Anytime you need to take a loan (whether it be a student loan, mortgage, auto loan, or personal loan), shopping around is important. But contacting and filling out loan applications with multiple lenders can take a lot of time and effort.
That's where loan shopping platforms like LendingTree can really come in handy. With LendingTree, you can get quotes from multiple lenders in minutes after just filling out one loan application. And since LendingTree makes its money by earning referral commissions from its partners, they're able to offer their comparison tool completely free to consumers.
Finding the lender with the lowest rates and the best terms can save you a ton of money over the life of your loan. And LendingTree can reduce the time it takes you to find that lender. Learn everything you need to know about their services by reading our full review below.
- Free loan comparison shopping tool
- Large variety of loan types and lenders to choose from
- Could be bombarded with lender phone calls after submitting application
Loan Comparison Shopping
Types of Loans
Home, auto, student loans, business, personal loans, and credit cards
Who Is LendingTree?
LendingTree was founded in 1996 and has offices in Charlotte, NC and San Mateo, CA. It’s CEO and founder is Doug Lebda. LendingTree went public on Feb 15, 2000, and currently trades on the NASDAQ (ticker is TREE).
What Do They Offer?
LendingTree is an online marketplace that matches borrowers with lenders. Rather than lending directly, LendingTree provides the ability to search for lenders based on your borrowing needs. This allows borrowers to find the best rates and terms to suit their situation.
LendingTree offers a broad range of lending products through its market place. These include:
- Mortgage Refinance
- Home Equity Loans
- Credit Cards
- Reverse Mortgages
- Mortgage Calculators
- Personal Loans
- Auto Loans
- Private Student Loans
- Student Loan Refinancing
- Business Loans
Its mortgages include several different types:
- Conventional Loans
- Jumbo Loans
- FHA Loans
- VA Loans
So who exactly are you borrowing from when you go through LendingTree? This will depend on the type of loan. Let’s look at mortgages first.
Below are some of the mortgage lenders that you’ll find on the LendingTree platform. All have close to a 5/5 star ratings.
- New American Funding (45,609 reviews)
- Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation (42,309 reviews)
- Wyndham Capital Mortgage (5,707 reviews)
- Reliance First Capital, LLC (1,861 reviews)
Requirements for mortgages vary by lender but some of the minimum requirements are:
- 620 credit score for a conventional loan and a 580 score for an FHA loan.
- Debt-to-income (DTI) ratio at or below 43%.
- Down payments can be as little as 3% on conventional loans and 3.5% for an FHA loan. Down Payment Assistance Programs can help with smaller down payments.
- Proof of steady employment and income for the past 2 years.
In your lender search results, you can click through into the reviews to see what people are saying about a specific lender. Some lenders will have little green tags that say “Top 10 Customer Satisfaction,” along with the quarter and year they earned the badge.
You may find lenders with multiple badges by their names. From the search results, you’ll be able to read about the lender and everything they offer.
LendingTree has three different types of auto loans that you can search for:
- Lease buyout.
Once you select a loan type, you're able to choose the loan length and the down payment amount. The larger your down payment, the better your offers will be.
For refinancing or lease buyouts, you’ll enter the car type, miles, and current interest rate. As with all loans, you’ll also enter your work status information to complete the application.
LendingTree offers private student loans as well as student loan refinancing. Their private student loans are available for the following degree programs:
- Associates degree
- Bachelor’s degree
- Master’s degree
You can choose from both private and federal loan types. Applying for student loans works the same as other loans on the website. Search lenders and compare, then choose a lender and complete the application.
Since LendingTree is a platform and doesn’t lend directly to consumers, who should you call when there are problems?
If you are having technical issues on the LendingTree platform, contact LendingTree. Once you accept a loan, you are handed off to the lender and any issues from there on are dealt with through that lender.
LendingTree customer service can be contacted at 1-800-813-4620. Its hours of operation are:
Monday-Thursday: 8am - 9pm EST
Friday: 8am - 8pm EST
Saturday: 10am - 7pm EST
Many people have reported being spammed via email and phone from LendingTree. In reality, these are mostly lenders contacting you with additional offers. Once you submit your information for a loan, it can go out to a large number of lenders if you meet their loan criteria and requirements.
Are There Any Fees?
There are no fees to use the LendingTree platform. However, each lender will have their own fee arrangement and/or closing costs.
How Do I Open An Account?
You can open an account online at https://www.lendingtree.com. As mentioned above, opening an account is completely free and LendingTree never asks for your credit card information.
Is My Money Safe?
Yes. No money is transacted directly through LendingTree. Once you begin working with a lender, you’ll want to ensure they are using a secure website and taking precautions to protect your money.
Is It Worth It?
Yes, it would definitely be worth it to shop your loan with LendingTree. Its comparison tool could cut down drastically on the amount of time spent researching lenders. The fact that you can see different lender rates and reviews is also helpful in picking a good lender.
However, keep in mind, that LendingTree doesn't partner with every lender. You may want to compare their lender partner list with Credible, another popular loan comparison shopping marketing. And if there are one or more top lenders you'd like to get a quote from that aren't available on either platform, you'll still need to call them directly.
Loan Comparison Shopping
Types of Loans
Online-Only (no mailed, emailed, or faxed applications allowed)
Social Security Number Required?
Other Services Offered
Transmissions between LendingTree and lenders are encrypted with public key cryptography algorithms with a minimum key size of 128 bits.
Customer Service Number
Customer Service Hours
Monday-Thursday: 8am - 9pm EST
Commissions And Fees
Ease of Use
LendingTree is a free online loan comparison shopping platform with a large variety of loan types and lenders to choose from.
- Offers a large selection of lenders and loan types
- Comparison shopping tools are completely free to use
- Online application is simple and can be completed in minutes
- Submitting a LendingTree application could lead to lots of lender phone calls and emails.
- Each lender that chooses to extend a loan offer will want to pull your credit separately.
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page, or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.
Editor: Clint Proctor