If you have student loans, it can feel like you’re stuck with the interest rate you have. Having a high interest rate and a sizable student loan balance can mean paying thousands of dollars in interest over the life of the loan.
But there’s good news: You can lower your interest rate and make student loan repayment more manageable through the process of student loan refinancing.
Student loan refinancing allows borrowers to consolidate their student loans while potentially scoring a lower interest rate. This can be a win-win in many cases (though you should know about the drawbacks to refinancing, too).
There are a number of student loan refinancing companies out there. In this guide we’ll cover Laurel Road (formerly known as DRB), the online lending division of Darien Rowayton Bank and one of the main players in the student loan refinancing game.
Read on for our complete Laurel Road student loan refinancing review.
Laurel Road student loan refinancing review
Darien Rowayton Bank is a financial institution offering a multitude of products. One of their signature financial products is student loan refinancing, offered through their Laurel Road division.
Through Laurel Road student loan refinancing, borrowers can:
- Potentially secure lower interest rates
- Choose between fixed or variable interest rates
- Opt for shorter or longer repayment terms (between five and 20 years)
According to their website, Laurel Road customers can save more than $20,000 on their student loans after refinancing.
While student loan refinancing can be a good way to save money on interest, it’s also something you should consider carefully, particularly if you have federal student loans. Refinancing federal student loans means missing out on forgiveness or income-driven repayment options.
Though federal student loan borrowers would give up certain benefits, Laurel Road does offer some perks and protections in case hard times hit.
If you experience economic hardship, you may be able to postpone your monthly payments for one or more 3-month time periods. However, you can’t exceed 12 months in the aggregate during the term of your loan.
Additionally, Laurel Road offers some death and disability benefits. In the unfortunate event that you should pass away or become permanently disabled, Laurel Road will forgive the total amount of your refinanced student loan.Visit the Laurel Road website
Laurel Road online platform and application process
In order to qualify for student loan refinancing through Laurel Road, you must fill out an online application. You’ll need to provide your name, date of birth, Social Security number, and address, as well as your education and employment info.
Laurel Road also asks how much you are looking to refinance and how much you earn each year. Many student loan refinancing companies want to know your debt-to-income ratio to properly evaluate your application.
If your credit isn’t strong enough to qualify, you may also add a cosigner. Once you submit an application, you should hear back fairly quickly on whether you are approved and how to move forward with next steps.
The initial application is short, taking about five minutes. After you authorize Laurel Road to pull your credit, they will show you your prospective interest rates. If you wish to continue your application, you will be asked to provide documentation such as your pay stubs, your current loan materials, and more.
When all of your documents are submitted, Laurel Road will come back with your final interest rates as well as loan details. If you accept all the terms and conditions via e-signature, Laurel Road will then send the funds to pay off your loans with your current lenders.
After that, you’ll be left with one monthly payment and one interest rate through Laurel Road, enabling you to save money on interest and manage your student loans. As a Laurel Road customer, you can access their online portal at any time.
Laurel Road interest rates and fees
The whole point of refinancing is to make student loan repayment more manageable and affordable. A key part of that is scoring a lower interest rate that can help you save money.
Under Laurel Road student loan refinancing, you can opt for a variable or fixed interest rate. If you think you can pay off your student loans quickly, a lower variable rate could work in your favor.
If you’re looking for stability and want to secure a rate that won’t change, a fixed interest rate might be your best bet. Laurel Road’s current interest rates are:
- Variable: 2.80% - 5.90% APR
- Fixed: 3.37% - 7.02% APR
As you can see, the variable rate is slightly lower, but you run the risk of rates increasing over time due to market fluctuations. According to the Laurel Road website, the variable rate may go up at any time, but will never be more than nine or 10 percent, depending on the repayment term you choose.
These rates include the autopay discount of 0.25 percent. This discount is granted to borrowers that set up autopay so your monthly payments may be automatically deducted from your bank account.
Ultimately, the interest rate you are offered will depend on a variety of factors including:
- Your credit history
- Amount of debt you have
- Your annual income
- Variable vs. fixed interest rate loan
- Your employment situation
Aside from interest rates, you also want to be aware of any pesky fees that could sneak up on you. Luckily, with Laurel Road student loan refinancing there are none. That’s right — no fees for prepaying on your student loans and no origination fees. There’s no application fee, either.
However, if you miss a payment, you will be charged a late fee 15 days after your due date. The late fee will either be five percent of your late payment or $28, whichever amount is less. Additionally, you can be charged $20 if your payment doesn’t clear because of non-sufficient funds.apply with Laurel Road today
Laurel Road eligibility requirements
When applying to refinance your student loans, you’re working with a private financial institution (instead of a public entity like the U.S. Department of Education). This means there are stricter eligibility requirements, terms, and conditions.
For Laurel Road, eligible candidates must:
- Be a United States resident or permanent resident with a I-551 card
- Have a bachelor’s or graduate degree
- Be gainfully employed
- Parents may also be eligible if they took out student loans for their child and if the child meets the eligibility requirements
Eligible loans include:
- Parent PLUS
Though Laurel Road has previously focused on graduate and professional degrees, they recently started offering student loan refinancing to those with undergraduate degrees.
You can refinance your loans with Laurel Road even if you have already refinanced with another company. Additionally, Laurel Road refinances both federal and private student loans.
Prospective borrowers do not need a cosigner to qualify for Laurel Road student loan refinancing. But if your credit could use a boost, having a cosigner could help.
Remember, you don’t have to refinance all of your student loans if you don’t want to. For example, if you have private student loans you want to refinance but want to keep your federal loans and benefits intact, Laurel Road allows you to do that.
Laurel Road customer service
No Laurel Road student loan refinancing review would be complete without discussing their customer service. Student loan refinancing isn’t something to take lightly, and you want to make sure you are in good hands.
You can use the live chat function on their website or give the customer service team a call Monday through Saturday at (855) 245-0989 if you have any questions.
They are available Monday through Thursday, 8:30 am to 6:30 pm EST, on Friday from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm EST, and Saturday, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm EST.
More about Laurel Road
Laurel Road is the national online lending division of Darien Rowayton Bank and is therefore regulated by the FDIC.
Darien Rowayton Bank was established in 2006. Since then, Darien Rowayton Bank has helped thousands of professionals with graduate and undergraduate degrees across the country to refinance and consolidate over $2.5 billion in federal and private school loans.
Darien Rowayton Bank is a Connecticut-chartered bank, Member FDIC, and an Equal Housing/Opportunity Lender.
Feel free to visit the Laurel Road website for more information.
Laurel Road contact information
Now that you’ve read this Laurel Road student loan review, you can begin the refinancing process. If you are thinking of refinancing your student loans or are a current customer, you can get in touch with Laurel Road in several ways.
You can call them at (855) 245-0989 during their business hours listed above. You may also email them at email@example.com. For regular mail, their address is:
P.O. Box 191
Bridgeport, CT 06601
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2018!
|Lender||Rates (APR)||Eligible Degrees|
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|2.56% - 7.40%||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit SoFi|
|2.57% - 6.32%||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Earnest|
|2.58% - 8.12%||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Lendkey|
|2.80% - 7.02%||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Laurel Road|
|2.54% - 6.65%||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit CommonBond|
|2.90% - 7.34%||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Citizens|