Laurel Road Student Loan Refinancing Review
Last updated August 4th, 2018
Recommended for: Refinancing Federal and Private Student Loans for Undergraduate /Graduate Degrees
Laurel Road Bank is an online lending and banking institution that offers student loan refinancing, mortgages and personal loans. They are insured by the FDIC and were established in 2006. They specialize in helping professionals with graduate and undergraduate degrees to refinance their existing federal and private student loans. Laurel Road Bank is a division of DRB (Darien Rowayton Bank).
Student Loan Refinancing enables borrowers to pay off their original students loans with a new loan with different repayment terms and a lower interest rate. Usually when a student applies for a student loan they have just graduated from high school and have little to no credit history or usuage. They apply for a federal and or private student loan to pay for their degree. Terms are inflexible and interest rates are usually higher then normal - even with a cosigner, lending institutions see the student as a credit risk as there is nothing for them to base repayment on. Once the student graduates and has a steady income, it is often in their best interest to refinance their student loans.
Refinancing may be good if the applicant is looking for a lower interest rate, wanting to pay off their loans faster, lower monthly payments, change from a fixed to a variable rate, and consolidate existing loans into one to facilitate one payment over many. Often by refinancing the borrower can save an average of $20,000+ over the duration of the new loan.
Refinancing your student loans may not be for you if have federal loans and want to use the benefits such as income-driven repayment and loan forgiveness. Once you refinance you will lose both of these benefits. Refinancing is not your best option if you have poor credit and are not in a full-time permanent position for employment.
In My Opinion
In my opinion Laurel Road Bank is an excellent lender if you are looking to refinance your existing student loans and have graduated with a graduate or undergraduate degree with a Title IV accredited institution and have good credit. They also specialize in refinancing student loans for medical and dental professionals. Laurel Road understands what it takes to graduate with a degree in these professions and have allowances to accomodate for them. Some of the extra benefits for the borrower are:
- they allow residents to defer full payments on their loan up to 6 months after their residency and fellowship is complete
- loans from $1,000 - $500,000
- no application, origination or prepayment fees
- loan forbearance for borrowers experiencing economic hardship up to 12 months
- loan forgiveness - full in event of borrower death of borrower and partial in the event of borrower permanent disability that affects their income
- a rate cap on variable loans
- they allow for loans with hybrid interest rates - partial variable and partial fixed
- Laurel Road will honor your existing grace or in-school deferment periods set up by previous lender
Some of the drawbacks are:
- no cosigner release for the duration of the term
- must have a credit score over 680+ to qualify as the primary borrower
- strong income to support repayment of the loan
|Loan Amounts||Laurel Road will refinance student loans for a minimum of $5,000. There is no maximum.|
|Required Credit Score||680+ Lower with cosigner|
|Types of Income||Must have enough income to afford loan payments. Medical / Dental must have income during residency.|
|Variable Rate Option||Yes -|
Variable Rates - 2.94% and capped at 9.0%
Fixed Rates - 3.95% Capped at 6.42%
|Loan Term||Laurel Road offers any term below 20 years.|
|Credit Inquiry||Initial Inquiry - Soft, Loan Approval - Hard Inquiry|
|Fees and Closing Costs||No Application, origination, disbursement or prepayment fees|
|Co-Signer||Cosigners can be added during the application process.|
|Direct Deposit||Funds are disbursed directly to existing|
|Loan Purpose||Refinance Student (Federal & Private) Loans. Available in all 50 states.|
|Qualifications||Must be a working professions with a four-year undergraduate or graduate degre.|
|Allows Military||Not available|
|Insurance||In event of borrower death - loan is forgiven. Permanent Disability - Debt Reduction|
|Legal Documents Required||U.S. Citizen, Permanent Residents with a valid 1-551 Card.|
|Number of Offers||Not Applicable|
|Customer Service||Phone, Live Chat|
Laurel Road offers several student loan refinancing products: Student Loans, Residents & Fellows Loans and ParentPLUS Loans.
The Application Process
Laurel Road keeps the process as simple as possible. The consumer applies on-line and then receives pre-approved rates within two minutes. The application asks for basic information such as your existing loans, education and employment. You will need to authorize Laurel Road to do a 'soft' inquiry on your credit.
If you choose to proceed with the loan, you will need to upload your supporting documentation to Laurel Road's dashboard. Laurel Road then underwrites your loan, provided you meet the loan requirements and then provide you with the final rates and terms.
Once you select your loan type and term, e-sign required documents, Laurel Road will pay off your current student loan lenders and provide you with the first payment date.
- applicants must be a US citizen or permanent resident with a valid I-551 card.
- Laurel Road refinances working professionals with a four year undergraduate or graduate degree from a Title IV accredited institution.
- minimum credit score requirement - 680 +. If you have a creditworthy cosigner, they will accept lower credit scores.
Laurel Road Bank will refinance your student loans even if they have already been consolidated or refinanced by another lender. Laurel Road will refinance all or part of your student loans. If you are refinancing federal student loans, you will no longer have access to the federal income driven repayment programs or student loan forgiveness. For more information check out the federal government student loan site.
Medical and Dental Resident Loans
Laurel Road will allow you to refinance your student loans as soon as you are matched to a residency. They are able to offer very low fixed and variable rates as consumers in the professional and medical sectors have the financial ability to repay their loans in a timely manner and are considered a lower risk. Rates and terms are determined by the applicants credit profile, monthly debt payments (DTI) and income projections post training.
Resident Terms - Laurel Road offers standard rate offerings as well as a deferrment payment period. The length of time requested for a partial deferrment will determine a rate range within the nearest applicable term. If your existing student loan is in 'grace or deferment' period, Laurel Road will honor that with your new refinanced loan.
As a medical resident you can choose to make a $100 monthly payment during your residency. Your interest will accrue but will not be capitalized during your residency. Once you complete your residency and commence your standard repayment term, the accrued interest is added to the total of your loan. Residents can defer making full payments up to six months after the completion of the residency or fellowship.
Parents that have taken out loans to finance their child's education can refinance the loans after your child has graduated. Laurel Road allows you to pass the loan debt to your child as long as they are professionally employed and meet Laurel Road's lending requirements.
Laurel Road Referral Plan
Laurel Road offers a referral program to both their customers and others. If you refer anyone to Laurel Road and they refinance their student loans, Laurel Road will give you $400. To access this referral program, you must first of all create an account with Laurel Road, then share your link with the friends your refer. When the person you referred closes the loan, you get paid. Laurel Road will also allow you to divide the referral bonus between yourself and your friend. This is a great program if you would like to make additional payments to your loan as Laurel Road allows additional payments to be made without penalty.