LendingTree is the nation’s leading online loan marketplace. It provides borrowers with a one-stop shop where they can search for lenders on one online platform. It gives the borrower the ability to find the best loans available and allow you to shop among the various loan offers available.
More than this, Lending Tree creates an environment in which multiple lenders compete for your business. This gives you an outstanding chance of identifying the best loan offers available. The platform offers all kinds of consumer loans and offers business loans.
LendingTree isn’t a direct lender, but a lender aggregator who brings many lenders together on one web platform. It is perhaps the largest anywhere on the internet.
The platform 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.
LendingTree’s Available Loan Types
If it has anything to do with consumer finance, it’s available on LendingTree. Loan types included are as follows:
This is a core lending area for LendingTree. In fact, 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.
Everyone’s experienced being thoroughly exhausted sifting through all the details of individual credit card offers, but LendingTree can seriously simplify the process.
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 various offers side by side so you can pick the right one for you. The process also avoids the need to make separate applications to multiple credit card issuers. This can save you time, effort and money.
Shopping for student loans can be as time-consuming and tedious as the search for credit cards. There are a large number of programs, each with its own details. LendingTree streamlines the process by bringing the lenders to you in one place. You can select from the best loan offers presented.
They have student loan programs available for both new loans and refinancing existing debt.
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.
LendingTree has a surprisingly 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
- Court judgments
They also go into the different types of loans which can be used for debt consolidation. In the process, they discuss 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 (HELOCs), and student loan consolidations.
They also discuss the pros and cons of debt consolidation versus debt management, versus debt settlement. LendingTree is an excellent resource for debt consolidation, even if you never actually take a loan.
They also provide an easy to use Debt Consolidation Calculator. It can help you see how the process can benefit you:
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 balances this out 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.
It isn’t just one type of loan either. 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
Other LendingTree Services
One thing you notice about Lending Tree very quickly is it’s a comprehensive credit site. If it has anything to do with credit, you’ll find it on the platform. But LendingTree goes beyond credit with some of the services they provide – like auto insurance.
Here are some of the additional services LendingTree offers…
Your Free Credit Score
You can sign up to get your free credit score through LendingTree, and they won’t even ask you to keep a credit card on file. It’s a true free offering. You’ll have to complete a simple application, but checking your score will not impact your credit.
The score provided is the VantageScore 3.0 from TransUnion, which is one of the three major credit bureaus. It’s not your actual FICO score used by lenders, but an educational score which parallels FICO.
In addition to the free credit score, LendingTree provides information to help you understand your credit report and the credit scoring process. They explain how credit scores are calculated, why you need to check it periodically, and ways to improve your score.
LendingTree’s Credit Repair page provides you with a short list of credit repair providers who can help you to improve your credit, or workout settlements with lenders. They even include the fees charged by those services.
They then go on to explain the basics of credit repair, and what your options are if you’re having credit troubles. The information could be a good bit deeper if it could instruct you on the specifics of how to dispute errors on your credit report. But it’s still a good starting point. And if you have enough credit issues, you may need the services of one of the credit repair specialists they offer.
This is a category isn’t directly related to credit. But since auto insurance is required by law in virtually every state (except New Hampshire), and since it’s necessary in order to get car financing, it’s a welcome topic on the LendingTree web platform.
The Auto Insurance page gives you an opportunity to shop among auto insurers who do business in your state. Much as is the case with shopping for a loan, you’ll have a chance to compare plans side-by-side, making your choice easier.
The page also provides some basic information on car insurance and even how to get the best rate.
It’s not surprising Lending Tree offers perhaps the most comprehensive collection of mortgage calculators on the web. They are, after all, a licensed mortgage broker. They provide calculators for virtually any type of mortgage scenario you can imagine, including:
- 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 insight to help guide you in the home financing process. Like everything else available on the platform, there is no cost to you for using the calculators.
Ratings and Reviews
As an indication of just how comprehensive LendingTree is, they also provide a Lender Ratings & Reviews service. They are specific ratings and review of lenders in each loan category and they’re done by actual borrowers. Those are the best kinds of reviews, since they represent direct experience with a specific lender.
You can use Ratings & Reviews 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 Use the LendingTree Website
Using the Lending Tree platform is a pretty straightforward process. You must complete a series of screens which will determine your location, your general credit score range, 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.
LendingTree Fees. There are no fees to use the service as a borrower as LendingTree earns their revenue from lenders who pay a fee to the platform for participating. LendingTree is also a Marketing Lead Generator service. This means your information may be provided to participating lenders for solicitation purposes.
LendingTree Pros and Cons
- There is no cost to participate in the platform.
- LendingTree provides you with a large number of potential lenders in one location.
- Since several lenders will likely respond to your loan request, lenders are effectively competing with one another for your business.
- You can request consideration by multiple lenders by completing a single application, which you do when you initially sign up for the service. There’s no need to complete individual applications for each lender.
- The site is comprehensive, not only providing lender options for virtually every type of financing, but also educational resources to help you better manage your credit.
- They provide a wide selection of free services including a large number of mortgage calculators, credit and credit score information, debt relief resources, and more.
- You must provide an extensive amount of personal information to get access to the loan offerings.
- The fine print describes Lending Tree 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 in the platform and 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 so you must still meet the specific loan qualification requirements of each lender.
Should You Get Financing through LendingTree?
Whatever type of financing you’re interested in getting – mortgages, auto loans, business loans, student loans or credit cards – LendingTree is worth a close look. Apart from the many free services it offers to help you in the loan decision and with your credit situation, the platform represents perhaps the largest number of lenders on one platform. Lenders will compete for your business and give you the opportunity to make an informed decision about the best loan offer for you.
Probably the biggest negative with LendingTree is you should expect to be solicited by various lenders, even after you make your loan choice. LendingTree doesn’t hide the fact they are a marketing lead generator, and 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, check out the LendingTree website and see what it can do for you.