Laurel Road was founded in 2013. They stand out for an underwriting approach based on a borrower’s earning potential and are great for those that work in healthcare.
In our Laurel Road student loan refinance review, we provide an overview of the company, pros, and cons as well as who may want to use them. Be sure to check out the other companies also by checking out our Best Student Loan Refinance Company review page.
As noted in our Student Loan Refinance Guide, FitBUX partners with nine student loan refinancing companies. We have an in-depth knowledge of their underwriting guidelines and have been asked by each company not to disclose certain items. We honor their wishes by not giving out specific information such as typical rates for various FICO scores and DTI ratios. If you’d like help based on your situation, I highly recommend using our free student loan refinance service in which we will help you choose the right student loan refinancing company.
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Laurel Road Company Overview
Laurel Road has made massive strides recently. When the company first launched in 2006, they weren’t known as Laurel Road. They were DRB (For those of you wondering DRB is a bank). During their time as DRB, we at FitBUX did not reach out to them to become a partner because the complaints we heard from our Members. In short, the rates, technology, and customer service were horrible.
Kudos to management though. They rebranded the company as Laurel Road in 2017 and really focused on fixing those flaws. Therefore, we partnered with them starting late in 2018 and it has been a fantastic partnership thus far. Management did such a great job that KeyBank recently acquired Laurel Road.
Laurel Road student loan refinance focuses on health care professions. If you are in the health care industry then you should receive a competitive rate.
- Currently, they offer fixed and variable rate student loans that range from 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 years. Here is an article about fixed and variable rate student loans if you’d like to learn more.
- Current fixed interest rate: 4.49% – 9.40% (As of 5/8/2023)
- Current variable interest rate: 4.74% – 9.30% (As of 5/8/2023)
- You have to have a 660 credit score or higher (Learn one trick to increasing your credit score in this article)
Pros of Using Laurel Road
Below are the pros of working with Laurel Road student loan refinance:
- Competitive Rates: If you have a good credit score, decent income, and/or a good co-signer, Laurel Road is extremely competitive.
- Available in all 50 States: Its great to see that they are available to everyone.
- Discount For Various Professions: If you are a member of your professional organization such as the APTA, then you will receive an extra 0.25% off the interest rate they quote you. Two items to note about this discount: 1) you have to keep your membership. If you no longer have it you will no longer receive the benefit. 2) Sometimes, even after the discount, Laurel Road’s rate is not competitive with other companies FitBUX partners with. Be sure to ask you FitBUX Coach if there are other companies that may be competitive.
- Refinancing For Doctors and Dentist: Medical and dental residents as well as 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. Because of this, you must decide if you are going to pay off your student loans or pursue student loan forgiveness before deciding to take advantage of this feature.
- Co-Signer Release: If you have a co-signer, you may apply after 36 months of on-time payments to have him/her released from the loan.
- Refinance Parent Plus Loans: Parents can refinance your Parent Plus Loans to the child’s name.
- Forbearance: If you have an economic hardship from involuntary job loss or unpaid maternity leave, you may postpone payments up to 3 times for a total of 12 months.
- 1099/Self-employed Special Underwriting: THIS IS A MAJOR DIFFERENCE. Laurel Road is the only company that allows 1099 or self-employed health care workers to apply and qualify for a loan without needing two years of tax returns.
Cons Of Using Laurel Road
Below are the Cons of refinancing with Laurel Road student loan refinance:
- 2nd Longest Rate Check Application: Its not extremely long (only 3 – 5 minutes) but its a con simply because its longer than our other partners.
- Extremely Reliant On Credit Score and Ratios: We can’t go into details on this because of non-disclosure agreements. However, when you use our free student loan refinance service, be sure to check and compare Laurel Road student loan refinance with other companies.
- Can’t Make A Prepayment Via Auto-Pay: If you are trying to make prepayments you’ll have to do so manually, i.e. calling customer service or their online portal.
- Mohela Loan Servicer: This really isn’t a bad thing. However, we put it as a con because some people get really mad when they find out they have to make payments to another company. It isn’t bad though since Mohela is the best loan servicer in the industry.
- Bought By KeyBank: As previously mentioned, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank. So far, they have kept operations separate. However, many times within 3 – 5 years, the company purchasing the new company will completely change everything about them…let’s hope that doesn’t happen because Laurel Road has done a great job improving their business.
Laurel Road vs. Sofi
We get this question a lot for two reasons: 1) many of you get bombarded with advertisements by SoFi student loan refinance and 2) healthcare professionals get bombarded by Laurel Road with advertisements as well.
SoFi’s technology and process is better than Laurel Road. That is, there application process is faster and they can approve your loan faster.
SoFi also tends to give better rates for their “ideal” borrower. Their ideal borrower has over a 700 FICO score, makes over $100,000 and owes less than their annual salary. They also want you to have an MBA from a top school or be in a profession such as an MD.
Laurel Road student loan refinance tends to have extremely competitive rates for borrowers that are slightly below SoFi’s ideal customer. For example, DPTs, PAs, NPs, etc… However, Laurel Road has tremendous competition in this space outside of SoFi from other lenders such as Splash Financial, Commonbond, and Lendkey.
By Joseph Reinke, CFA, Founder of FitBUX
Student Loan Refinance Company Reviews By FitBUX
Lendkey Student Loan Refinance Review
Splash Financial Student Loan Refinance Review
Sofi Student Loan Refinance Review
Earnest Student Loan Refinance Review
- Laurel Road; Rates as of 12/10/2022
- Laurel Road; Rates Subject to Change
- Laurel Road; Terms and Conditions Apply
- Laurel Road; All products subject to credit approval