Laurel Road Review
Laurel Road Student Loans is an online lender that provides student loan refinancing and graduate school loans for approved programs. Students in the healthcare can refinance their loans once they're in their final semester of school.
However, students from other departments with other degrees outside the health industry need to wait to refinance until they are employed for 12 months after graduation.
On Laurel Secure Website
Laurel Road Student Loans started providing loans as far back as 2013. Since then, they have reached out to many students to help refinance their loans and fund their graduate education.
Thanks to their organized service, students can benefit from the low rates and lots of repayment options. Laurel Road Student loans are healthy alternatives to the traditional federal graduate school loan, especially if you're a dental or medical student, – It's cosigner release policy may be a high level of a drawback as well.
Rates And Terms
|Refinancing Loan||Private Loans|
|Loan amounts||$5,000 – $50,000||$5,000 – $300,000|
|Fixed APR||2.80% – 6.00%||2.80% – 6.00%|
|Variable APR||1.89% – 5.90%||1.89% – 5.90%|
|Fees||5% of late/unpaid amount or $28 depending on the lower amount after 15 days.||5% of late/unpaid amount or $28 depending on the lower amount after 15 days.|
|Time to funding||In a weeks' time.||In a weeks' time.|
|Loan Terms||Up to 20 years.||5-20 years.|
|Minimum credit score||700||700|
|Minimum income||Not disclosed||Not disclosed|
|Location||50 states in the U.S||50 states in the U.S.|
|Must have graduated?||Minimum of an Associate Degree for selected professions. Borrowers in their last year can refinance.|
Compared to some other lenders, Laurel Road's minimum credit score is significantly on the high side. However, you can add a cosigner to increase your chances of qualifying for the loan. Besides, there is no minimum income disclosed, which is rare for a lender. Certainly, they request the borrower's income, which shows they consider it.
As a borrower, you need to be a US citizen or a permanent resident to benefit from what they provide. As a permanent resident, you should have an I-551 card, otherwise called a green card. Regarding location, they have their services available for residents in the 50 states of the US.
Refinancing With Laurel Road
Similar to other lenders, Laurel Road provides student loan resources to those in need. However, they offer loans to professional students of specific disciplines. Examples include Dentistry (DO/DDS/DMD), Engineering, Medicine (MD), Law (JD), Nursing (DNP), Business (MBA), and Physician Assistant (PA). As a borrower, you get a soft credit check to qualify and see what rate you receive.
The refinancing loan amount starts at $5,000, with a maximum of $50,000 for Associate Degree Loans. For refinancing loans, it starts at 1.89% variable APR and 2.80% fixed APR. Besides, the refinancing loans take as long as up to 20 years for repayment. Impressively, Laurel Road provides a grace period of 6 months as well for all borrowers. Please note that if you refinance more than $300,000, the lender will immediately break it into two loans. Concerning the fees like application fees, origination fees, and more, it's non-existent. In other words, the lender will not charge for applying for the student loan.
Laurel Road allows the transfer of parent loans to the child with no form of prepayment penalty. Even though they have little to no fees, late payments are penalized. It's a fee equal to 5% of the late payment or $28, whichever is lesser, after 15 days.
Laurel Road's Pros & Cons
Lenders have different advantages and disadvantages. For this reason, it's essential to properly weigh both the benefits and downsides of any lender, including Laurel Road. Impressively, Laurel Road remains one of the trusted means of financing one's higher education. There are several pros and a few drawbacks to utilizing this lender. Here's a breakdown of the pros and cons of Laurel Road:
It's impressive that Laurel Road provides five loan terms. They range from five to twenty years in length. Moreover, there are several repayment options for borrowers, including the full deferment while in school, flat repayment, and the interest-only repayment. You can also pick a loan term and repayment plan that works for your budget and plan.
Unlike other reputable competitors, Laurel Road has highly competitive rates. For instance, the lender's fixed-rate loans are 2.80% to 6.00%, which is relatively competitive. The percentage gap is high, including the 0.25% autopay discount that's available for borrowers. Comparing this to the federal loans with interest rates of 7.08%, Laurel Road makes a huge difference
It's rare to find a lender that provides employment and autopay discounts. For Laurel Road, there are two interest rate discounts that you can gain. One of them is the 0.25% discount for registering for automatic payments and a 0.25% discount when you graduate and get employed. When both discounts are utilized, the interest rate can go down as low as 0.5%.
When utilizing Laurel Road, you may discover one this impressive feature. You have the opportunity to check to see whether you qualify using a soft credit check. This process doesn't affect your credit score.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, every lender has a specific grace period for loan repayment. For Laurel Road, there is a six-month grace period. Some other reputable lenders provide longer periods for loan repayment.
As a borrower, you can add a cosigner to your loan application. However, the lender doesn't have a unique process for cosigner releases. So, you may be unable to have a cosigner removed from the loan in the future.
There's a high level of requirements for borrowers seeking to benefit from the program. Private loans are designed for students pursuing degrees in health care. So, not all graduate programs will qualify. Ensure that you confirm whether your school and program qualify before applying.
Laurel Road Repayment Options
Laurel Road provides four different repayment options. Compared to other lenders, that's a comfortable number of repayment options. Hence, there are several impressive options that students will find highly suitable. For all graduate student loans and refinancing options, the lender offers five to twenty years repayment plans. Here are the repayment options that you should comprehend before picking Laurel Road:
- Interest-only repayment: For this repayment plan, it deals with when the borrower is in school or during the grace period. In other words, the payments occur during a six-month period after graduation.
- Immediate repayment: Just like the name implies, this works relatively quicker than other available options. Immediately after the loan is disbursed, you can start to make payments against the principal and interest.
- Full determent: Borrowers find this specific repayment option relatively flexible and impressive. For this specific option, you don't make payments during the grace period or schooling period. The loans are deferred until 24 weeks after graduation.
- Flat repayment: This option is one of the commonest repayment options for borrowers. You'd have to pay some amount during the school period and for six months after graduation. Flat repayment requires you to pay $50 per month while in school or six months after graduation.
Laurel Road's Reputation & Customer Service
The reputation of a lender is a very important requirement always to consider. Ensure that you look into the specific instructions and details about the lender. It's advisable to read up reviews and understand aspects like the loan requirements and previous records.
- A+ on BBB: BBB assigns ratings from A+ (highest) to F (lowest). BB ratings are based on information in BBB files with respect to factors such as business's complaint history with BBB, type of business, time in business, transparent business practices and more.
- 4.5/5 on Trustpilot ( 327 reviews): TrustScore is also an overall measurement of reviewer satisfaction, represented numerically from 1 to 5.
- J.D Power: We considered J.D. Power’s lending consumers satisfaction study. In spite of the research based on personal loans, most of the lenders are well known and also relevant for student loans as well.
J.D Power offers the most comprehensive and independent study of personal loan consumer satisfaction. The study aims to help consumers and issuers to understand user opinions and ratings of top lenders. It covers terms, benefits, services, communication, transparency and more.