In a Nutshell
- No origination fees, disbursement, prepayment penalties
- Autopay discount and economic hardship support
- Six-month grace period
- Only available to a specific group of students
- Long cosigner release terms
Laurel Road at a Glance
Loan Types: Private student loans, refinancing, mortgages, personal loans
Loan Amount: $5,000 up to total cost of attendance
Repayment Terms: Varies based on plan
APR from: 4.11%
Minimum Credit Score: 650 or lower with cosigner variable
Laurel Road is a Connecticut-based bank that offers a wide range of financial options, currently having helped students with more than $4 billion in school loans. FDIC-insured, Laurel Road is also a proud member of the Marketplace Lending Association, an organization that promotes transparent, efficient, and customer-centric financial brands. Laurel Road has also won the Benzinga Global Fintech Award for outstanding performance and innovation and the Best Consumer Lending Product of Fintech Breakthrough in 2018. This brand holds an excellent 5-star rating with Trustpilot as well, so you know Laurel Road is reliable.
Students currently enrolled in a participating institution and working toward a relevant degree.
Laurel Road offers various financial products including student loan refinancing, prime and savings accounts, and even mortgages. One of the best options for students is an in-school loan. In-school loans take your current schooling situation into account when creating the terms of your loans, so you can expect to find more flexibility in regards to repayment, interest rates, and fees. Here’s a closer look at what Laurel Road has to offer:
- No Fees
One of the best parts of working with Laurel Road, as opposed to other lenders, is that it charges no fees whatsoever. You won’t pay traditional fees like origination fees, application fees, disbursement fees, etc. These policies really give you the feeling that Laurel Road is on your side.
- Economic Hardship Support
Speaking of feeling like someone's on your side, Laurel Road has another fabulous policy to prove this point. The economic hardship support allows borrowers to pause payments on their loans without penalty in the event that they lose their job or have some other major economic crisis. So, you won’t have to pay some or all of your loan payments for up to a year under these circumstances.
- Autopay Discount
Laurel Road also offers an ETF discount. If you sign up for a monthly repayment plan and choose automatic transfer as your payment option, you’ll automatically receive a .25% discount on your interest rate. That could save you hundreds of dollars over the course of your loan.
The Application Process
Laurel Road has an online application process. You fill out the form with the relevant information including your personal details, details about your cosigner, and your education status. Once Laurel Road receives your application, you'll get an authorization request to do a credit pull to check your credit history and score.
After this step, you’ll be sent relevant loan offers based on your credit history and other conditions. If approved and you agree to the terms, Laurel Road will send the funds directly to your school.
When applying for a loan, you’ll need to show the following documentation:
School information including which school you’re enrolled in, what degree you are working towards, your enrollment status, and your projected graduation date
Cost of attendance
Personal information including a form of ID, phone number, and email address
Personal information for your cosigner (if you are using one)
Naturally, the higher your credit score, the more easily you will be approved for a loan. Generally, Laurel Road requires a 650 or higher credit score, but if you have a cosigner, you can still get approval with a lower than ideal score. If applying with a cosigner, you'll need to provide personal and financial information for them as well.
In order to be eligible for a Laurel Road private student loan, you’ll need to be enrolled in one of the schools that participate in the loan program. In addition to enrollment, you’ll need to be enrolled at least half-time and be working towards one of the eligible degrees. These include:
Doctor of Nursing
Doctor of Medicine
You’ll need the documentation mentioned above in the application section of this review. You’ll also need proof of citizenship or permanent residency.
The interest rate you’ll end up paying depends on your credit score, length of loan repayment term, and amount you take out. Regardless, Laurel Road has some really competitive rates, so you are getting a good deal either way. And as mentioned earlier, one of the best parts of working with Laurel Road is the lack of fees. You'll never have to pay an origination fee, and if you manage to pay off your loan early, you won't be charged with a prepayment penalty. We also mentioned the EFT discount of .25%.
If you add a cosigner, this will usually reduce your interest rate further.
Laurel Road has 4 repayment options:
- Full Deferment: This is when you push off payment of the full loan for the entire time you are enrolled in school. After graduation (or when you're no longer enrolled in school), you will begin making monthly payments on the full loan amount plus any interest that was accrued during the time you were in school.
- Flat $50 Payments: Alternatively, you can make flat payments of $50 each month towards your loan.
- Interest-only Payments: Borrowers can pay just the interest each month during the time of deferment. This is a good option if you can’t afford full payments (because you are in school and not working full time), but you still want to start paying off some of your debt.
- Full Principal and Interest Payments: This is the full payment option wherein you pay a monthly amount of both the loan and its associated interest. While this is the hardest option for most students to manage, it will end up saving you quite a bit of money in the long run.
Laurel Road also has several repayment policies that show how much this company is working for you like the hardship policy we mentioned earlier. Another policy that exhibits this kind of compassion and understanding is Laurel Road’s grace period. You are granted a period of time during which you are not expected to make any loan payments whatsoever. Your grace period starts whenever your in-school status changes. This can happen in 1 of 3 situations:
You start taking fewer classes than the half-time attendance requirements
You are no longer enrolled in one of the participating institutions or degree programs
You have graduated
When your in-school status switches, your grace period begins and continues for a total of 6 months. Borrowers should be aware that during the grace period you will not have to make monthly payments. However, your interest continues to accrue, so bear this in mind.
How Safe is It?
Laurel Road ensures the safety and privacy of all customers using electronic, procedural, and physical tactics that are industry standard and approved by the federal and state governments. Strict training, confidentiality agreements, and encryption are a few of the methods employed.
Laurel Road customer service can be reached via telephone at 717-254-2375, Monday through Thursday from 8:3am to 8:30pm ET, and Fridays from 8:30am to 5:30pm ET. You can also reach out through email at firstname.lastname@example.org or help@LaurelRoad.com. Alternatively, contact Laurel Road via live chat during the same hours (plus Saturdays, 8:30am - 5: 30pm).
How Laurel Road Compares
Laurel Road is a fabulous option for any student who is enrolled in a participating institution. With low rates, understanding and humane policies that include autopay discounts, hardship forgiveness, grace periods, and terrific customer support, Laurel Road is paving the way for students to make a fresh start without the stress of finances to hold them back.