Lending Tree Reviews – Is LendingTree Legit?

lending tree reviews

Lending Tree Reviews:

LendingTree is an online loan marketplace.  It mostly helps potential borrowers find willing lenders.  Borrowers can also compare various offers, financial products and services. Once you answer a few questions on its website, you are introduced to qualified lenders willing to lend based on your financial profile. You can shop for mortgages, personal loans, credit cards and more – all in one place. The service is free to borrowers, and LendingTree does not mark up rates. Top Lending Tree Reviews give the company five stars, but not all the Lending Tree reviews are that generous.  Below is a summary of the company, its services and examples of online reviews.

About LendingTree 

LendingTree is one of the first and largest peer-to-peer online lending platforms.  It was established in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1998. The goal is to bring potential borrowers together with multiple lenders together.  Hopefully, they can agree on terms for business and personal loans, auto loans, student loans, and new and refinanced mortgages.  LendingTree.com also offers personal finance services and tools.  They share reviews and information about credit cards and credit scores. LendingTree is an alternative way to borrow.  The loans originate not only from traditional lenders and banks, but also from individual investors and small companies.

Borrowers benefit from competition among multiple lenders.  Ultimately, it can result in lower interest rates.  Better still, it can give you access to loans even when banks have declined your loan application.  LendingTree acts strictly as a middle-man.  It only provides an online platform where lenders and borrowers can meet.  While Lending Tree collects fees for its service, it does not itself offer loans or credit. Its online lending platform has handled millions of inquiries since its inception over 20 years ago.

LendingTree as Matchmaker

LendingTree is a leading online loan marketplace. It provides borrowers with a one-stop shop where they can search for lenders all in one place.  Borrowers have the ability to find the best loans available by shopping among the various loan offers.  The real beauty is that LendingTree creates an environment where multiple lenders compete for your business. This gives you a much better chance of identifying the best loan offers available. It sure beats walking into a single bank and being limited to only what they happen to offer.  The LendingTree platform offers all kinds of consumer loans and personal loans, as well as business loans.

LendingTree is a loan aggregator, bringing many lenders together on one web platform. It is perhaps the largest of its kind, anywhere on the internet.  The company has facilitated more than 55 million loan requests, since being introduced in 1998. LendingTree, Inc. is a publicly traded company (NASDAQ: TREE) based in Charlotte, North Carolina, and operates across the United States.

Lending Tree Reviews – A Summary

Lending Tree Reviews – The Good

  • No cost to borrowers – There is no cost for borrowers to participate in the platform.
  • Many potential lenders – LendingTree provides you with a large number of potential lenders in one location.
  • Lenders compete for your businedss – Since several lenders will likely respond to your loan request, lenders are effectively competing with one another for your business.
  • A single loan application starts the process – You fill out a single loan application for consideration by multiple lenders.  You do this when you initially sign up for the service. There’s no need to complete individual applications for each lender.
  • Not just loans –  The platform provides lender options for virtually every type of financing.  But it also offers educational resources to help you better manage your credit.
  • Many free services – They provide a wide selection of free services.  This includes a large number of mortgage calculators, credit and credit score information, debt relief resources, and more.

Lending Tree Reviews – The Not-so-Good

  • Personal Information – You must provide an extensive amount of personal information to get access to the loan offerings.
  • Your personal details can be sold – The fine print describes LendingTree as a “Marketing Lead Generator”. This indicates your information will be sold to third parties. Expect a steady stream of loan solicitations after signing up for the site.
  • Not all lenders participate – You might have to make separate application if the lender of your choice is not listed on the site.
  • Loan offers are not automatic approvals – You must still meet the specific loan qualification requirements of each lender.

LendingTree.com – Types of Loans Offered

If it has anything to do with consumer finance, it’s available on LendingTree. Loan types included are as follows:

Home Financing

LendingTree is a licensed mortgage broker. Loans available include first mortgages for both purchase and refinance. There are also home equity loans and reverse mortgages.  Both conventional and FHA/VA mortgages are available, as well as construction financing.  First mortgages are available for single-family homes, multifamily homes, townhomes and condominiums, and manufactured or mobile homes. They can be primary residences, second homes, or rental properties.

Credit Cards

Based on your financial and credit information, LendingTree will present offers from various credit card issuers specific to your profile. You’ll have an opportunity to see the offers side by side so you can pick the one that’s best for you. The process also avoids any need to make separate applications to multiple credit card issuers. The time savings alone makes it worthwhile.  For each credit card offered, they provide interest rates and fees, bonuses and rewards, card features and benefits, annual fee, and the credit needed to obtain the card.

You can even customize your search to select the specific criteria you are interested in viewing. You can see offers from credit card issuers based on rate, rewards programs, and even the credit rating required.  At one time or another, I think everyone has become frustrated sifting through all the details of individual credit card offers.  LendingTree can seriously simplify the process.

Student Loans

The platform presents student loan offerings for both new loans and refinancing existing debt.  Shopping for student loans can be as frustrating and tedious as the search for credit cards. LendingTree streamlines the process by bringing the lenders to you in one place. You can select from the best loan offers presented.  There are a large number of programs, each with its own details.

Auto Loans

LendingTree has financing available for motorcycles and recreational vehicles, in addition to offerings for cars, trucks and vans. There are even loans for boats.  The application process works similar for mortgages. You complete a series of input screens which help determine the specific financing you need. Once that’s done, competing loan offers will be presented.  In addition to asking for general information and financial and credit data, LendingTree will ask you a series of questions about the type of vehicle you are purchasing. For example, you’ll be asked if it’s a refinance or purchase, the approximate amount of the loan, and the down payment you plan to make.

Debt consolidation

LendingTree has an extensive debt consolidation section. It includes not just available loans, but also a wide variety of resources to help you in managing the consolidation process. This is more important than it seems, since there is no single debt consolidation loan. Consolidation loans can come from different loan types.  They start by explaining debt consolidation and how it works.  They also explain the type of debt you can consolidate. This can be an important part of the debt consolidation decision, since a borrower may not be entirely certain which debts can be included.  Most people think of credit card debt for debt consolidation, but LendingTree offers a long list of other debts which can be included:

  • Student loans
  • Unsecured personal loans, including payday loans
  • Medical bills
  • Utility bills, including cell phone bills
  • Money owed to collection agencies
  • Taxes
  • Court judgments

There are many different types of loans which can be used for debt consolidation. Educational information is available presenting the pros and cons of each type of financing. These can include balance transfers, a cash out refinance on your home, home equity loans and home equity lines of credit, and student loan consolidations.  Additionally, debt consolidation is discussed and compared with debt management and debt settlement options. These are excellent resource for debt consolidation, even if you never actually take a loan.  To simplify the arithmetic, there i s an easy to use Debt Consolidation Calculator. It can help you quantify the offers to show which option can benefit you the most.

Business Loans

LendingTree is a particularly valuable lending source for small businesses. That’s because this sector ordinarily has difficulty finding willing lenders. Banks are more than willing to lend to large businesses but avoid small ones. LendingTree overcomes this problem by bringing many small business lenders onto one web platform. As a small business owner, you can choose the lender and the loan program which will work best for you.  LendingTree provides a wide variety of loans for small businesses. Loan types include:

  • Small business loans
  • SBA loans
  • Short-term business loans
  • Long-term business loans
  • Business lines of credit (LOCs)
  • Working capital loans
  • Equipment financing
  • Accounts receivable financing
  • Business credit cards

LendingTree Additional Services

The LendingTree website is not limited to just loans.  It also educational, providing thorough and comprehensive cretit information. You will find an answer to almost any credit related question.  But it does not end with just loans and credit information.  You can even check out auto insurance rates and much more.  Here are some of the additional services where Lending Tree reviews are very positive…

Free Credit Score

You can sign up to get your free credit score through LendingTree.  They won’t even ask you to keep a credit card on file.  However, you will have to complete a simple application, but checking your score will not impact your credit.  The score is provided by VantageScore 3.0 from TransUnion, one of the three major credit bureaus. It’s not your actual FICO score, but it is a close approximation and it correllates well with FICO.  Along with your raw score, they provide additional information to help you understand what it means.  The scoring process is explained, how scores are calculated, and why you need to check its accuracy periodically. They even offer tips and ways to improve your score.

Credit Repair

LendingTree’s Credit Repair page provides you with a list of credit repair providers who can help you to improve your credit.  They can even assist you to workout settlements with lenders.  The information provided explains the basics of credit repair, your options if you are having trouble, and how to dispute errors on your credit report.  Included on the page are estimates of the fees charged by those services.

Auto Insurance

This category is not directly related to credit. But auto insurance is required by law in virtually every state except New Hampshire.  As it is necessary in order to get car financing, it’s a popular topic on the LendingTree website.  The page provides basic information on car insurance and how to get the best rates and lowest premiums.  Most importantly, it gives you an opportunity to shop among auto insurers who do business in your state.  Similar to shopping for a loan, you’ll have a chance to compare plans side-by-side.  Clearly, this will make your choice easier.

Mortgage Calculators

LendingTree offers perhaps the most comprehensive collection of mortgage calculators on the web. As a licensed mortgage broker, they provide calculators for virtually any type of mortgage scenario you can imagine:

  • Home Affordability Calculator
  • Mortgage Payment Calculator
  • Refinance Breakeven Calculator
  • Debt Consolidation Calculator
  • Reverse Mortgage Calculator
  • Mortgage Negotiator Calculator
  • FHA and VA Loan Calculators
  • Rent vs. Buy Calculator

Even if you don’t get a mortgage through LendingTree, these calculators can provide a wealth of information.  For most people, a home mortgage is the single largest investment they will ever make.  So, this is great resource to help guide you in the home financing process. And, it is absolutely free to take advantage of.  There is no cost to you for using the calculators.

Lending Tree Reviews and Ratings Service

LendingTree provides a review process for the companies and loan services they offer.  This is directly reflected in the Lender Ratings & Reviews section. Specific reviews of the lenders are available in each loan category.  These reviews are provided by actual borrowers.  Because they reveal direct experience with a specific lender, these reviews tend to be quite valuable – and difficult to manipulate.  The Ratings & Reviews are intended to help guide you in choosing your lender. Ratings and reviews cover lenders for mortgages, personal loans, business loans, student loans and auto loans.

How to Apply – LendingTree Application Process

The loan process is pretty straightforward.  Of course, the information required varies with the type of loan you want. For example, if you apply for a personal loan, you will be asked about the purpose of the loan.  A personal loan is not backed by collateral, like a home mortgage or an automobile loan.  So, you will be required to explain what you will do with the money, like debt consolidation, vacations, major purchases or wedding expenses.  In general, you will be required to provide the following personal information:

  • Your estimated credit rating (excellent, good, fair, or poor).
  • Employment and pre-tax income,
  • Your address, and type of residence,
  • Personal identification information,
  • Email address
  • Last four digits of your Social Security Number.

Using the LendingTree Website

The LendingTree platform is pretty intuitive. You must complete a series of screens which will determine your location and your general credit score range.  Other necessary information is your occupation and income, investments and liquid assets available, the type of loan you need, and the loan amount. In order to get loan information, you must also provide your email address, and create a password.

When completing the initial application, it’s important to be as accurate as possible. For example, you’ll be asked to provide your credit score range.  To complete your loan, a lender will verify this by pulling your credit report. If your actual credit score doesn’t match your input, the offers you receive may no longer be valid. The same is true with employment, income, and liquid assets on hand.  If you are applying for a mortgage, and the value of the property you are purchasing or refinancing must also match your application.

LendingTree Fees

There are no fees to use the service as a borrower.  LendingTree earns their revenue from lenders who pay a fee to participare on the platform. But, you should be aware that LendingTree is also a Marketing Lead Generator service. This means your information may be sold or otherwise provided to participating lenders for solicitation purposes.

Your Credit Score

LendingTree only offers to provide you with your actual credit score after you finish the application. You will be asked a series of questions to confirm your identity first. It then shows you all the offers available for the loan amount you requested.  This would include lenders’ name, the amount, the APR, the number of years to repay, the monthly estimated payments and a phone number to call.  You can ask for additional details or immediately apply for one of the offers.

You can easily complete the entire procedure in 15 to 30 minutes.  Then, LendingTree will send you emails updating your status.  Be aware that your credit history will be pulled one or more times during the process. In most cases, multiple inquiries count as a single one during a 30-day period. However, an excessive number of credit inquiries can lower your credit score.  LendingTree also has a LoanExplorer page that displays current quotes based on several parameters you can enter without identifying yourself.  However, LoanExplorer seems to be customized to mortgage loans only.

Lending Tree Reviews and Consumer Complaints 

LendingTree has had a Better Business Bureau file since 1998. As of January 2019, it was not BBB Accredited and had a rating of A-. Out of 315 BBB closed complaints in the previous three years, 180 stemmed from advertising/sales issues and 129 were attributed to service problems. Of course, these numbers represent a very small percentage of LendingTree’s transactions. Out of 199 BBB customer reviews, LendingTree has a 3-star rating. Bear in mind that disgruntled consumers are the more likely to leave reviews than satisfied customers.

Lending Tree Reviews: 5 Star***** “No one else would give me a chance…”

I have been wanting a loan to consolidate my debt for a while and no one would give me a chance. LendingTree did and the whole process was fast and easy! I would highly recommend them. I’m so ecstatic to finally have all my credit cards paid off and have one simple payment instead!” Verified Reviewer Source: ConsumerAffairs.com

A number of forums points to unwanted spam and persistent phone calls from potential lenders as the biggest concerns. These calls are not from LendingTree itself, but directly from its funding sources. Nevertheless, it could be held as a negative against LendingTree.  Apparently, it does not police or restrict the marketing behavior of its lenders.

Lending Tree Reviews: 4 STAR **** “Once approved, take me off the contact list…”

“I contacted LendingTree for a very small loan. The list they provided was great and it only took a few minutes to compare, make my decision about who to go through, apply and be approved. That part was wonderful. I really didn’t mind the first couple of calls from lending institutions wanting to give me a loan. Then a few days after securing my loan I received a call from Integra. I don’t know who these people are. I never initiated contact with them. However they insisted that I verify my social security number so they could finalize my loan application.” Verified Reviewer Source: ConsumerAffairs.com

Some consumers felt that their credit reports were subjected to too many inquiries from the lenders.  They thought that LendingTree should instead perform one set of inquiries and then disseminate this information to potential lenders. Other reviews included satisfied consumers who said they were more or less happy with the services provided by LendingTree.

Lending Tree Reviews: 1 STAR*  “Do NOT submit an inquiry online…”

Within a minute of submitting inquiries to Lendingtree.com for a loan, I was BOMBARDED with calls…literally several every minute. Within an hour I had 20 calls from one number. As soon as I would block one number, a different number from the same area code would pick back up the incessant calling. I REFUSE to do business with any company that harasses their customers this way. Stay FAR FAR away from this company. Do NOT submit an inquiry online…you will be sorry!”  Verified Reviewer Source: ConsumerAffairs.com

By agreeing to LendingTree’s terms of service, you agree to submit to binding arbitration to settle any disputes with LendingTree. In general, LendingTree accepts no responsibility whatsoever for the lenders and advertisements on its websites.  Consumers are using the site “as is.”

Is LendingTree a good choice? 

In all fairness, LendingTree has been able to survive for over 20 years with a minimum of controversy. If you are looking for one-stop shopping for loans or credit and have a decent or better credit score, LendingTree appears to be a convenient way to receive multiple bids from lenders.  It may be easier to get a personal loan or other types of credit from LendingTree than it is from a bank.  But, you can expect to pay a higher APR for this greater acceptance rate. LendingTree fees will cost you money one way or another, and you may feel harassed by lender spam.  In the end, LendingTree is a useful service that allows you to conveniently compare rates from competing lenders, thereby boosting your chances of finding the best possible deal for your situation.

Lending Tree Reviews – The Bottom Line 

LendingTree is a personal loan platform that allows consumers to compare a variety of potential lenders. The company is a convenient option for customers who want to shop multiple offers at the same time.   There is no need to reach out to dozens of individual lenders.  LendingTree has an extensive website with detailed information regarding its loan options.  However, you need to fill out a form (answering questions regarding annual income, employment status, full name, phone number, credit score range, etc.) before receiving specific rates and terms.

Whatever type of financing you’re interested in getting, LendingTree is worth a look.  They broker mortgages, auto loans, business loans, student loans and credit cards. They offer many free services to help you with your loan decision and with your credit situation.  Also, the platform represents perhaps the largest number of lenders in one central marketplace. Lenders will compete for your business.  You get the opportunity to make an informed decision about the best available loan offer .

Probably the biggest negative with LendingTree is being solicited by various lenders.  This occurs even after you make your loan choice. LendingTree doesn’t hide the fact they are a marketing lead generator.  This means your contact information will be available to participating lenders on the platform.  But, if you’re in the market for a loan of any kind, the LendingTree website has a lot to offer.

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