's degree programs in addition to bachelor's and graduate financing. It is important to note that there is a $50,000 maximum amount for associate degree loans.

No Origination or Prepayment Penalty Fee

Laurel Road does not charge a loan origination fee or a prepayment penalty fee if a borrower chooses to pay off their loan before the end of term.

Many student loan refinance lenders do not have these fees, although some companies do have a loan origination fee.

Helpful Loan Calculator

To assist in the student loan refinancing process, Laurel Road provides a loan calculator. This calculator allows you to enter your personal student loan information and will then give you a general idea of what your payments would be with Laurel Road.

Parent PLUS Refinancing

In addition to offering traditional student loan refinancing options, borrowers also have the option to refinance a Parent PLUS loan if applicable. Few student loan servicers provide this option, but graduates that meet Laurel Road's refinancing requirements and have a strong credit history can take on a parent loan.

Earn Money When You Refer a Friend

Through Laurel Road's referral program, each time you refer a friend and they refinance with the company, you can can earn up to $400. You can easily determine how much you and your friend will earn on the Laurel Road website, and you don't even have to be a Laurel Road customer to participate.

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The Bad

  • High Minimum Credit Score Requirement
  • High Interest Rates
  • Additional Fees
  • Negative Customer Reviews

High Minimum Credit Score Requirement

Laurel Road has a minimum credit score requirement of 700, which is significantly higher than most other lenders in the industry. For recent graduates seeking to refinance their student loans, this may be a difficult requirement to meet if they have a low credit score or unestablished credit history.

If you are unable to meet Laurel Road's credit requirement, you can apply with a cosigner, which can increase your chances of approval.

High Interest Rates

Some consumers feel that Laurel Road's student loan interest rates are not as low as others. However, those rates have recently dropped. For a fixed rate student loan with payback periods of 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 years, the interest rate ranges from 2.80 percent APR to 6.00 percent APR. For a variable rate student loan with the same payback periods, the interest rate ranges from 1.89 percent APR to 5.90 percent APR.

Additional Fees

Laurel Road does not charge an origination fee or a prepayment penalty fee, but there are two additional charges to be aware of as a borrower.

Laurel Road charges a late fee of $28 or 5 percent of the missed student loan payment, whichever amount is greater. Many lenders do charge a late fee on missed payments, but some lenders do not.

In addition, a $20 non-sufficient funds fee is charged if a student loan payment is returned due to insufficient funds or a closed account.

Negative Customer Reviews

Laurel Road customer reviews are currently limited, but the majority of reviews are negative, offering the company 1 star. Of these reviews, customers outline difficulty in getting approved, even with good credit, and many customers document experiences in which they had to wait an extended period of time before being denied. In addition, some customers mention that the application process is not very straightforward or fast.

It is important to note that due to the limited number of reviews, it is difficult to draw a conclusive picture of the lender, and if you have specific questions or concerns you should speak with a Laurel Road representative.

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The Bottom Line

Laurel Road offers flexible options for refinancing your student loans, providing better repayment options that can lower your student loan monthly payment. for both private and federal student loans. However, it is important to note that refinancing a federal student loan will require you to give up all attached benefits, such as loan forbearance and loan forgiveness options. Federal student loans have various repayment options and benefits, and so it is important to weigh refinancing through a private lender with losing those benefits. 

Although Laurel Road's 700 minimum credit score is somewhat high, most lenders require excellent credit to qualify for refinancing. For this reason, you can apply with a cosigner, providing additional credit that can boost your chances of approval.

If you are approved for Laurel Road student loan refinancing, you can rest assured that it will have your back if unexpected financial challenges or circumstances arise in your life. For this reason, Laurel Road offers unemployment protection and loan forbearance, easing the burden of making payments for a time.

While we believe that Laurel Road could offer lower student loan interest rates, the lender's refinancing rates can still be competitive depending on what you qualify for.

 

Disclaimers:

1. Savings example: average savings calculated based on single loans refinanced from 9/2013 to 12/2017 where borrowers’ previous rates were disclosed. Assumes same loan terms for previous and refinanced loans, and payments made to maturity with no prepayments. Actual savings for individual loans vary based on loan balance, interest rates, and other factors.

2. Application detail: 5 minutes indicates typical time it takes to complete application with applicant information readily available. It does not include time taken to provide underwriting decision or funding of the loan.

Instant rates mean a delivery of personalized rates for those individuals who provide sufficient information to return a rate. For instant rates a soft credit pull will be conducted, which will not affect your credit score. To proceed with an application, a hard credit pull will be required, which may affect your credit score.

3. Total savings calculated by aggregating individual average savings across total borrower population from 9/2013 to 12/2017. Individual average savings calculation based on single loans refinanced from 9/2013 to 12/2017 where borrowers’ previous rates were provided. Assumes same loan terms for previous and refinanced loans, and payments made to maturity with no prepayments. Actual savings for individual loans vary based on loan balance, interest rates, and other factors.

* Terms and conditions apply.

† We may agree under certain circumstances to allow a borrower to make $100/month payments immediately after loan disbursement if the borrower is employed full‐time as an intern, resident, fellow, or similar postgraduate trainee at the time of loan disbursement. These payments may not be enough to cover all of the interest that accrues on the loan. Unpaid accrued interest will be added to your loan and monthly payments of principal and interest will begin when the post‐graduate training program ends.

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Star Rating

1.7

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16 Reviews

Review Breakdown

5 grade

13%

4 grade

6%

3 grade

0%

2 grade

0%

1 grade

81%

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Personal loan customer Miami, FL

If I could leave zero stars I would. I applied to several online loan lenders and received offers from all of them. I chose Laurel because they seemed to offer the lowest interest rate. Don't be fooled. This company is a scam. They pre-approve you and then ask you to verify your application with documentation. They accepted my application and my supporting documentation and then denied me. It took them over 30 days to deny me. I spent a significant amount of time gathering the requested documentation etc. Overall I think this company is unethical and I will be taking legal action against them for misrepresenting their process. Their customer service is awful too...Tamara, Carol, don't even bother. PS I have a credit score of over 700 and have never been late on a payment in my life.

2 years ago

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Jeanette Iacono Minneapolis, MN

Laurel Road's loan application is neither quick nor easy. It took 30 days for this company to ultimately deny my application. I uploaded more than 10 pieces of documentation for consideration, including my paystubs, license to practice professionally, driver's license, tax returns, bank statements, and account statements of the loans I intended to consolidate. Biggest issues: -On the original application, I stated that I received $300/mo in extra income--I rent a room to a friend in my home. Laurel Road then requested that I upload my friend's paystubs. Ridiculous! So, I went back and removed that information from the original application and wrote a note to Laurel Road stating that I would not be uploading my friend's paystubs. They continued to send me form letters requesting her paystubs for 25 days, after I contacted them a total of five times about the issue. Finally, they removed the request for her paystubs. -Laurel Road requested that I upload a statement from another personal loan that I was intending to refinance. That personal loan is also through a web lender--Lending Club--and so I just pdf'd the home screen since they do not have formal statements. On that pdf, Laurel Road noticed that there was another tab that referenced another loan application from December. I had recently applied for a bigger consolidation loan through Lending Club but had been denied since I hadn't had the first one for long enough. Laurel Road insisted that I upload a statement from what they were perceiving as a 2nd loan-- as if I was being dishonest about my financial picture. I ended up uploaded the denial letter from Lending Club as proof that I didn't have a 2nd personal loan recently opened. -After a month of run around and meeting each request for documentation, Laurel Road denied the application, stating "borrower cannot verify information on application." This company leads people on with lucrative rates, but their underwriting department is not very bright. My credit score was 739 at the beginning of the application, with 100% on-time payments throughout my credit history. Like other posters, they would not give me a rate quote until they made a hard inquiry to all three bureaus.

2 years ago

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Anonymous but savvy Jacksonville, FL

This company does not accept commissions as a part of your income and they do not disclose this on their website. They actually do the opposite, and ask you to submit proof of your commissions for the purpose of considering it. I make well over 6 figures and have for years, all on commission. I also have rental income and 800+ credit score. If you are in business development and want a loan to take that spur-of-the moment MBA, do not waste your time with Laurel Road. Nowhere on their site mentions commissions are unacceptable. When I called, a supervisor told me it's on their site and that commissions are against underwriting guidelines. This is a very unprofessional firm and if you are in my line of work, do not waste your time.

2 years ago

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Melissa Mount Laurel, NJ

Just wanted to give a heads up as to Laurel Road's underwriting policy (see below). I was denied with 740+ credit score due to a charged off non-student loan account that I settled more than 30 months ago. My recommendation if you are looking to refinance and have any blemishes besides a late payment (or two) on your credit report, is to go with Earnest, they approved me with a better rate than Laurel Road had initially offered and took the time to let the applicant explain any late payments or charge-off/collections prior to making their underwriting decision. "Unfortunately Laurel Road’s Underwriting policy is to deny any applicants who have had collections, short sales, foreclosures, civil judgments, charge-offs, or repossessions by credit providers in the past 7 years.

3 years ago

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pgy-1 md Grand Rapids, MI

i'm an orthopaedic surgery resident with ~250k in medical student loans. istarted applying in august/september 2015. i checked in because i hadn't heard anything for weeks. i was told my application was complete by one phone representative. again, i went 2 weeks without hearing anything, called again and was told i was missing a form they forgot to send to me. i eventually signed the promissory note oct 24th and have been left out to dry and it's almost april. i've spent hours on the phone and been promised multiple times that i'd get funded in "2-3 weeks" and that i was put on the "fast track". frustrating and 100% unprofessional. i have finally reached a point where i cannot wait any longer and will look into termination options/alternatives (eg sofi, link capital, common bond).

5 years ago

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Andrea Black Creek, WI

Did a soft inquiry and I dont qualify for any rates. This place is a joke. I have awesome credit and make good money. You can get out of here with your additional documents you want loaded. That’s just to get me to do the full application without being able to see where this companies interest rates are. Stay away. Totally a misrepresentation of the soft inquiry.

2 years ago

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Kathleen Wrightstown, NJ

We had a pretty bad experience with this company. I won't go into details but the problem seems to be this: the customer service people do not know the underwriting side of the business well enough to answer questions regarding loan applications. You will get a different answer every time you call and it will never be the right answer. Wasted a lot of time and was ultimately rejected for a loan. With a cosigner. I was approved for a mortgage using the same information by the way. If you are looking to refinance a student loan, keep looking.

3 years ago

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Sade O Greenbelt, MD

Do yourself a favor and do not refinance with this company. If you need a forbearance Laurel Road will drag their feet and give you the most difficult time. If you have a death in the family Laurel Road is not understanding. They have very unfair practices and policies in place to make life more difficult for their customers. Please do not bother wasting your time

3 years ago

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RE Edward

Stay away from this bank!!! With name change from DRB bank they also changed management. And it is not a good change. They are awful now and very deceptive during the application process. They pulled my credit without my approval and there online application is missing information which they admitted but still would not correct. I was easily approved with no stress at another online refi lender. My advice is to not choose this bank they are deceptive and will cause you a ton of unnecessary stress during the process.

3 years ago

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Cleo Romary Clovis, NM

This lender has terrible customer service. I recieved no less than 15 emails requesting information that I had already submitted. When finally speaking with a customer service rep she was rude and not helpful at all. I had to demand a phone call to figure out what the issue was. Upon speaking with her I realized immediately I did not want to give my business to this company or anyone connected. Beyond rude, terrible customer service and a waste of time and effort.

3 years ago

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Tri Minh

Poor service! This company wasted my time as well as my cosigner's time. They requested numerous, extraneous documents from us and performed hard credit pulls even though they were ultimately going to deny my application citing that my debt to income ratio was too high. I should have avoided these jerks like the plague from the beginning. My credit score would be even higher than it currently is and I would not have needed to release my personal information to them.

4 years ago

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GD Yucaipa, CA

I have a credit score of 797 and was declined. Their report claims I have too many accounts with balances. I have one credit card with a balance. I've seen my credit reports and they only show that one account with a balance. This company is really insulting.

2 years ago

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Addison Jaynes Princeton, TX

Very unprofessional and disorganised. They withdrew my application by accident and kept saying they had fixed it, but always had lied. End result they denied because they couldn’t “verify information” - I wasn’t even asked for additional info to help verify!

3 years ago

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