Laurel Road is a digital banking platform that provides student loan refinancing and banking services entirely online. With student loan debt on the rise, many recent graduates find themselves considering whether they should refinance their student loans to help them pay back their debt. While there's no one-size-fits-all answer, student loan refinancing can potentially help you to lower your interest rate and monthly payments. Here's what you should know about the student loan refinancing available from Laurel Road.
Best student loan refinancing for students medical professionals
If you're a health care worker looking for the best student loan refinance, you might want to consider Laurel Road. Laurel Road student loan refinance is made with health care workers in mind, with special offerings if you're a recent medical school graduate or health care professional who obtained your credentials via an associates degree.
However, this option isn't without its drawbacks, including some less-than-stellar Laurel Road student loan refinance reviews. There are also some eligibility requirements that may shut out some applicants. Keep reading to learn more about whether Laurel Road student loan refinance is right for you.
Laurel Road student loan refinance pros and cons
- Special programs for medical students
- Ability to refinance Parent PLUS Loan into own name
- Laurel Road Student Loan Cashback® Card
- Long period of time before cosigner release
- Not all degree holders are eligible
- Checking account required for lowest rates
Special programs for medical students
While we often think of doctors as being some of the highest earners, the truth is to get to that level of success, most doctors have to spend years after medical school making a fairly average salary during their residencies or fellowships. Most doctors — an estimated 70% — graduate from medical school with student loan debt and trying to make high payments while subsisting on a meager salary isn't feasible.
If you refinance your medical school debt with Laurel Road, you're guaranteed monthly repayments of only $100 a month for the duration of your fellowship or residency. Interest does accrue, but it doesn’t capitalize during this time period, meaning it isn’t added onto your original balance. After you complete your training and start earning more as a working doctor, you’ll switch to a standard repayment plan.
Ability to refinance Parent PLUS Loan into own name
A Parent PLUS Loan is a federal loan where a borrower's parent or legal guardian signs on a loan for their dependent to use for school. Laurel Road allows students whose parents took out one of these loans to refinance to remove the parent’s name from the debt to pass it on to the student. This can be a great option for those who would like to relieve their parents of this burden and put all debts related to their education into their own name.
Laurel Road Student Loan Cashback® Card
Laurel Road offers a few discounts if you hold another account with the bank in addition to your student loan refinancing, including a reduction on your APR. One of the more unique features offered is the Laurel Road Student Loan Cashback® Card. This credit card allows student loan borrowers to earn 2% cash back on all purchases, which is put directly toward their student loans. Used wisely, this card could allow you to pay off your student loans faster just by making everyday purchases.
Long period of time for cosigner release
Like many student loan lenders, Laurel Road requires a good credit score and comfortable debt-to-income ratio to qualify for its loans. Borrowers who don’t meet the high eligibility requirements will have to bring on a creditworthy cosigner. Laurel Road requires 36 months of on-time payments before the student borrower on the cosigned loan can apply to have the cosigner removed. That’s a longer period than many other lenders.
Not all degree holders are eligible
Laurel Road student loan refinancing is our top pick for medical professionals and that includes a wide array of associates degree holders in health care fields, including nurses, dental hygienists, radiology techs and more. This makes it a great choice if you're a health care worker who needs to refinance but aren’t eligible with lenders that only accept bachelor's degrees.
However, Laurel Road only offers refinancing to associates degree holders in health care fields. Those who studied other subjects aren't eligible for a Laurel Road student loan refinance. So while Laurel Road is a great choice for most in the health care field, it's a nonstarter for associates degree holders with equally valuable, albeit not health care related degrees.
Have to open a linked checking account to get lowest rates
To qualify for Laurel Road’s lowest APRs you have to open a Laurel Road Linked Checking account.
Laurel Road student loan refinance offerings
Undergraduate and graduate student loan refinancing
Unlike many other student loan refinancing options, Laurel Road allows you to begin the refinance process during your final term of school. If you have already left school, refinancing is only available if you graduated. Laurel Road requires a minimum of $5,000 to refinance and borrowers with an associates degree have a $50,000 maximum. The lender has five different repayment term options, ranging from 5 years to 20 years.
Parent student loan refinancing
You can use parent loan refinancing with Laurel Road to take a parent’s name off your debt. It’s also available for parents who want to refinance into a better APR but keep the loan in their name. Parents also can choose from one of five repayment terms.
Laurel Road student loan refinance pricing
Laurel Road does not charge an application or origination fee, and there are no prepayment penalties.
The APRs available for Lauren Road student loan refinancing are fairly competitive, but you’ll have to open a checking or other type of account with Laurel Road to get the lowest APR. As of December 2023, Laurel Road’s fixed interest rates with all the lender's discounts ranged from 5.24% to 10.64%. Interest rates change regularly, though, so you should check directly with Laurel Road for the most up to date rates.
Laurel Road student loan refinance financial stability
Founded in 2013, Laurel Road was acquired in 2019 by KeyBank. KeyBank currently holds an A3 rating on Moody's, suggesting that it poses a low risk to investors and will likely remain financially stable for the foreseeable future. While KeyBank found itself on the receiving end of a lawsuit in 2022 for negligence about a data breach, there haven't been any notable news stories of Laurel Road in the past year.
Laurel Road student loan refinance accessibility
Here's what you need to know about whether a Laurel Road student loan refinance will be accessible to you and your needs as a customer.
Laurel Road is an online banking company, meaning there aren't any physical branches. It's available to all customers in the U.S. Although Laurel Road is a subsidiary of KeyBank, when we spoke to a banker at a KeyBank branch, she said that KeyBank wasn't able to service Laurel Road accounts at its locations.
You can call Laurel Road at 1-833-427-2265 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST. There's also a live chat option on the Laurel Road website available during the same hours, in addition to a customer inquiry form that's available 24/7.
Laurel Road provides a pretty great user experience, particularly on its website. There's a wealth of information in the form of articles explaining how to refinance student loans and how refinancing student loans saves money. Furthermore, the lender provides an APR and monthly payment calculator so you can estimate how much you’re likely to pay if you're approved. This can give you a ballpark idea of what you'd be signing up for before entering any personal information.
Laurel Road student loan refinance customer satisfaction
Laurel Road isn't accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), but that doesn't necessarily mean the company isn't legitimate or trustworthy. And while the company only has a one out of five-star customer rating, that's only reflective of four reviews. One user complained that they were locked out of their account for over a month while Laurel Road reviewed their account for suspicious activity. There are similar customer complaints on other customer review websites, where the company has a slightly higher review at 3.5 out of five stars. Positive Laurel Road student loan refinance reviews praised the user experience and customer service.
Laurel Road student loan refinance FAQs
Is Laurel Road legit?
How much loan amount does Laurel Road refinance?
Does Laurel Road allow deferment?
How we evaluated Laurel Road student loan refinance
In evaluating Laurel Road student loan refinance, we looked at the following:
- Pricing: We looked at the pricing offered by Laurel Road and compared its rates to those of its competitors
- Offerings: We looked at what was offered by Lauren Road, particularly anything that was unique or unavailable through other student loan refinance products
- Customer satisfaction: We looked at real Laurel Road student loan refinance reviews
- Accessibility: We researched the usability of the Laurel Road website, in addition to the customer experience as a whole
Summary of Money's Laurel Road student loan refinance review
Laurel Road may be a smart choice if you want to refinance your student loans, particularly if you work in health care. Perks of refinancing with Laurel Road include the Laurel Road Student Loan Cashback® Card, which allows you to earn 2% cash back on all your purchases and put it toward your student loans. However, not all degree holders will qualify for student loan refinancing with Laurel Road.