LendingTree Review: An Online Lending & Mortgage Service

by Stacey Doyle on Debt, Credit and Loans

Are you looking for a mortgage, auto loan or the lowest rate on credit cards? LendingTree is a free online service that connects borrowers with multiple loan possibilities. A while back I checked them out when I needed refinancing. It was an easy, quick way to do comparison shopping when you’re out looking for financing.

LendingTree Review: An Online Lending & Mortgage Service

There are no upfront fees to search for loans through LendingTree. To keep the process streamlined, you apply online at the LendingTree website or through their toll-free phone number. LendingTree does not accept fax or snail mail applications, so I chose to visit their secure website. You just select the type of loan you want and submit your application online.

Types of loans you can apply for include refinancing, mortgages, home equity loans, automobile loans and credit cards (loans range from to and more). Based on your credit report and loan request, the service presents to you several competing lenders. LendingTree works with borrowers who have both good and bad credit. Still, this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll find the best deal with them if you’ve got questionable credit. In my case, I wound up finding a better rate elsewhere when I had borderline credit.

The LendingTree Application Process

The LendingTree application takes approximately 10 to 15 minutes to complete. If you need additional help, they’ve got an easy online calculator you can use to help you figure out what you can afford. When using this tool, you can enter different loan amounts and interest rates to see your estimated monthly loan payment. For additional resources, you can also check out the advice section at the LendingTree site for useful tips.

to find a lender or apply for a loan.

How Does LendingTree Choose A Lender For Me?

LendingTree works to connect you with up to four potential lenders that will help you make a well-informed decision. You receive an email or telephone call when LendingTree connects you with a possible lender. To find out more about prospective lenders, visit the LendingTree website to check out feedback left by other borrowers.

Each lender is given a Lender Scorecard with 5 as the highest possible score based on reviews from actual borrowers. You can use the information you cull from reviews as well as the loan offer itself to help you choose the best loan for your circumstances. If you are unable to find the right loan, then no worries — the LendingTree service is absolutely free, so you suffer no losses.

Now if you become a LendingTree customer, you’ll be issued a preapproval letter that helps you with the process of applying for a mortgage and shopping for a home.

Will I Need To Pay Any Fees To LendingTree?

There is no fee to access the LendingTree service. But once you are connected or successfully matched with a lender, a particular lender may request an application fee, appraisal fee or interest lock fee. Using a credit card to pay for these fees can offer you the greatest protection during this process as LendingTree simply acts as the intermediary between you and any potential lenders.

Is LendingTree Also A Lender?

Since 2004, LendingTree Loans has been the trade name of Home Loan Center, Inc., a licensed mortgage lender and broker in all 50 states. Some borrowers are matched with Home Loan Center as a potential lender but you are not obligated to choose them. Within the LendingTree network, you can expect Home Loan Center to compete with other lenders for your business. I received loan offers from four major mortgage lenders where I received comparable rates; this process gave me a better idea of what I was looking for.

Since 1998, LendingTree has facilitated over 25 million loan requests with a total of $185 billion closed transactions. LendingTree was the first online marketplace to connect borrowers with various lenders for loan shopping and comparison purposes. LendingTree is also a member of the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which says a lot about a company’s reputation.

Alternatives To LendingTree

If you haven’t heard about peer to peer lending sites yet, then let me tell you a little more about another option you can take if you’re searching for a source for financing. Social lending sites like Lending Club or Prosper also connect borrowers and lenders through a platform. These services involve minimal transaction fees and relatively lower interest rates due to the nature of direct lending (and the absence of any “middleman” in the process).

If you’re a borrower, you’ll need a fairly good credit score to participate. For more information, check out LendingClub.com or Prosper.com, or you can also read more in our Lending Club review.

In Conclusion

We live in a hectic world and quite often, it’s impossible to take the time to do comparison shopping. LendingTree offers a secure, informative service for busy people looking for the lowest rates on loans. However, LendingTree specifies that they CAN get you up to four lenders, not that they WILL. When you begin your lender search, it’s possible to receive little or no loan prospects at first, so be prepared to do more research.

The loan calculator and informative tips from LendingTree are just some of the excellent tools and resources you can use to help you gather information regardless of the lender you choose. Note as well, that while LendingTree is a top provider in the loan industry, they are by no means the only provider you may want to consider in your search for the best loan for your needs and situation.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 tom December 2, 2010 at 6:55 pm

I went to lending tree for a debt consolidation loan and was shocked at the amount of phone calls I got. I know there saying is where banks compete you win, but it seems excessive to me. It doesn’t really seem like they compete but more so just all give you a quote on what they can do. None of the places I spoke to cared what the other place offered. Even worse, I had my credit pulled several times. Each place wanted to pull credit. In the end I was left with a bunch of offers that were not close to what I was looking for. I later went to a site life house funding and was pretty happy. They took me to one lender that’s it. They were able to get me the full 40k loan I needed. Lending tree is okay I guess, I just rather not have all the inquiries.

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