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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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1.7

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16 Reviews

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Featured Review

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Jane k. Chicago, IL

I refinanced my private law school student loans with Laurel twice. Each time it was super fast and easy, just upload a couple of standard documents- income (I have a contract), social security and ID, nothing else. The second refi was approved within 24hr. The first one, I cannot recall exactly but maybe a few days at most. It was a snap. I appreciated a simple process, very easy to follow and painless transition from the original lender.

2 years ago

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Featured Review

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Danielle Killinger Springfield, MA

I learned about DRB from reading a Wall Street Journal article and I'm so glad I did. They have absurdly low interest rates - lower than my mortgage. Overall, I had a wonderful experience refinancing my student loans. I was approved just over 24 hours after I applied and the process was quick and painless. Hats off to you, DRB!

4 years ago

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