Laurel Road Student Loans Review

Laurel Road offers abundant student loan perks, especially for healthcare

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Laurel Road

Laurel Road

Investopedia’s Rating
4.1

Our Take

Laurel Road offers student loan refinancing with a flashy twist, offering more ways to lower your rate and pay off your loan even faster. Medical professionals will especially appreciate the special pricing and perks available to make repayment easier.

  • Pros and Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Overview
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Low cap on interest rates

  • Abundant perks and rewards programs

  • Children can take over parent student loans

  • Special benefits for healthcare professionals

Cons
  • Requires a degree in most cases

  • No longer offering graduate student loans

  • Limited refinancing available for people with associate degrees

Key Takeaways
  • Laurel Road is the online student loan division of KeyBank, N.A, with MOHELA as its loan servicer.
  • Laurel Road rewards you with a lower student loan rate for using its other banking products, including checking accounts and credit cards.
  • Student loan refinance term lengths range from 5 to 20 years.
  • Laurel Road offers lower rates on student loan refinancing for medical professionals along with special repayment programs for medical fellows and residents.
Company Overview

Laurel Road opened up shop in 2013 when it began offering student loan refinances. That's still its primary business, but since being acquired by KeyBank in 2019, it's added digital banking products into the mix, including checking and savings accounts, personal loans, mortgages, and credit cards. Today it resembles a fancy fintech company more than anything, with its attractive advertisements featuring unique benefits and perks you won't find with other lenders. 

As a student loan company, Laurel Road's reputation doesn't stick out as being particularly good or bad. It has a mild rating on Trustpilot and a few scattered complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

  • Year Founded 2013
  • Official Website www.laurelroad.com
  • Loans Offered Refinance
  • Customer Service Online: Through a message form on its website, live chat, or your online account portal. I Email: help@laurelroad.com I Hours: Monday–Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. EST. Saturday and Sunday, 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. EST.

Laurel Road Student Loans: Quick Look

Loan Type Variable APR  Fixed APR 
Student loan refinance 4.99%–7.90% 4.74%–8.00%
Student loan refinance for medical residents and fellows  5.90%–7.71%  5.99%–7.81% 

Pros Explained

  • Low cap on interest rates: The low rates you see most lenders advertise aren’t what you'll actually be paying unless you're a stellar refinancing candidate. Some people will end up paying much more, especially if they’ve got bad credit. If that's the case, Laurel Road may be a good option because the maximum rate you'll pay, if approved, is a lot lower than most other lenders. 
  • Abundant perks and rewards programs: Laurel Road offers way more incentives than most lenders. If you open a Laurel Road checking account and meet direct deposit requirements, you can lower your student loan rate. It also offers discounts with partner companies like Brooklinen and TaskRabbit, a referral program, and even a student loan cash back rewards credit card (though this is available with other student loans too).
  • Children can take over parent student loans: Normally, once you've taken out a parent student loan for your kid's education, that's it—it's your loan to pay off. But unlike most student loan refinancers, Laurel Road will let your child take over responsibility for paying off the loan you took out for their education, if they're willing and able to qualify on their own. 
  • Special benefits for healthcare professionals: If you're a doctor, physician assistant, optometrist, or dentist, Laurel Road will knock a few points off the normal refinance rate for you. If you're a resident or a fellow, Laurel Road offers a $100/month payment plan while you're finishing your studies.   

Cons Explained

  • Requires a degree in most cases: If you didn't finish your degree, you generally aren't eligible for refinancing with Laurel Road. The only exception is if you're in the last semester of your studies and you have a signed job offer, or if you're a parent who's refinancing student loans you took out for your child's education. 
  • No longer offering graduate student loans: Laurel Road began offering private student loans for people still in graduate school starting in 2019, but they've since suspended the program for the 2022–2023 school year. 
  • Limited refinancing available for people with associate degrees: Laurel Road doesn't offer refinancing on student loan debt you took out for an associate degree unless you can meet some pretty strict criteria. Only certain healthcare-related associate degrees are eligible, and you'll have to have been working in that same field for at least a year. 

Whether or not you qualify to refinance with Laurel Road, it's especially important to shop around with other student loan refinancing companies to make sure you get the best deal on your loan.

Student Loans Offered By Laurel Road

Student Loan Refinance

Laurel Road flirted with offering private student loans for graduate students still in school in 2019, but it recently shut the program down for the 2022–2023 school year. Stay tuned to see if it relaunches again.

In the meantime, here are the details for its student loan refinancing options.

Terms for Student Loan Refinance
Variable APR 4.99%–7.90%, or 5.90%–7.71% for medical residents and fellows
Fixed APR  4.74%–8.00%, or 5.99%–7.81% for medical residents and fellows 
Loan Amounts  $5,000 minimum; $50,000 maximum for student loans for associate degrees; no maximum on other loans 
Loan Terms  5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years 

Loan Eligibility and Approval

Laurel Road has similar loan eligibility requirements to other lenders.  

  • Minimum credit score: Not disclosed, but generally looks for good credit
  • Residency requirements: U.S. citizens and permanent residents in all of the 50 states plus Puerto Rico
  • Requires a degree: Laurel Road requires a degree unless you're in the last semester of studies and have a signed job offer, or you're a parent refinancing loans you took out for your child's tuition. 

Are Co-Signers Required?

No. If you're not able to meet the eligibility requirements on your own, though, Laurel Road does allow you to add a co-signer to your loan.

Is Loan Pre-Qualification Available?

Yes. You can easily get pre-qualified and check your rate online in just a few minutes on Laurel Road's website. 

Length of Time for Loan Approval and Disbursement

Laurel Road doesn't disclose its process to approve and send out loans. 

It's important to remember to continue making payments on your old student loan until you get confirmation it's been paid off when you're refinancing. That way you'll avoid a missed payment as the money gets shuffled around. 

Loan Fees and Repayment Options

Loan Fees

As long as you pay off your loan as scheduled, you won't have to pay any fees with a Laurel Road private student loan. If you miss your payment, however, you'll pay a late fee of either 5% of your payment amount, or $28—whichever is less. If you make a payment but it's returned by your bank because of insufficient funds, you'll pay a $20 fee. 

Loan Discounts

One of the nice things about Laurel Road is that you'll get multiple opportunities to save money as you pay off your loan. Like many lenders, Laurel Road offers a discount off your rate if you sign up for autopay—a 0.25% rate discount, to be precise. 

Since partnering up with Key Bank, Laurel Road also offers an online checking account. If you sign up for a new checking account during your student loan refinance, Laurel Road will knock another 0.25% off your rate for the first three months. After that, you can keep that rate discount in place if you have more than $2,500 in direct deposits per month, or even bump the discount up to 0.55% if you have more than $7,500 in direct deposits per month. 

If you're a medical professional trying to refinance your student loans, Laurel Road also offers a rate discount. This discount may vary, and you can see what it is for your situation by filling out the student loan refinance calculator on Laurel Road's Healthcare Banking page. 

Finally, Laurel Road also offers a unique cash back credit card: 2% of every purchase will go toward paying down the balance of your student loan, rather than as cash in your pocket. (If you do want cash, you'll only earn 1% cash back, not 2%.) However, you don't necessarily need Laurel Road student loans to take advantage of this credit card, since it works with 95% of other student loan issuers too.  

Repayment Options

Laurel Road only offers two repayment options: a fixed-rate loan with set payments, or a variable-rate loan with payments that can fluctuate up and down according to the whims of the economy, within the limits of your loan contract. 

If you're a medical resident or fellow, however, you can choose an affordable repayment plan with $100 monthly payments while you're finishing your training. Keep in mind this may not be enough to fully cover the amount of interest each month (especially if you have a very large balance). In that case, interest will pile up in a separate ledger and won't capitalize (i.e., be added to your main student loan balance where it spawns more interest) until you've finished your residency or fellowship. 

Rewards

Again, Laurel Road goes above and beyond, offering discounts at popular lifestyle merchants like Brooklinen and P.volve through its Perks program. It also offers a refer-a-friend program where you can earn $400 up to 10 times if people successfully use your referral link to take out a personal loan or complete a student loan refinance. 

Loan Forbearance and Discharge Options

If you run into problems making your payments, Laurel Road is willing to grant you forbearance on a case-by-case basis. This postpones your due date until later, but interest will continue adding to your balance during this time. There is no fee to enter student loan forbearance. 

Is Student Loan Refinancing Available?

Yes. Laurel Road almost exclusively offers student loan refinancing. You can refinance any combination of federal and private loans, although keep in mind you'll lose any protections on federal loans by doing so. Parents are also eligible to refinance parent student loans, and your child can even take them over as their own if they can meet Laurel Road's loan requirements. 

Customer Service

Laurel Road has a few customer complaints on file with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, but not as many as other major lenders. If you need to get ahold of customer service, you can reach them as follows:

  • Online: Through a message form on its website, live chat, or your online account portal
  • Email: help@laurelroad.com
  • Mail: 3 Corporate Drive, 4th floor, Shelton, CT 06484
  • Hours: Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern Time. Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET

Applying for a Laurel Road Student Loan

You can easily check your rates by filling out a quick form on Laurel Road's website. You'll need to provide your contact information, Social Security number, employment information, and student loan information. 

From there you'll get a custom quote, and if you decide to proceed with the application you'll need to upload supporting documentation, including a current loan payoff statement, into an online portal. Laurel Road will finish the underwriting process, verify your final loan options, and ask for a signature on the contract. Once you've signed the agreement, Laurel Road will send the funds to your old lender and your first loan payment will be due in one month. 

Alternative Choices

  Laurel Road Education Loan Finance (ELFI)  Discover 
Loan Types Offered Refinance; refinance for medical professionals Undergraduate; graduate; parent Undergraduate; graduate; parent; specialty loans 
Refinance Fixed APR  4.99%–7.90% 4.83%–7.64%  5.99%–10.49% 
Refinance Variable APR  4.74%–8.00%  3.99%–7.24%  6.62%–10.37% 
Origination/Administrative Fee  None  None  None 
Repayment Options  Fixed payment; variable-rate payment  Deferment; fixed; interest-only; full payment  Deferment; fixed; interest-only; full payment 
Refinance Available  Yes Yes  Yes 

Want to see a much broader selection of lenders? See our picks for the best student loan refinance companies to find the best possible rates.

Final Verdict

If you're a graduate looking for good rates on loans and you have a penchant for fun and interesting ways to save money—especially if you're a professional in the healthcare field—then Laurel Road could be a good choice. It's also one of the few lenders that let children take over their parent's student refinance loans. But if you didn't complete your degree or you're looking for the absolute lowest rates possible, then we might suggest that you keep looking.

Methodology

Investopedia is dedicated to providing consumers with unbiased, comprehensive reviews of student loan lenders. We collected thousands of data points across 30 lenders—including loan types, interest rates, fees, loan amounts, and repayment terms—to ensure that we help readers make the right borrowing decision for their education needs.

Article Sources
Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
  1. LaurelRoad.com. "Graduate School Loan Rates."

  2. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "Consumer Complaint Database." 

  3. Laurel Road. "Laurel Road Perks! for Members." 

  4. Laurel Road. "Medical Resident & Fellow Student Loan Refinancing." 

  5. Laurel Road. "Refinance Medical School Loans – Special Pricing." 

  6. Cision PR Newswire. "Laurel Road Launches Graduate School Loans on Its Proprietary Platform for a More Flexible, Digital Customer Experience." 

  7. Laurel Road. "Student Loan - FAQ." 

  8. Laurel Road. "How To Qualify for Student Loan Refinancing."

  9. Laurel Road. "Refinancing plus Laurel Road Linked Checking." 

  10. Laurel Road. "Laurel Road Student Loan Cashback Card." 

  11. Laurel Road. "Refer-a-Friend Program." 

  12. Laurel Road. "Parent Loan Refinancing."