Laurel Road Student Loan Refinancing
Laurel Road offers the stability of a traditional bank, but is still able to provide interest rates competitive with the internet based lenders.
Article updated 8/14/17 to include the latest interest rate information.
Laurel Road student loan refinancing is a product of Darien Rowayton Bank and many of the pros and cons of Laurel Road come from the fact that it is the product of a longstanding bank rather than an internet startup.
While the name Laurel Road may be new to the student loan refinancing world, Darien Rowayton Bank (DRB) has been around a while. In fact, the Laurel Road is just the new name that DRB has given its existing student loan service. The actual terms and conditions have not changed.
Laurel Road Basics
Laurel Road offers both fixed-rate and variable-rate student loans. Borrowers have the option of 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 year repayment terms. Generally speaking, the longer term loans have slightly higher interest rates, but lower monthly payments because the loan is spread out over a longer period of time. Interest rates on the variable-rate loans start at 2.99% with a current max of 6.42%. The fixed-rate loans start at 3.99% and go as high as 6.99%. The minimum refinance or consolidation loan is $5,000 and there is no maximum.
Like other legitimate lenders, Laurel Road has no loan origination fees or prepayment fees.
Additionally, Laurel Road also offer loan refinancing specifically tailored to parents who took out loans for their children as well as physicians in their residency.
A Review of the Laurel Road Advantages…
One of the big advantages with Laurel Road is that it is the product of bank, rather than a student loan company. Banks face greater scrutiny in their lending practices, meaning borrowers face a much lower likelihood of lender shenanigans when applying for a loan.
Laurel Road also offers very tight interest rate ranges. They do not offer the lowest advertised rates on the market, but when borrowers apply with several lenders to find the best rate option, Laurel Road often has the best rate.
If you are a medical professional, Laurel Road has a number of unique services tailored especially to your situation. This includes a residency and fellowship repayment option that allows you to pay just $100 per month until you become an attending physician. This allows borrowers to immediately lower interest rates and keep payments down until their finances allow for the higher payments.
Finally, Laurel Road offers a $150 bonus to new customers. Borrowers should still focus on finding the lender who offers the best interest rates, but the new customer bonus is a nice perk for going through the steps to refinance.
Laurel Road Disadvantages
The major disadvantages to Laurel Road apply to pretty much ever other lender on the market.
First, they allow consolidation of federal student loans in their private loan refinance. For some borrowers, this is a very smart financial move. Reducing the interest rates on federal loans can save thousands over the life of the loan. However, taking this step could also be a huge mistake because means that student loan forgiveness programs and income-driven repayment plans are no longer an option. Make sure you are certain you want to give up the perks of having a federal student loan before you refinance.
Second, Laurel Road does offer a co-signer release program, but borrowers should advise their co-signers not to expect or rely upon a co-signer release. For starters, borrowers are not able to even apply for a co-signer release for the first 36 months their loan is in repayment. At that point, a release application can be submitted, but won’t necessarily be approved. Because of the many steps and uncertain nature of co-signer release programs, we encourage all co-signers on all loans to plan on being on the loan until it is paid in full.
Laurel Road, originally Darien Rowayton Bank, has consistently appeared in the top five of our student loan refinancing rankings. Despite the fact that their advertised rates are a little higher than some competitors, the fact that they often offer the best actual rate means borrowers would be smart to check their rate with Laurel Road as they try to find the best refinance option.