Darien Rowayton Bank (DRB) Review

drb darien rowayton bank review

Darien Rowayton Bank, or DRB, has been around since 2006. It was founded by Gary Leiberman., and is based in Connecticut. However, recently the bank announced its intention to move into New York as well.

In its first 15 months, DRB accumulated $24 million in deposits. Between 2008 and 2009, the bank was able to triple its deposits.

Since then, DRB has been expanding its student loan division. DRB also happens to hold the record for fastest lender in history to reach $1 billion in student loan refinancings. While they are a traditional brick and mortar bank, DRB is able to refinance in all 50 states.

They are able to provide the stability of a bank, and the super low interests rates potential borrowers can find with online lenders like SoFi and Earnest.

What does DRB offer to Potential Borrowers?

Though it’s a minority in the banking industry, DRB offers student loan consolidation and refinancing. Qualifying borrowers can consolidate their private and federal loans into a single loan, with a lower interest rate.

They can refinance and consolidate any federal loan out there, including Parent PLUS loans, and Direct subsidized and unsubsidized loans. However, you need to weigh your options before you decide to refinance your federal loans into a private loan. You could possibly lose your ability to make income-based payments, forgiveness, and some of the other benefits that come with federal student loans.

The Details of DRB's Refinancing

You can also get some of the lowest and most competitive rates with DRB. They offer variable and fixed rates. The variable rates start at 3.64% for a 5 year loan, and go up to 6.29% for a 20 year loan. You do want to be careful if you choose a variable interest rate. Since it’s variable, it can change from year to year, and go up (or down)!

The fixed rates are a little higher, ranging from 4.20% to 7.20%. Borrowers can also get a 0.25% rate reduction if they sign up for automatic payments on both variable and fixed rates.

DRB also offers a diverse set of payment terms. Borrowers can have any number of years for the term, as long as the number is 20 years or below. Keep in mind, though, that the longer you set your loan payments out, the higher your interest rate will be.

Benefits of DRB's Refinancing

DRB doesn’t have any fees. While many other institutions charge 1 or 2 percent in an origination fee, which could be high in some cases, DRB takes the high road. They also don’t charge prepayment penalties for paying off loans early.

Here are some other benefits if you go with DRB:

· Loan Forbearance: they offer full or partial forbearance to qualifying borrowers for one or more three month period. You can get up to 12 months of forbearance over the life of your loan.

· Death and Disability Forgiveness: all the loan will be forgiven if the borrower dies, and some or all of the loan if a permanent disability significantly lowers the borrower’s income.

· Residents: loans are available to current medical and dental residents. Your rates will be lower if you can secure post-graduation employment before applying.

· Loan Amount: borrowers can borrow up to 100% of their federal loan balance, with no ceiling.

DRB Eligibility Requirements

All borrowers need to be U.S. Citizens or permanent residents with a valid I-551 card. However, DRB will also look at the potential borrower’s employment, employer size, debt-to-income ratio, disposable income, total student debt relative to his annual salary level, and credit history.

Additionally, potential borrowers need to have graduated from an accredited university, the loans must either be in the grace or repayment period, and they cannot currently be in default.

How to Apply to DRB

The refinancing process is actually quite simple and it is all done on-line:

  1. Fill out a short online application which takes approximately 5 minutes. Once you authorize a soft credit check, we provide preliminary interest rates if we have enough information to give you that feedback. This process can be immediate or it can take a few business days.
  2. Upload documentation (Photo ID, 2 recent pay stubs, proof of graduation, and loan statements indicating payoff amount) to your dashboard. You can submit them as soon as you have them.
  3. Once all documents are received and processed, DRB will provide approved interest rates (fixed/variable) for each qualified loan term. After you select your loan type on-line, an approval disclosure will appear. If you accept the approval disclosure, a final disclosure and promissory note will appear for your e-signature.
  4. DRB will then send checks or wire funds to your current lender(s) to pay off your student loans after the cancel by date of your final disclosure. You can choose to enable EFT payments from a bank account and receive a 0.25% discount on your loan. First DRB payment will be due one month from disbursement date.


All in all, going with Darien Rowayton Bank is a pretty good choice. They offer very competitive rates, and if you want to avoid it, you can get out of needing a cosigner. The bank is also a brick and mortar institution, so it can offer more security, potentially, than an online only refinance company.

The bank also offers a ton of perks, from forbearance, which most institutions don’t offer, to complete loan forgiveness, which never happens.

If you want to feel good about refinancing your loans, DRB is the place for you.