Laurel Road Student Loans: 2022 Review

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Laurel Road began originating loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of students refinance their loans and fund their graduate schooling. It offers a broad selection of online graduate student loan products that cater specifically to students in the health care field.

With low rates, few fees and multiple repayment options, Laurel Road is worth considering if you’re a medical or dental student or if you’re looking to refinance your student loans.

Laurel Road features

Laurel Road is an online lender that offers student loan refinancing and graduate school loans for approved programs. It caters to students in the health care field; its private student loans can be used only for select medical, dental and nursing degrees, and it offers special rates to medical professionals looking to refinance. Graduate and undergraduate students can refinance their loans as soon as their final semester of school, as long as they have a signed employment contract.

Laurel Road student loan snapshot

Loan types
Graduate, refinancing
Loan amounts
Graduate loans: $5,000 to 100% of the total cost of attendance
Refinancing loans: $5,000 to full loan balance (maximum $50,000 for associate degree loans)
Interest rates
Graduate loans: 2.75% to 6.58% variable APR, 2.85% to 6.68% fixed APR (with autopay)
Refinancing loans: 1.64% to 5.65% variable APR, 2.25% to 5.75% fixed APR (with autopay)
Repayment terms
Graduate loans: 5 to 20 years
Refinancing loans: 5 to 20 years
Grace period
6 months
Co-signer required?
No

Pros and cons of Laurel Road student loans

Here are a few pros and cons to consider before taking out a loan with Laurel Road.

Pros

  • Special rates: If you are a physician, dentist, nurse, optometrist or physician assistant, you may be eligible for temporarily reduced refinancing rates.
  • Few fees: Laurel Road doesn’t charge any application, origination or disbursement fees.
  • No hard credit check: You can check to see if you qualify with a soft credit check, which won’t impact your credit score.

Cons

  • Strict qualification: Laurel Road’s private loans are designed for people pursuing degrees in health care, and not all graduate programs will qualify. Check to see if your school and program qualifies before applying.
  • Relatively short grace period: Laurel Road’s six-month grace period pales in comparison to that of some other lenders; Ascent‘s grace period, for instance, stretches from nine to 36 months for some programs.

Laurel Road student loan requirements

Eligibility requirements vary by loan type, but there are some common characteristics to be aware of.

In order to qualify for a graduate school loan through Laurel Road, you must be:

  • A U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Enrolled or planning to enroll at least half time at an eligible program/school.

In order to refinance a student loan, you must be:

  • A U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • A graduate with a four-year undergraduate and/or graduate degree from a Title IV accredited institution, or in your final term preceding graduation.
  • Employed, or have an eligible offer of employment.

If you’re currently pursuing an associate degree, you may also be eligible to refinance if you’re either enrolled in the final term of the program with an offer of employment in your field of study or if you’ve graduated with an associate degree in an eligible health care program and have been employed for at least 12 months in your field of study.

Who is this loan good for?

Laurel Road is a good option for borrowers in the health care field who are looking for an online lender with competitive rates, low fees and many repayment plans.

Interest rates and terms

Laurel Road offers two discounts: a 0.25 percent discount for setting up automatic payments and a discount of up to 0.55 percent for opening a Laurel Road checking account. The rates below include the autopay discount.

Loan product Variable rate Fixed rate
Student loan refinancing 1.64% to 5.65% APR 2.25% to 5.75% APR
Parent loan refinancing 1.64% to 5.65% APR 2.25% to 5.75% APR
Medical school loan refinancing 3.73% to 6.28% APR 3.77% to 6.38% APR
Graduate school student loans 1.37% to 5.36% APR 1.98% to 5.46% APR

Fees and penalties

Laurel Road charges very few fees. You won’t be charged an application, disbursement or origination fee. However, you will be charged a late fee of 5 percent or $28 if you fail to make a payment within 15 days of the due date, plus a $20 returned check fee if you have insufficient funds in your account.

Repayment terms and grace period

Laurel Road offers five- to 20-year repayment plans for its graduate school student loans and refinancing loans.

Here are its repayment options for graduate school student loans:

  • Full deferment: You don’t make payments during your schooling or your grace period.
  • Flat repayment: You’ll pay a flat rate of $50 a month while you’re in school and during your grace period.
  • Interest-only repayment: You’ll make interest-only payments while in school and during your grace period.
  • Immediate repayment: You start making full payments as soon as you start school.

Laurel Road offers a six-month grace period from the time of graduation.

Customer service

Laurel Road gets an “A” from the Better Business Bureau. KeyBank, the company that provides Laurel Road’s loans, gets an “A+.” The score is calculated using the company’s complaint history and how it responds to complaints.

Laurel Road’s customer service department is available to take calls at 833-427-2265 seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET. You can also email help@laurelroad.com or use the Laurel Road live chat feature.

How to apply for a loan with Laurel Road

The application process, whether for refinancing your existing loans or taking out a new loan, can be done completely online.

If you’re applying for student loan refinancing, here’s what the application process will look like, according to Laurel Road:

  1. Initially answer a few questions and authorize a soft credit pull to determine your estimated rates (which are preliminary and subject to change upon underwriting review).
  2. Upload the necessary documents to the online dashboard and authorize a hard credit pull. This completes the application, and if you’re approved, you’ll receive your final rates and terms.
  3. Select your loan type and e-sign the provided documents on the dashboard.
  4. Begin payments one month from your disbursement date.

If you’re applying for a graduate student loan, the process will look similar. After checking rates with a soft credit pull, you’ll have to authorize a hard credit check and provide the requested documentation, which can include information about you, your co-signer, your education and your cost of attendance.

How Bankrate rates Laurel Road

Overall Score 4.4
Repayment Options 4.0 Laurel Road has fewer loan types than most lenders, with private loans limited to graduate students. With that said, the lender does cover the entire cost of attendance or existing loan amount.
Affordability 4.4 Laurel Road’s rates are low, though it has a short grace period and a few fees.
Customer Experience 4.8 While Laurel Road doesn’t have 24/7 customer service, it does have a broader range of hours than most other lenders.

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by Bankrate.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the lender’s website for the most current information.

Written by
Hanneh Bareham
Student loans reporter
Hanneh Bareham specializes in everything related to student loans and helping you finance your next educational endeavor. She aims to help others reach their collegiate and financial goals through making student loans easier to understand.