Laurel Road Student Loan Refinance Review

Last Updated: July 10, 2021 by Melanie Hanson

Our Rating: A-

Loan Limits $5,000+
Fixed Rates 2.50% – 6.25%*
Variable Rates 1.89% – 6.15% (10.00% Cap)
Terms 5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years†
Min. Credit Score 660

*Lowest rates always include the 0.25% interest reduction for enrolling in auto-pay.
These are the terms Laurel Road advertises, but borrowers may apply for any loan term under 20 years.

Skip to: Rates & Fees | Eligibility Requirements | Repayment Options | Consumer Reviews & Complaints | FAQ

Laurel Road is an online lender that specializes in student loan refinancing and other financial services for healthcare professionals. Keycorp acquired Laurel Road in 2019, and KeyBank National Association now backs all Laurel Road loans.

Loan Refinancing Options
Private student loans
Private parent loans (in either name)‡
Federal student loans
Federal Parent PLUS loans (in either name)

Parents may refinance their own parent loans -OR- transfer the debt to their child.

Laurel Road Refinance Rates & Fees

Laurel Road offers some of the lowest term rates available. Fixed loan rates are 2.80% to 6.25%. Variable rates start at 1.89% to 6.15% and change according to the 1-month LIBOR as published by The Wall Street Journal.

Student & Parent PLUS Refinance Loan Rates
Term Fixed Rate Variable Rate
5 Year 2.50% – 5.05% 1.89% – 4.95%
7 Year 3.40% – 5.45% 3.40% – 5.35%
10 Year 3.90% – 5.65% 3.80% – 5.60%
15 Year 4.30% – 5.95% 4.05% – 5.85%
20 Year 4.40% – 6.25% 4.30% – 6.15%
Medical & Dental Resident Refinance Loan Rates
Term Fixed Rate Variable Rate
5 Year 3.90% – 6.99% 3.80% – 6.89%
7 Year 4.00% – 7.10% 3.90% – 7.00%
10 Year 4.20% – 7.31% 4.10% – 7.22%
15 Year 4.50% – 7.64% 4.40% – 7.54%
20 Year 4.70% – 7.85% 4.60% – 7.75%

Additional information about Laurel Road’s refinance rates:

  • Checking your rate with Laurel Road will not affect your credit score. To see if you prequalify, they will conduct a soft, not hard, credit inquiry (learn the difference).
  • Laurel Road does offer a discount for setting up auto-pay: 0.25% interest rate reduction.
  • Variable rates are based on the 1-month LIBOR rate (0.095% as of this writing) as published by The Wall Street Journal. This means that as the LIBOR changes, increasing or decreasing, your variable rate will change, increasing or decreasing correspondingly.
  • Variable rates are capped 10.00%. Loans with terms of 10 years or less have a 9.00% cap.

Student Loan Refinancing Calculator

Based on advertised rates, use the calculator below to determine what your new monthly payment and potential savings may be if you refinance with Laurel Road.

Additional Fees

Beyond interest rates, there are a number of fees a refinance lender may charge up-front or during the loan servicing period. Below is a list of these fees that Laurel Road does or does not charge.

Fee Type Amount Charged
Application Fee None
Loan Origination Fee Undisclosed
Disbursement Fee Undisclosed
Prepayment Penalty None
Late Payment Fee $28.00 or 5% of the overdue amount (whichever is less)
Returned Payment Fee $20.00
Collection Fee Undisclosed
  1. Application fee – fee to apply for rates & approval.
  2. Loan origination fee – fee to create the new loan.
  3. Disbursement fee – fee for distributing funds to lenders to pay off loans that have been refinanced.
  4. Prepayment penalty – fee for making extra payments to reduce a refinance loan balance or pay it off early.
  5. Late payment fee – fee for making a late payment; where there are multiple options, the lesser dollar amount is the total fee. Laurel Road does not charge a late payment fee for individual monthly payments received within two weeks of the due date.
  6. Returned payment fee – fee for failed payments due to insufficient funds, also known as a “bounced check”.
  7. Collection fee – fee for collection activity on a defaulted debt.

Current Promotions & Offers

Laurel Road offers some special programs that include discounts and other benefits. Any restrictions are subject to change.

Referral Program

Laurel Road’s referral program offers $400 for each referral that results in a new loan origination. Participants may collect a reward for up to 10 referrals per year and are not required to be Laurel Road customers themselves.

Linked Savings Program

An additional 0.15% to 0.25% APR reduction is available to borrowers who have a Laurel Road Linked Savings account with a minimum balance of $1,000. Borrowers may open a savings account when they refinance.

Professional Organization Discounts

Laurel Road partners with dozens of professional organizations nationwide. Employees and/or members of these partners receive special discounts when they refinance their student loans.

Benefits may include limited monthly payments or special interest rates. For example, some memberships include eligibility for a 0.25% rate discount, including:

  • American Academy of Dermatology (AAD)
  • American Optometric Association (AOA)
  • Emergency Medical Resident Association (EMRA)
  • Healthcare Providers Service Organization (HPSO)
  • International Association of Women (IAW)
  • & dozens more

Laurel Road Refinance Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for refinancing with Laurel Road, all borrowers must meet certain criteria.

  • Citizenship Requirement: U.S. citizenship or permanent residence with a valid I-551 form (a.k.a. “green card”).
  • Income Requirement: employment required; no minimum income specified.
  • Credit Score Requirement: 660 minimum credit score.
  • Graduation Requirement: associate’s degree in healthcare or a bachelor’s degree or higher in any field of study.
  • Location Requirement: available in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

Additional restrictions apply for specific individuals and loans.

  • Undergraduate and graduate students in healthcare industries can refinance student loans during their final semester of school.
  • Undergraduates with degrees in fields outside of healthcare may refinance loans if they have 12 months of employment following graduation.
  • Parents may refinance education loans for children who did not graduate (though they must have attended a Title IV school).
  • $50,000 is the maximum amount an associate’s degree holder may refinance; parents of associate’s degree holders are not subject to this limitation.
  • Applicants with associate’s degrees must have a minimum of 12 months employment in the same field as their associate’s degree. Acceptable fields include:
    • Cardiovascular Technology (CVT)
    • Dental Hygiene
    • Diagnostic Medical Sonography
    • Emergency Medical Technology (EMT/Paramedic)
    • Nuclear Technology
    • Nursing
    • Occupational Therapy, Assistant
    • Pharmacy Technology
    • Physical Therapy, Assistant
    • Radiation Therapy
    • Radiologic/MRI Technology
    • Respiratory Therapy
    • Surgical Technology

Laurel Road Student Loan Repayment Options

Lenders vary greatly on the benefits and options provided to borrowers during the loan servicing period. Additionally, benefits may only be available on a case-by-case basis. Laurel Road offers some relief options.

Deferment & Forbearance

If unexpected financial hardships make it difficult or impossible to continue making timely payments in full, borrowers may be able to postpone payments for a limited period.

Laurel Road’s postponement options may include deferment or forbearance; loans in forbearance always continue to accrue interest.

See Laurel Road’s conditions for deferment and forbearance below.

Condition Coverage
Returning to grad school None
Disability rehabilitation Undisclosed
Active military duty Undisclosed
Involuntary unemployment Forbearance, up to 12 months
Natural Disaster Forbearance, up to 2 months

Additional Options

Laurel Road may offer other opportunities for relief or contract modification.

  • Economic hardship forbearance may be available to some borrowers on a case-by-case basis.
  • Reduced payment or partial deferment options are available to some healthcare interns and residents.
  • Co-signer release is available to borrowers who have made 36 consecutive qualifying payments and who pass Laurel Road underwriting review.
  • Death/disability discharge is available in the unfortunate circumstance that a borrower passes away or suffers total permanent disability.

Laurel Road Reviews, Complaints & Lawsuits

Beyond our own findings, our team also collected the most genuinely insightful customer experiences we could find, including any instances of legal action against the company in which the details became public.

Laurel Road Online Reviews

Below are 3 samples of customer reviews we found on public forums, included here for their value as unedited, uncensored, and unsolicited user experiences. Note that these reviews are unverified, may include inaccuracies, and may provide outdated information (about rates, bonus offers, etc.).


“I’ve done a total of 3 refinances, all with Laurel Road. They were very fast and quick with replies/matching quotes. My only complaint is the last refinance was a bit hectic. They made my loan but took a while to post the prior loan as paid off. So I was looking at a balance of around $320k for two months. They corrected their mistake, and no interest was owed on the old loan during this time. That was the first time I had any annoyance with them.

Don’t forget autopay and AMA discounts. Right now, I’m on a 5 year variable at 0.99%. I’m just doing the minimum and throwing money into brokerage account. “SerrateAndDominate on White Coat Investor, 10/19/2020


“Laurel Road/KeyBank is the ONLY Student Loan Refinance Company that will work with foreign income/living overseas Debt…

Before being accepted by Laurel Road/KeyBank, I was rejected by [several popular lenders] when it came decision time, because I am living and working overseas.

Even though I used my parent’s address, which is my legal U.S. address, once they learned I was living overseas they rejected. 790 credit score (with solid income). Reason for rejection: ”Other”. None of these companies tell you that this is a problem until rejection time. [One lender] at least clued me to the problem by letting you know a foreign employer (by address) is not accepted before going all the way.

Laurel Road will work with you if you have foreign income and live overseas, so long as you can list a “permanent” U.S. address. Pretty much semantics or so I thought.

Laurel road got it done! I told them they needed to advertise this point. I hope this helps save someone a bunch of headache and aggravation down the line (I wasted hours of my time on these stupid applications).” – ajd341 on reddit, 7/23/2020


“I just refinanced with Laurel Road and am very happy with the result. My average rate before that was just north of 6% (on about $87k) and they got it down to 4.33% for a 10 year fixed. Payment went down noticeably and just feels good to have that much more going to principal instead of interest.

I was at first concerned by the lack of PSLF, but then I am trying to get rid of these things ASAP and am NOT taking the strategy that some seem to be taking, of paying as little as possible and hoping that the gov will pick up the rest.” – lassevirensghost on BogleHeads.org, 6/12/2019


More (unfiltered) customer reviews of Laurel Road are available at TrustPilot.com (4.6 out of 5).

Laurel Road CFPB Complaints

As consumer finance companies, student loan refinancing lenders fall under the jurisdiction of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a federal agency. As part of its mission, the CFPB allows consumers to log official complaints. These complaints are publicly available on the CFPB official website.

Since its founding in 2013, zero (0) complaints have been submitted to the CFPB about Laurel Road.

Laurel Road’s parent company, KeyCorp, has had complaints about some of its student loan products. While 33 of those complaints were submitted after the corporation acquired Laurel Road in April 2019, none of the complaints appear to involve Laurel Road.

For a full list of complaints made against KeyCorp, view the CFPB’s Consumer Complaint Database, click here.

Laurel Road Lawsuits

Aside from a creative dispute with CommonBond¶, Laurel Road has not been subject to any significant legal action.

Likewise, its original parent company, Darien Rowayton Bank, has faced only one lawsuit. In that action, Darien Rowayton was the plaintiff, bringing a suit against an individual defendant in January 2011.

Laurel Road’s new parent company, on the other hand, has been subject to numerous legal actions. KeyBank currently faces multiple ongoing class action lawsuits.[1][2][3] These proceedings do not appear to involve Laurel Road in any way.

In the 2018 lawsuit against CommonBond, representatives of Laurel Road alleged that the former “infringed its trade dress” by using graphic design in a marketing campaign similar to the design Laurel Road used previously in their own advertising. The case was dismissed less than a year later.

Frequently Asked Questions

These are the most common questions consumers have about student loan refinancing with Laurel Road.

  • Is Laurel Road good for refinancing student loans?
    Laurel Road may be an especially good option for healthcare professionals. Laurel Road’s rates are competitive, and the company receives consistently good reviews from customers on numerous public forums.
  • Do I have to be a healthcare professional to refinance with Laurel Road?
    You do not have to work in healthcare or have a healthcare degree to refinance student loans with Laurel Road.
  • Can I refinance a Laurel Road loan?
    You can refinance any kind of student loan. There is no limit to the number of times a borrower may refinance with Laurel Road Note, however, that every application requires a hard credit check that may affect your credit score.
  • Is Laurel Road the same as Darien Rowayton Bank?
    Laurel Road was founded as the brand for Darien Rowayton Bank’s online student loan and refinancing services. Darien Rowayton Bank has since rebranded as Laurel Road Bank.
  • Is Laurel Road the same as KeyBank?
    KeyBank’s parent company acquired the Laurel Road brand in April 2019. All Laurel Road loans, including refinance loans, are now serviced by KeyBank, a division of Keycorp.
  • Who services Laurel Road refinance loans?
    KeyBank has been Laurel Road’s loan servicer since April 2019. Loans originated prior to that date are still serviced by the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority (MOHELA).
  • Does Laurel Road charge a prepayment penalty?
    Laurel Road does not charge any fees or impose any sort of penalty for making early payments or for repaying your loan before its term ends.
  • Does checking your rates with Laurel Road hurt your credit score?
    For their prequalification process, Laurel Road performs a soft credit check, which will not hurt your credit score. If you proceed with an application, however, Laurel Road will perform a hard credit check which may affect your credit score.
  • How often do variable rates change?
    Variable rates change once per month on the final Friday; variable rates are based on the current 1-month LIBOR index.
  • Can I refinance just some of my loans with Laurel Road?
    Yes, you can refinance some, all, or just one of your qualifying student loans with Laurel Road. You may choose to refinance your private loans only or refinance private and federal loans together.
  • Can I refinance loans that have already been refinanced?
    Yes, you can refinance loans as many times as you want with Laurel Road, as often as 4 times per year. Note that each time you refinance, you will have to submit a new application, and every application requires a hard credit check that may affect your credit score.
  • Can my spouse and I refinance our loans together with Laurel Road?
    Laurel Road does not combine spouse’s student loan debts for refinancing unless the spouse is a co-signer on the original loan. Spouses may, however, act as co-signers for refinancing.
  • How long does it take to refinance with Laurel Road?
    It may take up to a week to learn if your application to refinance with Laurel Road has been approved. Once you’ve accepted the terms and signed the promissory notice, it may be 3 to 6 weeks before the first payment is due.
  • Can I get any special rates or discounts with Laurel Road ?
    Laurel Road partners with certain employers and professional organizations to offer exclusive benefits such as reduced rates. These groups include dozens of health professional organizations such as the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Medical Association (AMA).

Compare Student Loan Refinance Reviews

Lender Rating
Advantage B+
BECU C-
Brazos A
Citizens Bank B-
College Ave A-
CommonBond A+
Discover D+
Earnest B+
EDvestinU B
Education Loan Finance (ELFI) A-
First Tech Federal C-
iHelp D
Laurel Road A-
MEFA B-
NaviRefi D-
Navy Federal C+
PenFed B+
PNC Bank C
RISLA A
SoFi B-
UW Credit Union A

Sources

  1. Class Actions Reporter, United States District Court Northern District of California, Peter Urban, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff, v. KeyBank, Defendant Case 3:20-cv-08182-EMC
  2. SwartzSwidler, LLC, KeyBank FLSA Class Action Lawsuit
  3. Westfair Online, Yorktown Borrower Sues KeyBank for $5M Over Late Mortgage Papers
  4. Laurel Road, Refinance Student Loans
  5. Laurel Road, Refinance Student Loan Solicitation and Disclosure
  6. Laurel Road, FAQ & Live Chat
  7. CFPB, Consumer Complaint Database
  8. Dun & Bradstreet, Business Directory
  9. Better Business Bureau, Search Businesses and Charities
  10. Justia, Laurel Road Bank v. CommonBond, Inc., No. 1:2018cv07797 – Document 62 (S.D.N.Y. 2019)
  11. Docketbird, Laurel Road Bank v. CommonBond, Inc. Court Docket Sheet
  12. Case Text, Darien Rowayton Bank v. Orifici