Do you have undergraduate student loans that you are interested in refinancing? Are you searching for a private student loan that can fill the gap left by federal student loans and help you pay for graduate school? If either of these statements is true for you, then you may have heard about Laurel Road.
Below, we answer all of the most common questions that borrowers have about Laurel Road so that you can make a more informed decision about funding your college education.
Who is Laurel Road?
Laurel Road was founded in 2013 as a student loan refinancing company. Their mission was to help individuals with undergraduate and graduate degrees refinance their student loans. As the company expanded, they began to originate graduate student loans alongside their student loan refinancing services.
In addition to their student loan products and services, Laurel Road also offers mortgage origination and refinancing, as well as personal loans.
Laurel Road and KeyBank
In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank. While Laurel Road will continue to operate as an independent brand, all loans closed after the acquisition are funded by KeyBank. If you have had prior bad experiences with KeyBank in the past, you may wish to seek a lender other than Laurel Road.
Types of Student Loans Offered by Laurel Road
Unlike many other lenders of private student loans, Laurel Road does not originate undergraduate student loans. This means that if you are an undergraduate student looking to fund your degree, Laurel Road is not a good fit for you.
Laurel Road offers two types of student loans: Student loan refinancing and private graduate student loans.
Laurel Road Student Loan Refinancing
For existing borrowers who already have either federal or private student loans, and who have completed their degree, Laurel Road offers student loan refinancing. They offer refinancing for undergraduate student loans, graduate student loans, Parent PLUS Loans, and a few other varieties.
By refinancing your loan with Laurel Road, you are effectively converting your existing loans to a new loan, with Laurel Road as your lender. While this can offer some savings in the form of interest rate reductions or lower monthly payments, it can also come with some negative consequences, particularly if your existing loans are federal loans. For that reason, it’s important you understand the pros and cons of refinancing your student loans before moving forward.
Laurel Road Private Graduate Student Loans
Laurel Road also offers private graduate student loans for students seeking to fund their graduate education. This includes general graduate studies, as well as medical school and dental school.
Residents and fellows may also find Laurel Road interesting, as the company offers personal loans specifically designed to help you through those necessary periods of unemployment as you work to finish your education.
Laurel Road Interest Rates
As a private student loan lender, Laurel Road can set its own interest rates; unlike federal student loans, the company is not beholden to Congress. These rates can change frequently as the underlying credit market shifts, and are typically based on a number of factors including:
- Whether or not you apply with a cosigner: When you apply with a cosigner, you become a less risky borrower in the eyes of the lender, which can help you lock in lower interest rates.
- Your credit score: Your credit score is meant to measure your creditworthiness, or how risky you will be as a borrower. The higher your score, the less risky you are deemed, and the lower interest rates you may qualify for.
- Your income: Whether or not you have a source of income, and how high that income is, can impact your interest rates.
Laurel Road, like other lenders, often advertise exceptionally low interest rates. While it is possible to qualify for these rates, it’s important to note that they are typically a.) reserved for individuals with excellent credit scores, and b.) typically tied to variable rate loans instead of fixed rate loans.
How to Apply for a Student Loan Through Laurel Road
Whether you are applying for student loan refinancing or for a private graduate student loan through Laurel Road, the process is typically the same. Simply visit their website and click either “Student Loan Refinancing” or “Graduate Student Loans.” Once there, click “Check Your Rate” to begin the pre-screening process.
The application process is completed entirely online, and will require you to answer basic questions. This will include providing your:
- Email address
- Phone Number
- Social Security Number
- Physical Address
- Citizenship status
For student loan refinancing, you will need to state how much you need refinanced; for private graduate student loans, you will need to state the amount that you wish to borrow, as well as provide information about the school that you will be attending.
Once you have completed the pre-screening forms, Laurel Road will perform a soft credit pull (which will not impact your credit scores) and you will be either pre-approved or rejected. If you are pre-approved, you will receive a range of interest rates that you may qualify for. The final interest rates on your Laurel Road student loan will be dependent on a final application and hard credit pull.
Laurel Road Pros and Cons
Pros of Borrowing from Laurel Road
- Refinancing offers a range of terms: Laurel Road offers 5-, 7-, 10-, 15-, and 20-year terms for student loan refinancing, which is an impressive variety.
- Parent PLUS Loans: While some refinancers do not refinance Parent PLUS Loans, Laurel Road does.
- Options for residents and fellows: The personal loan options available for medical/dental residents and graduate fellows can be particularly helpful while completing your education.
- No fees: Laurel Road does not charge application, origination, or prepayment fees.
- 0.25% employment discount: Borrowers of private graduate student loans who graduate and accept employment are eligible to receive an interest rate reduction.
Cons of Borrowing from Laurel Road
- No private undergraduate student loans: Laurel Road does not offer private student loans for undergraduate students.
- Interest rates not set by law: Laurel Road, as a private company, can determine the interest rates that it wants to charge borrowers. Except for borrowers with exceptionally high credit scores, these rates will likely be higher than the interest rates on comparable federal student loans.
- Limited deferment options: Federal student loans carry impressive deferment and forbearance options which can help borrowers through difficult times. While Laurel Road may offer short periods of deferment during times of emergency, this is not guaranteed.
- Not eligible for forgiveness: As a private lender, Laurel Road does not offer student loan forgiveness options similar to those offered by the federal government.
- No guaranteed acceptance: Unsubsidized federal student loans are made available to students regardless of financial situation or credit score. This is not true for private loans originated through Laurel Road.
How to Contact Laurel Road
Laurel Road’s hours of operation are Monday through Thursday, 8:30am to 8:30pm Eastern Standard Time; Friday, 8:30am to 5:30pm. They are closed on the weekend. You can contact them through any of the options below:
Laurel Road Phone
Laurel Road Email
In addition to email, you may submit a message online through their form on this page.
Laurel Road Address
P.O. Box 191
855 Main St
Bridgeport, CT 06601
Alternatives to Laurel Road
Private graduate student loans like those offered by Laurel Road can be very helpful for students looking to pay for their education. They do, however, typically carry higher interest rates than federal student loans, and come with fewer borrower benefits.
If you do decide that a private student loan is for you, or you are interested in student loan refinancing, it is important that you do your homework and shop around to make sure that you get the best rate possible. This is why we often recommend that borrowers begin their search through a student loan marketplace that allows you to compare different lenders side by side.