Laurel Road Review: Student Loan Refinancing
A long time sweetheart of the student loan refinancing world, Laurel Road is still a highly competitive refi bank. While they rose to popularity because of their medical student loan refinancing options, they’re working with a variety of industries today. Even if you’re a lawyer you can enjoy some of the best benefits on the market: (1) low fixed rates; (2) co-signers allowed; (3) economic hardship support, and (4) excellent borrower protection.
Low fixed rates. Laurel Road is backed by a bank. They are owned by KeyBank and, as a financial institution, they have better access to capital. Consequently, they can offer some of the lowest fixed student loan refinancing rates on the market. The general consensus is that Laurel Road is going to give you the best rates if you are looking for longer repayment terms (e.g. 10 to 20 years). Additionally, Laurel Road allows you to refinance all of your student debt with one loan of up to $300,000, which makes it a great option for law school costs.
Co-signers allowed. Unlike other refi companies, Laurel Road makes your life a lot easier by allowing you to bring on a co-signer. If your credit isn't the best, you can ask your family members or a spouse to co-sign the loan with you to achieve a lower rate (however, proceed with caution as now this family member or spouse is directly liable for your loans). You’ll need to make regular payments for at least 36 months before the co-signer can be released.
Economic hardship support. If you’re refinancing your student loan with Laurel Road and you become unemployed, you can delay repayments in three-month increments. If you become disabled, Laurel Road could forgive your loans – especially if your disability stops you from working.
Excellent borrower protection. Finally, Laurel Road honors Federal grace period programs for lenders who are still in school (or have just graduated) but have accepted a job offer. All of this makes them a great institution to help you clear your credit of debt, and focus on investing into your career!
Who are Laurel Road's competitors?
Laurel Road is a solid student loan refinancing company with a legitimate chance of giving you a great deal but to get a full sense of the interest rates available to you it's a good idea to check out the competition. The list below includes the other student loan refinancing companies that you may want to consider when searching for the lowest interest rate.
- Earnest. Flexible repayment plans allows you to pick your own term. Financially backed by Navient, giving them some of the lowest interest rates available in the current market.
- First Republic Bank. This is a traditional bank looking to build a long-term customer relationship with you and is willing to refinance your student loans at below-market rates to build the relationship. You'll be required to open up a checking account, initiate direct deposit of your paycheck, and jump through other hoops, but if you're willing to do so they offer the lowest rates available.
- CommonBond. With their Pencils for Promise program, CommonBond offers a social mission to student loan refinancing. They have a dedicated law firm group located in NYC, which means a team is available to specifically help you through the refinancing process.
- SoFi. SoFi is by far the largest lender in the student loan refinancing market. They may not be able to offer you the best rate as they can rely on their brand name to bring in borrowers but there are lots of other perks when you refinance with SoFi and they are actively expanding their products if you're interested in keeping your financial life with one company.
- Credible. Known as the "Kayak of student loan refinancing", Credible offers you access to a marketplace of lenders. Fill out a form once and Credible will pre-qualify you with a bunch of lenders to get rates (soft credit check). To confirm the actual rates, you'll have to continue the application with the individual lender.
- LendKey. If you're looking to borrow from a local credit union, LendKey is the lender for you. They partner with local banks and credit unions to offer you student loan refinancing in your neighborhood.
- ELFI. A relatively new player, ELFI is backed by SouthEast Bank, a retail bank that recognized the value of getting into the student loan refinancing market. More competition is always better and if you end up with multiple offers, you can use them to play off the various student loan refinancing companies to get the best deal for you.
- Splash Financial. Splash Financial is based in Cleveland and one of the newest players in the refinancing space. Originally they only offered loans to medical residents and fellows but have recently been expanding thanks to a partnership with Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed).
- Interest Rates: 1.99%+
- Bonus Cashback: $300
- Loan Types:
- Loan Terms:
- Rating: 7/10
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