Laurel Road Student Loan Refinance Review


Updated on April 30, 2019
By Jen Williamson

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If you’re in the market to refinance your loan, then you probably know the lender you choose makes a difference. Low interest rates are important—but they’re not the only thing. If a streamlined digital experience is important to you, you should check into refinancing with Laurel Road.

Laurel Road offer student loans refinancing for all college grads, but this lender has some rather unique options as well. It has special refinancing packages built especially for medical and dental students, as well as parents who’ve taken out loans for their children.

Their flexibility and low interest rates make them well worth your consideration.

Why refinance your student loans with Laurel Road?

Laurel Road has small-town roots, but it has grown into a national online lending powerhouse.

This lender started its life as Darien Rowayton Bank of Connecticut, a traditional local bank. Seeing a clear need among tech-savvy millennials, the bank’s top brass decided that they could better serve their customers’ with more tech-driven options. They set to work on transforming their community bank into a national online lending organization with customers throughout the country.

Laurel Road was one of the first to completely digitize the loan process using proprietary tech. Their target market is tech-savvy millennials—and they’ve streamlined the application process to fit these borrowers’ expectations.


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What are the benefits of refinancing with Laurel Road?

Laurel Road claims their customers save an average of $20,000 or more over the life of their loans. Their variable rate loans start at just 2.50% interest.

Many private lenders do not offer forbearance options. In fact, one of the biggest drawbacks of refinancing federal loans instead of consolidating them with a Direct Consolidation Loan is that you lose access to these options.

Laurel Road is one of a few lenders to offer this kind of reassurance if your finances change. They offer a year of forbearance for borrowers who qualify. That kind of piece of mind is hard to come by with private lenders.

Plus, as we mentioned above, Laurel Road offers some distinctive programs. One is refinancing for medical students going into residency or fellowship.

Under this program, medical students can refinance their loans the minute they match to a residency or fellowship program. They pay only $100 per month throughout the program, and accrued interest does not capitalize while they’re enrolled.

The parent refi option is also unique. Laurel Road is one of very few lenders that will allow parents to transfer their loans to the child, as long as the child qualifies.

In addition, Laurel Road offers a referral program to all borrowers. If you refer a friend or family member who refinances their loans with Laurel Road, you could potentially earn up to $400 per referral.

What refinancing options does Laurel Road offer?

Laurel Road offers both fixed- and variable-rate loans.

With fixed-rate loans, the interest rate stays stable for the duration of the loan. With variable-rate loans, it changes based on market conditions.

Variable-rate loans usually start off with a lower interest rate, although that rate can change over time.

You can select from loans terms of five to 20 years.

Who is eligible to refinance with Laurel Road?

Laurel Road offers student loan refinancing for borrowers with good credit histories. They will take a look at your existing finances, including your income, debt, and expenses, to decide if you qualify.

In addition, you must be:

  • A U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a Green Card,
  • A graduate of a Title IV institution in the U.S., and,
  • Have at least $5,000 in student loans to refinance.

Parents refinancing PLUS loans must have children who graduated from Title IV institutions.

Ready to conquer your student loans with Laurel Road? Refinance Now!

What are the rates and fees involved in refinancing with Laurel Road?

Laurel Road offers fixed- and variable-rate loans with terms of five to 20 years.

The longer the term of the loan, the higher the interest rate. Your credit score and finances determine which rate you qualify for.

The breakdown is as follows:

  • Variable-rate loans range from 2.50-6.66% APR (as of April 2019).
  • Fixed-rate loans range from 3.50-7.02% APR (as of April 2019).

Laurel Road does not charge origination or prepayment fees. That means that if you want to pay ahead to save money over the life of the loan, you can pay off the entire loan ahead of the due date without penalties.

Does Laurel Road offer discounts?

There is a 0.25% interest rate discount if you sign up for automatic payments.

How to apply for refinancing with Laurel Road

Apply online through Laurel Road’s easy-to-navigate platform. The whole process should take about 30 minutes and you’ll get a conditional answer within minutes.

Here’s how it works:

1. Give them a few personal details

You know, the obvious…your name, your email, and a password for your new account.

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2. Tell them a few more personal details

Laurel Road will ask you where you live and how long you’ve lived there. It will also ask for your social security number at this point.

You will also need to provide details about your citizenship in this section. As we mentioned before, they only accept applications from U.S. citizens and permanent residents.

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3. Tell them about your education history, the amount you want to refinance, and your regular income

Laurel Road will ask you details about your finances—including your gross annual income, your employment status, and how much you pay in rent or mortgage. They’ll also ask you about your education.

This info will help to form a clearer financial picture of your life both now and in the future. Your housing costs are one of your biggest recurring expenses unless you live in a no-rent situation, and your education gives them a clue as to your future earning potential.

If you’re a parent looking to refinance a loan you took out on behalf of a child, now’s the time to tell them.

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After this point, Laurel Road will do a soft credit pull to assess your finances. This doesn’t affect your credit, but it allows them to get a more complete picture so they can provide you with an interest rate on your refinanced loan.

Borrowers get initial rate estimates immediately after submitting the online application. You’ll get a final offer within 24 hours; just review, send back your e-signature, and you’re done.

The entire process is digital—you can go from start to finish without talking to a person.

If you want to talk someone before signing on, though, that’s possible too. Laurel Road offers secure online chat (with a super-fast response time) as well as proprietary email.

Should you refinance your student loans with Laurel Road?

Laurel Road’s unique products for medical and dental school grads, as well as parents, make them a very attractive option for people in these categories. But there’s a lot to like even if you’re not this kind of borrower.

They specialize in lending to millennials who have stringent expectations regarding customer service, speed, and tech—so younger borrowers will like the way they operate. They also offer low interest rates and flexible terms that anyone would like.

Learn more about refinancing options from Laurel Road.

Refinance & Save Today With These Leading Lenders

#1 - Nitro Recommended View More Details

Earnest empowers people with the financial captial they need to live better lives.

  • APR: 2.27% - 7.59%
  • Minimum credit score: 650
  • Refinance up to $500K
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Visit Earnest View Loan Disclosure

Using technology, data, and design to build affordable products, Earnest's lending products are built for a new generation seeking to reach life's milestones. The company understands every applicant's unique financial story to offer the lowest possible rates and radically flexible loan options for living life.

  • Commitment-free 2 minute rate check
  • Client Happiness can be reached via in app messaging, email, and phone 
  • No fees for origination, prepayment, or loan disbursement
  • Flexible terms let you pick your exact monthly payment or switch between fixed and variable rates
  • Skip a payment and make it up later
  • Online dashboard is designed to make it easy to apply for and manage your loan

Click here to apply with Earnest and to see how much you can save.

#2 View More Details

Many ELFI customers save hundreds per month month and thousands over the length of the loan term.

  • APR: 2.80% - 6.69%
  • Minimum credit score: 680
  • No refinancing maximum amount
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Visit ElFi View Loan Disclosure

Education Loan Finance is designed to assist borrowers through consolidating outstanding education loans into one single loan that effectively lowers your costs of education and/or makes repayment very simple. Education Loan Finance - backed by the strength of SouthEast Bank - combines the benefits of traditional education loan refinancing with the superior products, service, and support found in the private market.

Education Loan Finance (ElFi) review

Check out their low rates today to see how much you can save.

  • Get Your Rate. With Education Loan Finance's Find My Rate tool, you can complete a short application to receive a preliminary quote on your eligible rates and terms, all without affecting your credit score.
  • Apply in Minutes. Education Loan Finance's online application is fast and simple.
  • Outstanding Personalized Service. Our Personalized Loan Advisors specialize in student loan refinancing and help busy professionals find the option that's right for them.
  • Student Lending Experience: Education Loan Finance isn't a start-up company - we have a longstanding history and expertise in serving student loan borrowers.

Attractive Bonus and Referral Programs:

  • Education Loan Finance Fast Track Bonus**: Education Loan Finance's application process is streamlined and simple, and you can earn a $200 bonus just for closing your loan within 30 days of your initial application.
  • Education Loan Finance Referral Program**: Earn $400 for each new Education Loan Finance Client referred by you!
#3 View More Details

Works with 300+ community lenders for higher approval chances

  • APR: 2.24% - 7.50%
  • Minimum credit score: 660
  • Refinance up to $300K
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Visit LendKey View Loan Disclosure

Connecting student borrowers to a network of over 300 community lenders with low interest rates. By partnering with these lenders, LendKey is able to give consumers direct access to the best rates available from the most borrower friendly institutions. As the servicer of all loans obtained through its platform, you can rest easy knowing your personal information will be safe and that the best customer service team will be ready to answer your questions from application until your final payment.

LendKey Student Loan Refinance review

  • Lightning fast rate check - 2-minute rate check with no impact on your credit score
  • More lenders, more options - see the best offers from over 300+ community lenders for higher approval chances
  • Life of loan relationship - With LendKey, your personal information will never be sent or passed on to third parties. Their customer service team is with you from the moment you land on their website until you've completely repaid your loan.
  • Unmatched benefits- Community lenders put people over profits and offer unique benefits like cosigner release after 12 on-time payments, interest only repayment options to keep monthly payments low, the largest unemployment protection period in the market, and more.

Get a personalized quote from LendKey now.

#4 View More Details

Operates in all 50 states; 2nd largest student loan refinancing lender

  • APR: 2.43% - 7.02%
  • Minimum credit score: 660
  • No refinancing amount maximum
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Visit Laurel Road View Loan Disclosure

Laurel Road is a national online lender with customers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Many of our non-bank competitors are not able to lend in all 50 states.Laurel Road has grown to be the second largest player in the student loan refinancing space in large part because of our reputation as the go-to low rate provider.

Laurel Road Student Loan Refinance Review

  • National reach - Online lender that is available in all 50 US states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
  • No fees & the lowest rates in the space - Laurel Road is the most transparent about the rates they provide customers, and offer the lowest rates where it counts. Our customers will save more than $20,000 over the life of their loans on average. 
  • Customer service reputation - Laurel Road's customer service representatives are no rookies. With 19 years of experience on average, Laurel Road’s Customer Service team delivers an experience that is best in the industry. They work to build meaningful, life-long relationships with our valued customers to improve their overall financial wellness.
  • The stability & security of a bank - They are a division of Darien Rowayton Bank, a stable and secure FDIC-insured bank, regulated by the FDIC and the Connecticut Department of Banking.

Get your personalized, pre-approved rates in less than 5 minutes.

#5 View More Details

For every loan they fund, they contribute to the education of a child in need

  • APR: 2.37% - 8.44%
  • Minimum credit score: 660
  • Refinance up to $500K
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Visit CommonBond View Loan Disclosure

CommonBond was founded in 2011 by three MBA graduates from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School who wanted to help their peers escape from high-interest student loan debt. Its original focus was on grad students, but it has since expanded to cover undergrads as well.

Of all the companies we reviewed, CommonBond has some of the best customer service. The company prides itself on being easy to reach by email, phone, or live chat. It offers networking events, expert panels, insider newsletters, and even has a program help borrowers who lose their jobs to find new ones. CommonBond also makes you feel good about choosing to refinance with them by donating money to an education nonprofit for each loan they write.

CommonBond Student Loan Refinance review

  • Unemployment protections - If you lose your job or decide to go back to school, you can delay your payments for up to 24 months.
  • Social promise - For every loan they fund, they also contribute to the education of a child in need.
  • Hybrid loan option - Offerings include a 10-year hybrid loan with fixed interest for the first five years, and variable interest for the final five.
  • Referral bonus - For every friend you refer who refinances their loans with CommonBond, you’ll earn a $200 cash bonus.
  • Qualification - Borrowers must have graduated at least 2 years prior if they want to apply without a co-signer. And borrowers in 6 states – Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, South Dakota, and Vermont – cannot currently refinance through CommonBond.

Get a personalized review of your refinancing options with CommonBond today.

#6 View More Details

Offers unemployment protection and career/coaching/networking

  • APR: 2.430% - 8.074%
  • Minimum credit score: 650
  • Refinance up to 100% of student debt
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Visit SoFi View Loan Disclosure

SoFi, which stands for “Social Finance,” was created by a group of Stanford business students who found themselves with a mountain of debt after graduation. They set out to change the student loan industry and help borrowers like themselves to get lower interest rates. SoFi has some of the lowest interest rates and, unlike the other lenders we reviewed, it has no maximum amount you can finance. However, Nevada residents can’t currently refinance with SoFi. Minimum loan balances are higher in Arizona, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania due to state laws. Additional state restrictions may apply.

SoFi Student Loan Refinancing Review

  • Low interest rates - For well-qualified borrowers, SoFi offers some of the lowest rates we have found.
  • Strong customer service - It has more than 350 customer service reps available to help applicants through process.
  • Career coaching and networking - Perks include career services representatives who can help you find a job or negotiate a higher salary. SoFi also hosts networking events, happy hours and educational lectures on topics like buying a home in major cities around the country.
  • Unemployment protection - Borrowers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own may apply for Unemployment Protection. If approved, SoFi will suspend their monthly SoFi loan payments and provide job placement assistance during the forbearance period. These benefits are offered in three month increments, and are capped at 12 months, in aggregate, over the life of the loan. Note that interest will still accrue while loans are in forbearance.

Find out what interest rate SoFi can offer you here.

#7 View More Details

Special offers for medical resident and fellow refinance products

  • APR: 2.43% - 7.60%
  • Minimum credit score: 660
  • No Maximum when refinancing
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Visit Splash View Loan Disclosure

Splash Financial is a leader in student loan refinancing with new rates as low as 3.25% fixed APR which can save you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your loans. No application or origination fees and no prepayment penalties. Splash Financial is in all 50 states and is intensely focused on customer service. Splash Financial is also one of the few companies that offers a great medical resident and fellow refinance product. You can check your rate with Splash in just minutes.

  • Low interest rates – especially for graduate students
  • No application or origination fees. No prepayment penalties.
  • Co-signer release program - you can apply for a cosigner release form your loan after 12 months of on-time payments
  • Specialty product for doctors in training with low monthly payment

Click here to see more of Splash's offerings and to see how you can save money.

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