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SoFi and Laurel Road are two major student loan refinancing lenders. They’re particularly popular with medical school graduates and parent loan borrowers, as they’re two of the only lenders that allow borrowers to refinance Parent PLUS Loans or private parent loans into their child’s name.
Both lenders offer variable- and fixed-rate loans as well as a range of loan terms for borrowers with good to excellent credit scores — but they also have some distinct differences.
Here’s a side-by-side comparison of Laurel road vs. SoFi to help you compare the two:
|Fixed rates from (APR)||Check with lender||Check with lender|
|Variable rates from (APR)||Check with lender||Check with lender|
|Loan amount||$5,000 up to the full balance of your qualified education loans||$5,000 to $300,000|
|Loan terms (Years)||5, 7, 10, 15, 20||5, 7, 10, 15|
|Min. credit score||Does not disclose||Does not disclose|
|Residency||U.S. resident or permanent resident||U.S. resident or permanent resident|
All APRs reflect autopay and loyalty discounts where available | 1Citizens Disclosures | 2College Ave Disclosures | 5EDvestinU Disclosures | 3 ELFI Disclosures | 4INvestEd Disclosures | 7ISL Education Lending Disclosures
SoFi student loan refinancing
Over 300,000 customers have refinanced their loans with SoFi — totaling over $30 billion in refinanced student loans.
SoFi offers student loan refinancing for borrowers with an associate degree or higher, as well as parent loan borrowers. There are also no application fees, origination fees, or prepayment penalties with a SoFi refinancing loan.
Learn More: Private Student Loan Consolidation
- Deferment options: If you attend graduate school, serve on active military duty, or undergo disability rehabilitation, you could request a deferment to postpone your payments.
- No cap on loan amounts: Unlike Laurel Road, SoFi doesn’t have a cap on its refinancing loans. If you qualify, you could refinance your entire student loan balance — even large balances like medical school loans.
- Membership benefits: Once you refinance your loans with SoFi, you’re eligible for member benefits like career coaching, financial planning, estate planning, and unemployment protection.
- No cosigner release on refinanced loans: While SoFi will let you add a cosigner to your loan application, it doesn’t offer cosigner releases. That means a cosigner will remain responsible for the loan until it’s either completely paid off or you refinance again with another lender.
- Child must have graduated to qualify for parent loan refinancing: You can refinance parent student loans through SoFi. However, your child must have graduated from college for the loans to be eligible for refinancing.
- Parent refinancing loans aren’t eligible for death or disability discharge: SoFi has a death and disability policy for most refinanced loans. However, parent refinancing loans are ineligible.
For more information, check out our full SoFi student loan refinance review.
Laurel Road student loan refinancing
Formerly known as Darien Rowayton Bank (DRB), Laurel Road became part of Key Bank in 2019. Since its inception, it has helped borrowers consolidate and refinance over $7 billion in federal and private student loans.
Laurel Road has no application or origination fees as well as no prepayment penalties. It offers student loan refinancing to:
- Undergraduate students
- Graduate students
- Parent borrowers
- Associate degree graduates in select professions
Learn More: How to Refinance Your Student Loans
- Customizable terms: Laurel Road advertises loan terms of five, seven, 10, 15, and 20 years. But they also offer customizable loan terms. You can choose any loan term you wish under 20 years (such as eight or 12 years) to pay back your student loans — you just have to call Laurel Road and request it when you apply.
- For parent loan refinancing, the child doesn’t need to have graduated: To be eligible for refinancing, your child must have attended a Title IV school — a school that processes federal financial aid. But they don’t need to have graduated.
- Economic hardship: If you experience a financial hardship during your loan term, Laurel Road offers loan forbearance. In a forbearance period, you could either get a lower monthly student loan payment or postpone your payments for one to three months at a time — up to a maximum of 12 months over the length of your loan.
- Associate degree refinancing only for select degrees: Laurel Road offers refinancing for associate degree borrowers, but only some fields of study are eligible. You can find the list of qualifying programs on Laurel Road’s website.
- $50,000 loan maximum on associate degrees: If you have an eligible associate degree, the maximum amount you can refinance is $50,000. If you have a higher balance, you’ll need to work with another lender like SoFi, which doesn’t have a cap.
- In-school deferments unavailable: Laurel Road doesn’t let you defer your loan payments if you go back to school. If you decide to attend a graduate program, you’ll have to keep up with your loan payments during school.
Learn More: What Credit Score Do You Need to Refinance or Take Out Student Loans?
Choosing a lender to refinance your student loans
Student loan refinancing could help you save money and pay back student loans faster, but interest rates and terms can vary widely from lender to lender.
Be sure to shop around and consider as many lenders as possible to find the right loan for you. Credible makes this easy — you can compare your rates from multiple lenders after filling out one simple form.