For borrowers studying their student loan consolidation options, Darien Rowayton Bank (DRB) is a stable company worth a look. DRB is definitely offering the lowest rates on the market. DRB is a traditional bank located in Connecticut, yet they will consolidate student loans, both federal and private loans, in all 50 states. This is a true bank, not relying on the commerce of internet presence, but meeting their borrowers face to face in a traditional manner.
LendKey is a middleman companies which does the drawn out searching for the best loan for you. They are a cloud sourcing consolidation servicer, but have their loans serviced by their access to over 300 credit unions nationally. Lendkey matches borrowers to a tailored loan unique for the borrower.
Refinance Your Student Loan With Ease(No Credit Score Required)
DRB is different because very few traditional banks offer student loan consolidation services. Both DRB and LendKey are completely individual entities specializing in one common goal, to provide borrowers with the best loan they can get.
DRB Keeping the tradition and innovation
DRB services all of their own student loans. This conventional setting provides borrowers with a relatively straightforward borrowing and repayment experience.
DRB brings in the variable interest rates at 1.92% and fixed-rate loans start at 3.5%. They offer 5, 10, 15, and 20 year repayment terms on their loans. They do require a $5,000 minimum loan amount, but there is no maximum loan amount.
DRB boasts of a specialized borrower program. For example, medical school graduates program allows Residents and Fellows to pay only $100 per month towards their student loans until the end of their fellowship or residency. They then get a 6 month grace period to begin making standard payments. This banks added benefit is to be commended because they recognize the initial hardships that may come early after graduation, allowing for immediate refinancing to fend off the interest while borrowers shoot for higher paying work.
They have a notable cosigner program at DRB. For one, they are not insistent on cosigners as are some other consolidation companies. Even for borrowers who require a cosigner there is no fixed waiting period for release. As soon as the borrower has good enough credit with sufficient income, the cosigner is released from the loan obligation. The repayment plan options and low interest rates advertised by DRB are among the very best. Borrowers should always be aware of what is advertised rate versus an actual rate.
What makes LendKey a contender?
LendKey is trying to solve many of the biggest hurdles in student loan consolidation. One of those frustrating bumps is the legwork borrowers’ face searching around for the best rates and terms. LendKey is the servicing company, like a bridge between borrowers and the mass of loan providers out there. The application process is identical to other lenders; the big difference is the end result matches the borrower with the ultimate lender to provide the loan. This allows smaller credit unions and local banks to compete on a national platform.
If you have done your research, then you already know Lendkey can match or beat any other interest rate offers. This is what they are known for. Another offering of LendKey is it advertises an interest-only repayment option for the first four years of the loan. For some this may be a win while they try to secure higher paying jobs. However, in the long run, that large payment is still forthright.
LendKey Loans are 15 years in duration. The industry standard seems to be 20 years. The shorter the repayment means the higher monthly payments. Some borrowers need that extra 5 years, while others scoot on through in 15 or less.
The Quick List for DRB:
- Refinancing and consolidation of private and federal student loans
- Must be an alumni of a bachelors or graduate degree program (e.g. MBA, Law, post-residency Medical/Dental, Physician Assistant, Advanced Degree Nursing, Pharmacist, Engineering, PhD, etc.) who meet the underwriting criteria
- DRB also offers parents of Bachelor degree holders the opportunity to refinance student loans they took out to finance their child’s education as long as their child has graduated and is working. Parents can refinance Parent PLUS loans in their own name or their child’s name.
- 1.90% – 3.98% (with autopay) variable rates
- 3.50% – 6.25% (with autopay) fixed rates
- 5, 10, 15, 20 year repayment terms
- Maximum variable rates capped at 9% for 5, 10, 15 year terms. For 20 year term, maximum rate cap is 18% APR
- No origination fee or prepayment penalty
- 25% Interest Rate Reduction with automatic payments via ACH
The Quick List for LendKey:
- Work with nonprofit credit unions
- interest rates under 2% APR
- Range of 1.93% APR to 6.92% APR.
- higher approval rates
- long unemployment protection
- Fixed and variable rate loans
- A Unified Application Process
- Cosigner Release Available after 24 consecutive on-time payments
- No Origination Fee
- Further Interest Rate Reduction
- 0.25% ACH Interest Rate Reduction for automatic payments
- Federal and Private Loans Can Be Consolidated Together.
- Return Policy offers to let you cancel the loan within 30 day of disbursement without fees
- Not quite a student loan marketplace
- 15 Years Max to Repay Loans, no industry 20 year term
- Misleading Marketplace, some lenders are listed who are not currently accepting new applicants
- LendKey Doesn’t Give You the Complete Picture on their interface, they don’t help much stacking institutions against each other.
- Only Certain States Offer Fixed Loans
DRB or LendKey: Which is the best?
While DRB has a set of advantages revolving around incentive programs, Lendkey is built too aggressively and speedily search out the best student consolidation loan. Both offer amazing low interest rates not commonly found with other lenders. The bottom line is the borrower’s preference of staying traditional and in arm’s length of a physical address for their lending institution, or if they are researchers like LendKey, made from the same cloth, vying to see what it out there in the loan marketplace.