New savings, free student loan consultation offered by Laurel Road

ADA members receive exclusive benefits when paying off student loans


ADA Member Advantage has announced an expansion of the ADA member benefits offered by Laurel Road, its endorsed student loan refinancing provider.

Laurel Road, an online lender and brand of KeyBank N.A. that has worked with ADA members since 2015, is offering members an exclusive, increased rate discount when refinancing their student loans.

“We’re pleased to be able to offer this enhanced benefit to ADA members,” said Bill Bulman, chair of the ADA Member Advantage board of directors. “This increase can actually lead to substantial member savings over the lifetime of a loan, considering the high amount of student loan debt carried by the average dental school graduate.”

Another new exclusive benefit for ADA members is the offer of a free 30-minute consultation with a Laurel Road student loan specialist at GradFin.

GradFin is a financial services company which, like Laurel Road, is a brand of KeyBank N.A.

Through a one-on-one consultation, the GradFin student loan specialist will analyze a member’s student loan history, review repayment and forgiveness options and help each member create a personalized plan. 

Alyssa Schaefer, general manager and chief experience officer at Laurel Road, said there have been seismic changes recently in the student loan landscape.

“Certain government programs have changed their qualification criteria in a way in which it may now make sense for dentists with significant student loan debt to pursue public student loan forgiveness or an Income-based repayment strategy for at least part, if not all, of their road to paying off their student loans,” said Ms. Schaefer. “GradFin has the expertise to help individuals decide which path makes the most sense for them with respect to their individual goals and financial situations.”

James Wanamaker, D.D.S., a member of the ADA New Dentist Committee, was an early user of GradFin’s services.

“During those immediate years after dental school, I did an income-based repayment program for my federal loans,” he said. “What I would have been originally required to pay for my loans, I invested in over 350 hours of continuing education and saved the rest as a down payment on my practice. In 2021, once I had purchased my practice, I refinanced my student loans with Laurel Road. Becoming a practice owner created a steady income stream, allowing me to pay off my loans faster than if I stayed on the 20-year income repayment plan.” 

Chris Walters, founder and CEO of GradFin, acknowledged that the repayment of student loans can be complex.

“We take pride in helping dentists become more informed and [able to] identify savings opportunities,” said Mr. Walters. “ADA members who decide to pursue public student loan forgiveness or income-driven repayment programs may want assistance in ensuring they are making the correct payments, retaining the correct documentation and filing the correct paperwork with the government. That is where a longer-term relationship with GradFin might be desirable.”

To sign up for the free 30-minute student loan consultation and start exploring their options, ADA members can visit

For more information about the student loan refinancing program, or Laurel Road’s other endorsed mortgage lending programs for ADA members, visit


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