At some point, you will likely need to apply for a loan.
Whether it’s for a mortgage or buying a car, loans are an important part of building are credit and building wealth.
Every financial advisor will tell you that you need to shop around to find the best rate for your loan. However, that can be extraordinarily time-consuming.
That’s where LendingTree comes in.
LendingTree is an online loan marketplace that compares loan rates for various companies and presents you with the best one.
It’s an easy one-stop-shop for anyone in the market for a personal loan, business loan, loan refinance, and more.
What is Lending Tree?
Headquartered in Charlotte, NC, LendingTree is a leading online marketplace to help you shop for loans.
They help you compare interest rates and loan terms to help you find the best loan for your budget.
They can also help you refinance existing loans and manage your debt.
So far, over 65 million people have used LendingTree’s services to match with lenders.
Lending Tree Products
One of the most impressive aspects of LendingTree is its wide array of products. Here is some information about the products that LendingTree offers:
If you are looking for a mortgage to buy property, LendingTree is a great resource to compare mortgage lenders.
Borrowers can search for mortgage offers for primary residences, vacation homes, and rental properties. You can use your funds to purchase a single-family home, multi-family home, townhouse, condominium, or a manufactured home.
LendingTree’s mortgages offer flexibility no matter what kind of home you are in the market for.
Get Started: See Today’s Rates
Not only can you look for a new mortgage through LendingTree, but you can refinance your existing mortgage as well.
Borrowers can lower their interest rate, shorten their loan term, or switch from an adjustable-rate mortgage to a fixed-rate mortgage through LendingTree.
Get Started: See Today’s Rates
LendingTree Reverse Mortgage
If you’re interested in using your home equity to back a loan, line of credit, or cover an unforeseen expense, LendingTree can help you find the right reverse mortgage.
Several well-respected reverse mortgage companies offer loans through LendingTree, including American Advisors Group (AAG), Community First National Bank, Responsible Reverse Mortgage, and Finance of America. These are just some of the institutions that you may receive loan offers from if you search through LendingTree.
LendingTree Auto Loans
In the market for a new car, boat, motorcycle, or RV? You can secure an auto loan through LendingTree.
LendingTree can connect you with several lenders based on what type of vehicle you are purchasing.
If you aren’t sure what you can afford, LendingTree has an auto affordability calculator that can help you determine what fits into your budget.
Get Started: See Today’s Rates
LendingTree Personal Loans
Any significant personal expense that you have, with the exception of gambling, investing, or higher education, can be covered through a personal loan.
Personal loans are typically used to fund such things as:
- Small Business Needs
- Consolidate Debt
- Fund a Vacation
Usually, personal loans are unsecured, which means that you don’t have to put up collateral to finalize the loan.
If you are considering a personal loan, LendingTree’s personal loan calculator can help you determine what would fit into your budget.
Get Started: See Today’s Rates
LendingTree Business Loans
Starting or improving your business is a very common reason that people take out loans. LendingTree can help you with a variety of different business loans.
Whether you need a small business loan, a merchant cash advance, or financing for new equipment, LendingTree will match you with lenders that are willing to finance your loan.
Worried you don’t know enough about starting or managing your business? LendingTree has a robust knowledge section that can advise you on everything from accounting to applying for small business grants.
Get Started: See Today’s Business Loan Rates
LendingTree Student Loans
If you are interested in applying for private student loans, LendingTree can help connect you with the right lender.
They will require the name of your school, graduation year, zip code, email, and loan amount. There is also a student loan payment calculator to help you determine what kind of loan you can handle.
If you have existing student loan debt, LendingTree can help you consolidate it with a private lender.
Debt Consolidation Loans
If you feel like you’re under a mountain of debt, LendingTree can connect you to companies that can help you consolidate your debt.
Debt consolidation loans can help you lower your interest rates and become debt-free sooner. Sound too good to be true? It’s not!
LendingTree Credit Cards
If you’re interested in applying for a new credit card, you can compare interest rates, perks, miles, cashback, and more through LendingTree.
You can compare credit cards from top companies, such as Visa, American Express, or Mastercard. You can also sort them be perks if you are interested in specific reward features.
If you are looking for basic personal line of insurance such as:
LendingTree can help you compare insurance companies.
To get started, you’ll just answer a few questions about what you’re looking for, and LendingTree will let you know which companies are a good match.
You can also search for insurance bundles if you are interested in bundling coverage to save money.
LendingTree can help you find the best accounts based on your financial circumstances and goals. Here are just a few of the options that you can browse for:
Their site will also give you bank recommendations based on your priorities and account type.
Lending Tree Additional Features
Lending Tree has many features that improve its products and can assist with the loan finding process.
LendingTree Free Credit Score
Keeping up with your credit score is an essential part of the loan hunting experience. LendingTree’s free credit score offering helps you do just that and does not even require that you keep a credit card on file.
LendingTree provides you the score through TransUnion, one of the three major credit bureaus.
They also provide you with information to help you understand your credit report. This includes how the score is calculated, ways to improve your score, and why you need to check your credit score.
This feature is truly one of a kind!
Money Saving Suggestions
What good is fintech if it doesn’t help you save money? LendingTree understands this and has built-in a money-saving suggestion feature to assist you.
This feature will let you know when you have the opportunity to consolidate loans or refinance for a lower interest rate or longer term.
On your dashboard, you will see a green dollar sign appear over a tab, Personal Loan, for example, when there is an opportunity to refinance for a better rate or term.
Many people don’t fully understand how much home they can afford. LendingTree’s home affordability calculator can help you understand what a realistic home price for you is based on your current finances.
If you are interested in a reverse mortgage, LendingTree has a calculator to help you determine what you can get. This calculator can tell you how much you can expect in a lump sum, loan backing, or as a line of credit.
If you are refinancing your mortgage, LendingTree has a calculator for this as well. Their refinance calculator tells you what you can recover in closing costs by refinancing your mortgage.
LendingTree’s calculators don’t stop at just mortgages. For nearly every product that they offer, LendingTree has a calculator that can help you determine what loan amount is best based on your finances.
Lending Tree Pricing
With the laundry list of products that LendingTree offers, you are probably expecting it to be an expensive service, right?
Wrong. LendingTree is entirely free to use. It does not cost anything to create an account, nor are you charged a service fee if you close a loan through LendingTree.
This may lead you to wonder, how does LendingTree make money?
LendingTree makes its money by charging financial institutions to be represented on their site. This gains those institutions’ business and exposure, and you are able to compare loan offers from several companies easily. It’s a true win-win.
Applying for loan offers through LendingTree is straightforward. You can either complete the process online or through their 1-800 number listed on their website. For clarity, I will describe the steps to complete the application through their online platform.
Your first step will be to select the type of loan for which you would like to apply. Next, you will need to indicate why you need a loan. You will also need to fill out a few pieces of relevant information, such as your address and the last four digits of your Social Security number.
The type of information that they need will vary based on what type of loan for which you are applying. For example, if you are interested in a reverse mortgage, LendingTree will request your estimated home value.
From there, LendingTree will present you with all the loan offers. They typically move the offer with the lowest APR to the top, but you can sort through the loan offers any way that you’d like. It’s important to remember that these are estimates of loan offers based on the information you gave.
Once you decide on a loan offer, you will need to apply for the loan directly through the lender. This is the step that can cause some problems for some borrowers.
Because the estimated loan offer was based on limited information, it’s possible that your rate and terms could be very different once you complete the full application. It is also entirely possible that you are denied for the loan outright.
This can be frustrating, so it’s important to make note of a few loan offers that you like.
Is LendingTree Safe To Use?
Any platform where you input your Social Security number and other sensitive personal information should have robust cybersecurity measures. Lending Tree understands this and takes your privacy very seriously.
Lending Tree encrypts all transmissions between banks, lenders, brokers, and real estate professionals using public-key cryptography algorithms.
They also use secure webpages to prevent anyone from intercepting your personal data as it moves between Lending Tree and the aforementioned third party. You will need to use a modern web browser for SSL to work. Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera, and Safari are examples of web browsers that are compatible with Lending Tree’s web page encryption.
Lastly, Lending Tree has firewall protection that protects against any malware or hackers attempting to access personal information. Not only can this protect against outside threats, any unauthorized person internally will be unable to access sensitive material.
While Lending Tree’s site is easy to navigate and has an impressive knowledge center, it’s nice to have someone to contact in case something isn’t working on the site, or if you are interested in opting out of phone calls.
Lending Tree offers both email and phone support. Through their contact page, you can select what type of problem you are experiencing from a drop-down menu. From there, you can submit a message through a ticketing system and wait for a customer service representative to get in touch with you.
If you are looking for more immediate assistance, you can choose to call their 1-800 number to speak with one of their representatives. Most companies simply list a phone number without specifying hours of operation.
Luckily, Lending Tree lists the hours when you can reach a representative. Currently, their hours of operation for phone support are 8 am to 9 pm EST Monday through Thursday, 8 am to 8 pm EST on Friday, and 10 am to 7 pm EST on Saturday.
Pros and Cons of Lending Tree
While there are many advantages to using Lending Tree, there are some things that work against it.
Here are some of the pros and cons of using Lending Tree to find a loan.
- Full Spectrum of Products: No matter what kind of loan you are shopping for, LendingTree is almost certainly able to assist you in finding the right company. Not only can they assist with a variety of loan types, but they also offer several products that can help you improve your credit, relieve debt, and manage your business. LendingTree truly has much to offer in terms of financial support and education.
- Free to Use: Is there anything better than free? As mentioned above, LendingTree makes its money from the lending companies. This means that their services are entirely free to use. This is an enormous incentive to use their services when shopping for a loan.
- Lots of Lenders Available: The advice you hear consistently when loan hunting is to shop around. While LendingTree doesn’t represent every loan provider, they have dozens of companies with loan offers to choose from. This can considerably lessen the time you spend researching potential loan providers.
- Relentless Salespeople: One of the most consistent bad reviews is about telemarketers. Because LendingTree acts as a marketplace, they share your loan request with all their lenders. Lenders will then follow up with you outside of LendingTree to try and win your business.
- Separate Application: Because LendingTree is simply the middleman, they do not actually offer the loans themselves. If you decide on a particular offer that’s presented to you through LendingTree, you will need to go through that lender to apply.
- Multiple Credit Hits: While LendingTree online uses the last four digits of your Social Security number to pull your FICO score, you should be wary of submitting an application to too many companies. Each company will conduct a hard credit pull when you apply for a loan.
Alternatives to Lending Tree
Lending Tree is not the only tool you can use when looking for a home loan. Here are some other online lenders that you can use while shopping around for a loan.
- Quicken Loans: Quicken Loans is the mortgage lender for people that want a fully online experience with the option of assistance from a real person. While you can’t get a home equity loan through Quicken Loans, you can get a custom fix-rate mortgage with terms anywhere from eight to 30 years.
- LoanDepot: As one of the nation’s most active FHA and VA lenders, LoanDepot is a big player in the lender marketplace community. Unlike Lending Tree, LoanDepot has over 150 locations nationwide. This means that you can visit their store and speak to a loan specialist face-to-face. While they do not offer home equity loans, LoanDepot can assist you with mortgage loans and refinancing.
- New American Funding: New American Funding is unique in that they employ manual underwriting. This means that they can evaluate each loan on a case-by-case basis to determine creditworthiness. Their entire process from start to finish is online, including application and document upload. New American Funding offers home equity lending, which is unique for nonbank lenders. Unfortunately, New American Funding does not operate in New York or Hawaii.
Is Lending Tree for You?
LendingTree is a leading online marketplace to help you shop for numerous types of loans all in one place. They help you compare interest rates and loan terms to help you find the best loan for your budget. They can also help you refinance existing loans and consolidate your debt.
- Numerous Loan Options
- Numerous Lender Options
- Free To Use
- Multiple Credit Hits
- Sales Calls
LendingTree is a great starting point if you’re in the process of looking for a loan.
While they don’t represent every potential lender, they can give you a good idea of what kinds of loan offers are out there.