Advertising Disclosure

Laurel Road

2022 review

Laurel Road Offers a range of loan products, but it stands out for its student loan refinance discounts. You can get up to 0.8% in interest rate reductions, plus refinance all of your student loans with no maximum.

9.2 / 10
Editorial Score
Ginny Dorn
Personal finance and mortgages specialist
April 12, 2022

Overview

Laurel Road provides mortgages, mortgage refinancing, personal loans, and student loan refinancing. You can also borrow money for graduate, medical, and dental programs with flexible repayment options. This lender offers a unique 0.25% interest rate reduction when you show proof of employment after graduation.

You will find several ways to save money when you refinance student loans with Laurel Road. There are no origination or prepayment fees and you can get an autopay discount on all loan types. You could also qualify for a 0.25% to 0.55% interest rate reduction when you refinance your student loans, open a checking account, and make deposits into the account. In addition, Laurel Road offers a credit card that provides 2% cashback for student loan repayment.

Laurel Road is reputable as an FDIC-insured bank. It’s also part of KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial service companies.

BEST CHOICE 2022
9.2 / 10
Editorial Score
Laurel Road
Quick view:
Editorial Score
9.2 / 10
Online Services
Applications, Quote management, etc.
10 / 10
Customer Service
10 / 10
Available in all states
10 / 10
Available loan types
8.0 / 10
Products
8.0 / 10

Check Your Rates with Laurel Road

Products & Services

Laurel Road provides graduate student loans, student loan refinancing, and personal loans. It also has mortgages and mortgage refinancing, although it does not offer HELOCs or government-backed home loans. In addition to these products, Laurel Road also has banking services such as checking and savings accounts.

Student Loan Refinancing

With Laurel Road, you can refinance as little as $5,000, with no loan maximum. This lender could be a good option if you’re looking to consolidate a large amount of student debt into one loan.

Without discounts, starting variable interest rates range from 2.14% to 6.15%. Fixed APRs are 2.75% to 6.25%. Terms include 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 years. These rates and terms are fairly average compared to those of other lenders. To see what rates you could qualify for, you can use the online rate check too on the website.

Laurel Road doesn’t charge any application, origination, or prepayment fees. This is standard within the student loan industry, though some lenders do charge origination fees.

To qualify for student loan refinancing, you’ll need a completed four-year undergraduate or graduate degree from a Title IV accredited institution. If you have parent loans, your child does not need a completed degree for you to refinance.

Laurel Road offers several opportunities for interest rate reductions. First, you can get a 0.25% discount when you sign up for automatic payment withdrawals from your bank account. You can also get another 0.25% discount when you open a checking account while signing up for a student loan refinance. This discount applies for the first three months even if you do not use the account.

After that initial 3-month period, the discount drops to 0% unless you make deposits. Deposits of $2,500 to $7,499 allow you to maintain the 0.25% discount, while deposits of $7,500 or more earn you a 0.55% discount. Laurel Road will also provide you with a $300 bonus when you make a direct deposit of $2,500 or more within the first 60 days of opening the checking account.

Laurel Road has a similar offering for savings accounts. When you open a savings account while applying for a student loan refinance, you get a 0.25% interest rate discount for the first two billing cycles of the loan. Then, your average daily balance determines the discount. If you maintain $1,000 to $9,999 in the account, you’ll get a 0.10% discount. If you maintain $20,000 or more, you’ll get a 0.30% discount.

This discount program is unique among student loan companies. Although it takes some upkeep of the bank accounts, it could be worth it. It’s important to note that if you close your checking account within 180 days of opening it, Laurel Bank will charge you a $25 early closure fee. You cannot combine the checking and savings account offers.

Laurel Bank also offers a credit card with student loan benefits. For every $1 spent, you get 2% cashback you can redeem toward your loan. For example, if you spend $1,000, you’d earn $20 towards your loans. You can also use the cashback toward your statement balance, though you only get 1% for every $1 spent. That equates to $10 for every $1,000 spent.

Some associate degrees may also qualify for refinance. You must either be in the final term of your degree with an employment offer or be employed in an eligible field for at least 12 months. Eligible areas of study are:

  • Nursing
  • Cardiovascular Technologist (CVT)
  • Dental Hygiene
  • EMT/Paramedics
  • Diagnostic Medical Sonography
  • Surgical Technologist
  • Physical Therapy Assistant
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Occupational Therapy Assistant
  • Nuclear Technician
  • Respiratory Therapy
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Radiologic/MRI Technologist

Check Your Rates with Laurel Road

Healthcare Graduate School Loan

Laurel Road can finance $5,000 up to your entire cost of attendance (COA) for eligible healthcare graduate programs, which include dentistry (DDS/DMD), nursing (MA or DNP), physician assistant (PA), and medicine (MD/DO). Not all degrees are eligible at all schools, but Laurel Road’s prequalification tool can easily determine if your degree qualifies.

Terms are 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 years. You can choose a variable interest rate, which starts at 3% to 6.83%, or a fixed interest rate, which ranges from 3.10% to 6.93%. These rates are below the market average. For example, federal student loans start at 5.28% fixed rates and SoFi starts at 4.13%.

You can add a 0.25% interest rate reduction when you sign up for autopay. While this is a common discount, Laurel Road also offers a unique 0.25% interest rate discount when you successfully graduate and provide proof of employment. Your job doesn’t need to be in your field of study to qualify.

This lender offers several flexible repayment options. They include:

  • Full deferment – No payments while in school and for 60 days after graduation
  • Flat repayment – Pay a flat $50 per month during school and the 60-day grace period.
  • Interest-only repayment – Pay monthly interest during school and the 60-day grace period.
  • Immediate repayment – Make full payments of principal and interest right away.

You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a valid I-551 card to qualify with Laurel Road. You must also maintain at least half-time enrollment in your degree program.

Check Your Rates with Laurel Road

Mortgage

KeyBank, Laurel Road’s parent company, directly lends and services mortgages in all 50 states, as well as Washington, D.C. It has mortgages with as little as a 5% down payment – most traditional lenders require 20% down. However, Laurel Road does not provide FHA loans, which only require a 3.5% down payment, or VA, or USDA loans, which require 0% down.

Laurel Road has 15, 20, and 30-year fixed mortgages starting at 3.27% APR. Its adjustable-rate mortgages (ARM) include 5/6, 7/6, and 10/6 terms with APRs starting at 3.04%. ARM interest rates can increase after the initial fixed period. For example, with a 5/6 ARM, your rate is locked in for the first 5 years, then it is subject to change every 6 months. ARMs assume a 30-year term. Overall, Laurel Road’s interest rates are average compared to those of other mortgage companies.

This lender provides a downloadable prequalification letter upon application to use when submitting offers on homes. It also allows you to lock in your interest rate for 45 days. You can request lock extensions, although they may require an additional fee which Laurel Road does not disclose. Most lenders provide similar assurances, though others offer rate locks for up to 60 days.

Laurel Road also has a rewards program for its mortgages, which could earn you up to $650 towards closing costs. You get points for completing the most cost-effective, efficient tasks toward your loan application process. The company charges an application and processing fee, but you receive a lender credit on your loan estimate for the amount.

Laurel Road also has a physician mortgage program, tailored specifically to doctors and dentists. You can get up to 100% financing – that’s 0% down – for loans of $750,000 or less. The loan must be for a primary residence with no cash out. The physician mortgage provides several options without private mortgage insurance (PMI), so it could be a great option to avoid a large down payment and PMI. No lenders offer a similar program.

Whether you want to get a lower APR or pull cash out of your home, Laurel Road offers accurate pre-approved rates for mortgage refinancing. Its mortgage rewards program also applies, so you could get up to $650 off closing costs.

Check Your Rates with Laurel Road

Personal Loan

Laurel Road’s unsecured personal loans allow you to borrow $5,000 to $80,000 for any reason, but different loan purposes have different maximum limits. Most personal loans have a maximum of $35,000.

If you’re using the loan for debt consolidation, home improvement, or major purchases, you may be able to borrow $45,000. Medical residents and physicians may borrow up to $80,000.

Terms include 36, 48, and 60 months. APRs range from 7.50% to 25%, which is higher than average – some lenders offer rates starting at 5.99%.

Rates and Terms

Rates and terms vary widely depending on loan type. Generally, Laurel Road’s terms are on par with the industry average, with lower rates than the competition for graduate student loans and student loan refinancing.

All loans are eligible for a 0.25% autopay discount. Student loan refinances have the best opportunities for discounts, with the option to get an additional 0.55% discount with a checking account or 0.30% with a savings account. Laurel Road’s mortgages also offer a rewards program that could earn you hundreds off your closing costs. Overall, Laurel Road offers some very unique discounts that you won’t get from other lenders.

Most of Laurel Road’s products don’t require any application, origination, or prepayment fees. However, its mortgages do include an application fee that you can get back later in the loan process. All loan types do include late fees of up to $28 after 15 days. There’s also a $20 non-sufficient funds fee.

Application Process and Qualifications

Laurel Road lets you prequalify in less than 5 minutes without a hard credit check. The entire application process is online and varies depending on loan type, but will require the following information:

  • Personal information, like birthdate, address, and Social Security number
  • Contact information, like phone number and email
  • Proof of employment and income
  • Desired loan amount and purpose

If you’re applying for student loans or student loan refinancing, you’ll need to enter details about your school, degree, cost of attendance, and existing student loans (if any). You will also need information about your cosigner if you have one.

Qualifications depend on your loan type, but you must be at least 18 and a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a valid I-551 card. You’ll need a credit score of at least 660, though a better score will get you lower interest rates. Laurel Road will also consider your debt-to-income ratio, or DTI, although it doesn’t have a set minimum ratio.

Check Your Rates with Laurel Road

Approval Time

You can get prequalified rates within five minutes. Approval can take up to 30 days for student loans and personal loans. This timeline is standard for student loans, although other lenders offer instant personal loan approval. Mortgages from Laurel Road generally take about 45 days to close, which is average.

Customer Service

Laurel Road has an impressive customer service offering, with agents available seven days a week via phone, email, and live chat. Its hours of service are 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET. Most lenders don’t have service on Sundays or live chat, so Laurel Road goes above and beyond the competition to offer support whenever and however you need it.

Summary

Ultimately, Laurel Road could be a good option for a student loan refinance if you’re willing to open and fund a checking or savings account. You might get a better annual percentage yield (APY) with your accounts at other banks, so it’s worth doing the math to find the more affordable choice.

The same can be said with Laurel Road’s credit card – it presents a unique opportunity to get a cashback to pay off your loans, but other credit cards offer more cash rewards that you can use however you want. If you can’t qualify for those cards, a Laurel Road credit card might be a good choice.

Laurel Road truly caters to healthcare professionals with unique options like its student loan employment discount. The healthcare student loan also provides flexible repayment, an added bonus. This is the only lender with a physician mortgage that lets you put 0% down and avoid PMI.

Check Your Rates with Laurel Road

FAQ

Is Laurel Road a fintech company?

Yes, as a digital banking platform, Laurel Road is a fintech company. In recent years, it became part of KeyBank, one of America’s largest bank-based financial services companies and Member FDIC. In this way, it combines both fintech capabilities and bank credibility.

Is Laurel Road a legitimate company?

Yes, Laurel Road is an FDIC-insured bank. It has almost a decade in business and has helped refinance billions of dollars in student loans.

Is Laurel Road a good choice for student loan refinancing?

Yes, Laurel Road could be a good choice for student loan refinancing. It offers lower-than-average interest rates and a 0.25% interest rate reduction for autopay. Plus, you can get another 0.25% to 0.55% interest rate reduction when you sign up for a Laurel Road checking account and make qualifying direct deposits.

Ginny Dorn
Written by

Ginny Dorn is a freelance personal finance writer. She specializes in credit card debt, personal loans, and mortgages. She graduated from Western Illinois University with a bachelor's degree in family and consumer sciences.

Pros:
  • 0.25% to 0.80% interest rate reduction on student loan refinancing
  • No maximum amount for refinance loans
  • Special discounts for healthcare workers
Cons:
  • Student loan refinance requires completed degree
  • Not all associate degree programs qualify for refinance
  • Cannot postpone payment if you return to school
Bottom Line

Laurel Road could be a good option for refinancing your student loans if you have a completed degree with at least $5,000 in debt. While its rates are average, this lender offers several opportunities to get discounts. However, it might not be a good fit if you want to refinance an associate degree, as Laurel Road only accepts select areas of study in healthcare, like nursing.

Laurel Road could also be a good option if you’re pursuing a graduate degree in healthcare. The lender offers several repayment options, including deferment. Plus, you could get a 0.25% employment discount after graduating.