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ADA announces exclusive student loan refinancing offer with DRB

Qualified members could save tens of thousands of dollars

September 10, 2015

In an effort to help ease the burden of student debt, the ADA announced Sept. 10 an exclusive endorsement of Darien Rowayton Bank, known as DRB, that allows ADA members an opportunity to refinance existing federal and private student loans at a lower rate.

The partnership with the bank could result in savings in the tens of thousands of dollars, on average, in interest, according to the ADA.

“We’ve listened carefully to our members, particularly those in the early stages of their dental careers, and many have indicated that paying off student loan debt is one of their greatest concerns,” said Dr. Maxine Feinberg, ADA president.

“By teaming up with DRB, the ADA provides our members with lower rates that translate into greater peace of mind and substantial savings at a pivotal point in their careers.”

For the best qualified borrowers, DRB’s rates for refinancing existing federal and private undergraduate and graduate school loans currently starts at 1.90 percent APR (annual percentage rate) for variable loans; 3.50 percent APR fixed.

In addition, through the endorsement, qualifying ADA members receive an additional 0.25 percent rate reduction as a membership benefit. Many times, endorsed vendors will compensate the endorsing organization. However, the compensation resulting from the DRB endorsement will be given to the ADA members in the form of the additional 0.25 percent discount in the loan rate.

Based on the American Dental Education Association data, the average dental school graduate in 2014 carried $247,227 in student loan debt, up from $221,000 in 2013.

Photo of Dr. Emily Ishkanian
New dentist: Dr. Emily Ishkanian, New Dentist Committee member, speaks during an Aug. 16 meeting between the NDC and the ADA Board of Trustees.

For Dr. Emily Ishkanian, ADA New Dentist Committee member, the partnership with DRB helps address one of the major issues facing new dentists.

“We have been talking about the problem of student loans for a long time,” she said. “Student debt is a burden after you graduate, and we really needed the ADA to help.”

The ADA Board of Trustees formed the Student Debt Work Group to find the best solution. Following market analysis, significant discussion and evaluation, the group chose DRB, based in Darien, Connecticut, for a long-term business partnership to provide student consolidation products to ADA members.

“The average dentist graduates with around $247,000 in student loan debt and dentists who refinance with DRB can save an average of $30,000 with a fixed-rate refinance loan,” said Gary Lieberman, DRB board chair. “With these savings, they can pay off their debt quicker and focus more on building their careers and dental practices.”

Such is the case for Dr. Ishkanian, who helped with the search and evaluation process as a “secret shopper.”

Dr. Ishkanian graduated from dental school in 2010 with about $250,000 in student loans. With DRB, Dr. Ishkanian refinanced her remaining debt of $205,000; she will now be set in a 15-year loan term at a fixed rate more than 2 percent lower than her federal loans, with an estimated savings of over $150,000.

Savings will vary as loans are granted based on a number of factors that are considered in any loan decision, including credit history, loan terms, income and total debt amount.

For more information, visit student.drbank.com/ADA.