SoFi vs. Laurel Road: Which is Better for Student Loan Refinancing?

Updated on August 23, 2022

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If you’re looking into refinancing your student loan, then you know every lender is different—and choosing the right one is crucial.

A lower interest rate is the most obvious criteria you should look for when refinancing your student loan. But other factors matter as well. Finding the right lender often means finding the one that works best for you—not for everyone else.

Here’s a closer look at two lenders—Laurel Road and SoFi—that are offering extremely competitive rates and novel refinancing packages right now. Which one is better for you?

Who should refinance with SoFi?

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If you're all about getting a great interest rate while climbing the career ladder, SoFi is a lender you should consider. 

SoFi is a major player in the student loan refinancing marketplace. They've helped borrowers refinance over $14 billion in student loans.

That's with good reason. SoFi is unique in that they throw a lot of resources behind their members—and these go beyond refinancing.

See also: SoFi Student Loan Refinancing Review

What sets SoFi apart

SoFi offers one-on-one advisory services so you can get customized support to improve your finances, develop a resume, or transition your career. 

In addition, they create opportunities for community by running a members-only Facebook group and offering events for members—including happy hour meet ups, financial planning sessions, and celebratory pay-off dinners. These events take place coast to coast, in cities including New York, Oakland, Boston, and San Diego.

SoFi may be a great option for a lot of people—but especially for those seeking community and career support.

Who should refinance with Laurel Road?

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If you want to refinance to a better rate but you're worried about losing some of the benefits of federal loans, Laurel Road may be a good choice for you. 

Like Sofi, Laurel Road also claims big savings from its members—more than $20,000 on average.

See also: Laurel Road Student Loan Refinance Review

What sets Laurel Road apart

One thing that makes them stand out is their contingency plan for borrowers who hit hard financial times. Laurel Road provides up to one year of forbearance for those under economic hardship, including involuntary job loss and unpaid maternity leave—which is an extremely rare benefit from a private lender.

They also offer death and disability loan forgiveness. That is, your loan could be forgiven if you pass away or become disabled before you've finished paying. 

See also: Should I Refinance My Student Loans?

Comparing interest rates and loan terms

SoFi offers fixed and variable rate loans. Their range is as follows:

  • Fixed-rate loans: 3.99%-8.24% APR
  • Variable-rate loans: 2.49%-7.99% APR

SoFi offers loans durations of five, seven, ten, and 15 years.

Laurel Road also offers both fixed and variable loans, with interest rates as follows:

  • Fixed-rate loans: 3.50%-7.02% APR
  • Variable-rate loans: 1.99%-6.65% APR

They offer terms of five, seven, ten, 15, and 20 years.

Laurel Road also specializes in refinancing medical school debt. 

What discounts are available?

Both lenders charge zero origination or pre-payment fees.

Both offer 0.25% discounts for AutoPay.

What's the application process?

Both lenders keep it pretty simple and provide online applications.

To apply with Laurel Road, you’ll need two recent pay stubs or other proof of income, a photo ID, and payment statements for your student loans.

SoFi has an online pre-approval process that lets you find out if you qualify. Once qualified, you will then gain access to the full online application.

Which one is better for you?

So which of these lenders is better for student loan refinancing? The better question is: which one is better for you?

There are several factors that make each one stand out—the career support for SoFi, and the generous forbearance and forgiveness terms for Laurel Road, for example.

Both offer very competitive interest rates. It’s difficult to say which lender would give you a lower rate—as this depends on your finances and the company's own underwriting priorities.

The best way to decide is to carefully consider each lender’s strengths and drawbacks—and apply to find out how your finances might change.

Learn more about refinancing with SoFi

Learn more about refinancing with Laurel Road

Check out our Student Loan Refi Calculator to see how much you could save by refinancing your student loan.

Refinance & Save Today With These Leading Lenders

#1 - Nitro Recommended View More Details

Special offers for medical resident and fellow refinance products

  • Fixed rates: 3.29% - 8.49% APR
  • Variable rates: 2.49% - 8.90% APR
  • Minimum credit: 650
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Visit Splash View Loan Disclosure

Splash Financial is a leader in student loan refinancing with some of the lowest fixed in the industry 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.

#2 View More Details

SoFi is the leading student loan refinancing provider. 

  • Fixed rates: 3.99% - 8.24% APR
  • Variable rates: 2.49% - 7.99% APR
  • Minimum credit: 650
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Visit SoFi View Loan Disclosure

$30 billion+ in refinanced student loans. SoFi has some of the lowest interest rates and, unlike the other lenders we reviewed, there's no maximum on the amount you can finance. Some state restrictions may apply.

  • Serious savings: Save thousands of dollars thanks to flexible terms and low fixed or variable rates.
  • No hidden fees, no catch: No application or origination fees. No pre-payment penalties.
  • Fast, easy, and all online: Simple online application and access to live customer support 7 days a week.
  • Access to member benefits: SoFi members get career coaching, financial advice, and more—all at no cost.
  • 98% of surveyed members would recommend SoFi to a friend

Save thousands on your student loans and pay off your loans sooner. Find your rate.

#3 View More Details

Works with 300+ community lenders for higher approval chances

  • Fixed rates: 2.49% - 7.75% APR
  • Variable rates: 1.90% - 5.25% APR
  • Minimum credit: 660
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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

Best for borrowers who want to customize their repayment schedule to pay off debt fast.

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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.

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