Pros and cons of Laurel Road student loans
Laurel Road student loan refinancing
Variable: 1.89% – 5.90%, Fixed: 2.50% – 6.00%
You won’t pay any origination fees or prepayment penalties with Laurel Road, and you might save money in interest by refinancing your student loans. Be careful before you do this with federal loans though, as you will lose key protections such as income-driven repayment plans and loan forgiveness programs.
Only 11% of applicants who applied between July 2019 and June 2021 qualified for the best rate, according to Laurel Road’s website, so don’t bank on getting the top advertised rate.
Laurel Road healthcare graduate student loans
Variable: 2.75% – 6.58%, Fixed: 2.85% – 6.68%
If you’re pursuing a graduate degree in dentistry, nursing, medicine, or are studying as a physician assistant, you are eligible to get a loan from Laurel Road. Undergraduates and any graduate students studying a discipline outside of the ones listed don’t qualify for a loan.
APRs on Laurel Road’s fixed-rate loans are some of the best in the industry. In fact, none of the fixed graduate loans on our list of the best private student loans have a lower starting rate.
How Laurel Road student loans compare
Laurel Road has significantly better rate ranges than Sallie Mae, and it is competitive with Earnest. Here’s how the three companies compare:
Both Earnest and Sallie Mae originate undergraduate and graduate loans, while Laurel Road only refinances those loan types. You can get a healthcare graduate loan with all three companies.
Sallie Mae sets the repayment term for undergraduate students and only has one repayment term available for graduate students. Laurel Road has five repayment terms to choose from, and Earnest has six.
Laurel Road offers a rate discount of up to 0.55% when you open a checking account with the company and make a certain amount of monthly direct deposits. You’ll get a 0.25% interest rate discount with both Earnest and Sallie Mae when you set up AutoPay,
How Laurel Road student loans works
Laurel Road offers student loan refinancing on undergraduate and graduate student loans, and it originates medical graduate student loans. You can add a cosigner to your loan, which may make it easier to qualify and net you a lower rate if your cosigner has good credit.
Both refinanced and new loans come with a repayment term length of five, seven, 10, 15, or 20 years.
Look at your federal student loan options before you go after private student loans, including a Laurel Road loan, as you can usually get improved terms and protections through the government.
You’ll receive an initial 0.25% three-month interest rate discount if you sign up for a Laurel Road checking account. You can get up to a 0.55% rate discount depending on the amount of money you direct deposit into that account monthly.
To contact Laurel Road’s customer support, call the lender from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. ET, seven days a week. You’re also able to send an email or use the company’s live chat feature.
Checking your rates with Laurel Road won’t have any impact on your credit score. However, if you continue with your application after checking rates, the lender will conduct a hard credit inquiry, giving the company a complete view of your credit history but also potentially hurting your score.
What options do I have to repay my Laurel Road student loans?
Laurel Road offers several options to repay your medical graduate loans: deferred, flat, interest-only, and immediate payments. The best repayment plan for you depends on your situation. Laurel Road student loan refinancing payments begin 30 days after funding.
Deferred and flat payments will cost more than interest-only or immediate payments because interest will accrue while you’re in school and during your grace period. This interest will then capitalize, which means it will be tacked on to your loan balance after periods of nonpayment, including forbearance, deferment, and after your grace period. This will add on to your loan balance, and you’ll then pay interest on that higher amount, increasing the overall cost of your loan.
Is Laurel Road trustworthy?
Laurel Road has an A rating from the Better Business Bureau, a non-profit organization focused on consumer protection and trust. The BBB evaluates businesses by evaluating replies to consumer complaints, truthfulness in advertising, and clarity about business practices.
Laurel Road hasn’t been involved in any scandals or controversies over the past few years, so you might feel comfortable taking out a loan from the company.
However, you won’t necessarily have a good relationship with Laurel Road simply because of the business’ sparkling BBB score and clean history. Reach out to your friends and family about their experiences with the lender and find online what other customers are saying about the company.