Laurel Road summary
- Low variable and fixed interest rates
- Works with both private and Federal student loans
- Preference for borrowers with good to excellent credit
- Underwriting requirements are unclear
Has learning resources, access to rates, mobile app
Customer services and support
Multiple ways of reaching lender, wide range of hours
Offers multiple repayment plans- but no special repayment programs
Loan Types Covered
Covers most student loan types
Doesn't cover bad credit, low income borrowers
Laurel Road at a Glance
Laurel Road is a digital banking platform and brand of KeyBank that provides tailored solutions to support the financial wellbeing of healthcare and business professionals. Laurel Road’s banking and lending solutions include Student Loan Refinancing, Mortgages, Personal Loans, Student Loan Cashback℠ Credit Card, tailored savings accounts, and more.
Since 2013, Laurel Road has helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $9 billion in federal and private school loans. In April 2019, Laurel Road became part of KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies and Member FDIC.
Suitable for Whom?
Laurel Road’s services make it an ideal partner for young, recent graduates who are looking for sustainable ways to pay their student loans while building their careers. Laurel Road’s services are geared toward this younger demographic, with offerings such as student loan refinancing and consolidation. Moreover, they are able to offer low rates that are ideal for graduates who are looking to avoid overpaying interest on their existing loans. Their interest rates are low because the company prefers to work with lower-risk borrowers who generally already have good credit standing. Laurel Road offers some debt forgiveness, though usually only for cases of extreme duress—such as a significant reduction in income due to disability—or death. Overall, Laurel Road’s services are a good choice for young adults who are looking to fast-track their futures without the burden of student loan debt.
Laurel Road offers a streamlined loan service for its customers. Their focus on student loans and recent graduates means that their services are designed to make borrowers’ lives easier. One of the things we liked the most is the company’s inclusion of forbearance, deferment, and loan forgiveness in their loan terms. If you unexpectedly lose your job, or become disabled, Laurel Road can help by deferring payments for up to three months at a time. In some extreme cases, they are even willing to completely forgive your loan, though this is usually the result of death or an extreme circumstance. Another perk offered by Laurel Road is their discount program, which you can qualify for by signing up for electronic fund transfers. Even better, Laurel Road offers a $300 bonus if you refer someone to one of their loan services. Here are some of the biggest highlights for Laurel Road:
- Low fixed and variable interest rates
- Useful insights available on the company’s blog
- Receive in-person support at any of the bank’s locations
- Refer borrowers and reap the rewards with the referrals program
- Get an interest rate discount by signing up for electronic fund transfers
- Flexible repayment terms
- Transparent fees and charges
- Forbearance, deferment, and forgiveness for loans
The Application Process
When you are ready to get started with Laurel Road’s student loan refinancing, it is very easy to access the funds you need. The first step is to fill out an online form through Laurel Road’s website, which will include a soft credit check. This will determine if you prequalify for refinancing. This prequalification makes the loan process significantly more efficient. Once completed, you will be prompted to upload your documentation. After Laurel Road reviews your application and documents, they will send you a promissory note that includes your interest rate, terms, and important disclosures for you to approve and sign. As soon as that is signed and returned, Laurel Road will repay your existing loans and offer you the opportunity to sign up for electronic fund transfers to receive a discount of up to 0.25%.
Loan Terms – Essentials
Our research revealed that Laurel Road offers some of the most flexible repayment terms in the industry. Additionally, they do not require heavy documentation or incredibly sensitive personal details to get the application process started. While the initial form requires only some basic personal details as well as basic financial information, Laurel Road does notify you that refinancing approval may require more sensitive personal details. These requests may relate to your employment history, disposable income, credit history, and your debt-to-income ratio. We would have liked to see a clearer list on their website, but they are happy to provide this information if you contact customer support. While their requirements are geared toward borrowers with better credit, they were reasonable and not exclusive towards other individuals with lower creditworthiness but generally good qualifications. To get approved for a loan, Laurel Road requests the following conditions be met:
- That you have steady employment
- That you are a recent graduate or parent of one
- That you are a US citizen or a permanent resident with a valid I-551 green card
To expedite the refinancing process, you should have the following on hand before you start your application:
- A photo ID such as your passport or driver’s license
- 2 recent paystubs
- Proof of graduation such as your transcripts or a diploma
- Payoff statements from your current student loan provider
- A license to practice if you are a medical professional
We were pleased to see that Laurel Road can help you refinance both private student loans and Federal loans. The bank does note that for Federal loan refinancing, you will lose access to benefits such income-based repayment and pay-as-you earn programs.
Another major positive for Laurel Road is their loan amounts, which start from a minimum of $5,000 but can reach as high as the full amount of your outstanding student loans. Additionally, you can earn money from Laurel Road simply by referring friends and family to their personal and student loan services. For every person referred who qualifies for a loan, you are entitled to receive a $300 bonus, and there is no limit to the number of times you may refer borrowers or receive the benefits.
Laurel Road is also very transparent about their fees and charges. The bank does not charge you an origination or loan prepayment fee, although they do include late fees which is the lower amount of 5.00% or $28 as well as a $20 surcharge for any returned checks or electronic payments.
After you are approved for a refinancing loan, you may choose between terms of 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 years, a testament to the repayment flexibility Laurel Road offers. With all available loan terms, you may choose between variable or fixed rates. Thanks to the bank’s commitment to working with borrowers in good standing, quoted rates are favorable. Laurel Road clearly displays their repayment terms, rates, and other important details on their website, making it easy to find all the important details you need when exploring refinancing. If you have more questions, the bank offers in-person consultations at any of their locations in Connecticut. Furthermore, if you want to access even better repayment terms and rates, you can also include a co-signer in your application.
How Safe is It?
Laurel Road takes their customers’ security and privacy concerns seriously. They take the necessary steps to provide industry-standard practices to ensure your data’s safety. The bank does collect some data related to your browsing for advertising and marketing purposes, but your information is kept anonymous and stored securely. Additionally, the company’s servers are protected by both physical and electronic security measures and redundancies to avoid hacking, data theft, or even loss because of accidents or natural disasters.
Help & Support
If you require assistance, Laurel Road can help you through several different channels. If you prefer to speak to a service representative in person, you can visit any of the bank’s locations throughout Connecticut. If you are not in the state, you can still contact the bank via telephone or e-mail six days a week during regular business hours. We found the bank’s representatives to be well-informed and courteous when responding to our inquiries. Additionally, e-mail queries were responded to promptly, generally within one business day.
Deep Dive into Pros and Cons
Overall, Laurel Road offers strong student loan services, although the bank does have some room for improvement.
- We would like to see a clearer explanation of the company’s underwriting requirements to make it easier to prepare ahead of time.
- Laurel Road could improve its educational services, adding a knowledge base or video tutorials that could help customers understand the lending process and its consequences.
- The bank could also add a co-signer release, letting them be removed from the loan after a period of on-time payments.
Laurel Road’s many value-added benefits and features compensate for these minor drawbacks. Some features of the bank’s student loans include:
- Low variable and fixed interest rates make refinancing a real possibility.
- The bank can work with both private and Federal student loans.
- In-person assistance for customers is available in the Connecticut area.
- Interest rate discounts are offered to borrowers opting to activate electronic fund transfers.
- The referral program gives you $300 for every person you refer that is approved for a personal or student loan.
Laurel Road is committed to helping young professionals fast-track their careers and lives by helping them refinance their outstanding debt. We were happy to see the bank’s dedication to offering low rates and flexible repayment terms that can fit a variety of circumstances and requirements. Additionally, the bank furnishes incentives such as discounts and referral bonuses, allowing you to save and make money even as you gradually pay off your refinanced student loan. Laurel Road’s customer support and in-person assistance also make it appealing, as you can rest easy knowing that there is someone ready to answer doubts or issues that may arise regarding your student loan. We were impressed with the company’s emphasis on young adults who require help that is not always available to them. Overall, Laurel Road delivers a good alternative for your student loan refinancing needs.