LendingTree – A Leading Online Loan Marketplace
LendingTree, LLC is a leading online marketplace with one of the largest networks of affiliate lenders in the nation. Lending Tree provides a way for its customers to connect with multiple lenders simultaneously for a variety of financial borrowing needs, including home mortgages and personal, student, auto, and small business loans.
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LendingTree doesn’t generate the loans, but rather matches borrowers to qualified lenders that are likely to approve their loan. As a result, the company offers a wide range of loans and terms, allowing borrowers to evaluate competing offers from the convenience of a single website.
Customers fill out a simple online application that examines their credit profile, after which they are able to shop, compare, and save on the loans they seek. Customers generally receive competing offers from up to five lenders within a few minutes.
In addition, customers can also track their credit scores, review all loan and credit card accounts, and they are also notified when LendingTree identifies a savings opportunity based on real-time loan offer data.
The company also offers a variety of resources and tools to help borrowers manage their finances and to remain fully informed. These include financial calculators, interactive loan coaching tools, monthly newsletters, and lender ratings and reviews – all designed to empower customers to make their best financial decisions.
A Brilliant Internet Idea Was Born
In 1996, Doug Lebda was a young accountant who was in the market to buy his first home. As it turned out, Doug had no problem finding the perfect house, but finding the perfect mortgage wasn’t so easy. Doug went from bank-to-bank, evaluating one offer after another, and he found the entire experience to be time-consuming, complicated and tedious – even for a financially astute accountant.
Believing there must be a better way, Doug asked himself, “Why not create a way for banks to compete for their customers’ business instead of having customers do all the work to find the best deals?”
And thus, a brilliant Internet idea was born. Doug founded LendingTree in 1996, and launched it nationally in 1998. Doug’s essential insight was to put the power back into the hands of consumers, and this was accomplished by creating a centralized location where they could receive multiple loan offers, just by filling out one simple form.
Doug has since moved on from his first home but that original objective is still intact today. LendingTree’s core mission is to empower consumers so they don’t have to go through the hassle and uncertainty he went through all those years ago.
Even in its earliest days, LendingTree was a win-win solution for both borrowers and lenders alike. Borrowers were provided with choice, convenience and value, and lenders had the opportunity to target consumers whose needs they were best prepared to meet.
In 2003, LendingTree, LLC came to the attention of media mogul, Barry Diller, and the company was acquired by Diller’s IAC/Interactive Corp that May. As a result, LendingTree, LLC joined a number of other great businesses that were also recognized as leaders in their own industries, including Ticketmaster, Ask.com, Home Shopping Network (HSN), and Match.com.
After a few years, LendingTree spun-off from IAC to join newly established Tree.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: TREE) which includes a portfolio of other financial matchmaking services, such as LendingTree Loans, GetSmart.com, and HomeLoanCenter.com.
In 2014, Tree.com rebranded itself back under its original LendingTree flagship name, still offering its multi-product loan matching services. The company’s headquarters are in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Today, many of the nation’s largest lending institutions – including a wealth of local, regional and alternative lenders – have joined the LendingTree marketplace. This diverse network allows LendingTree to offer a way for consumers to shop for a broad range of financing products.
When Lenders Compete for Your Business, You Win!
LendingTree is a leading online loan marketplace with one of the largest networks of lenders in the nation. By giving consumers multiple offers from several lenders in a matter of minutes, LendingTree makes comparison shopping easy.
And as their famous slogan declares – When lenders compete for your business, you win!
Whether you’re a first time homebuyer looking for a mortgage or you’re in the market for a small business loan, LendingTree can likely connect you to a lender that’s suitable for you. Some of their many financial products and tools include the following:
- Mortgage Refinance
- Home Equity Loans
- Credit Cards
- Reverse Mortgages
- Mortgage Calculators
- Banking Products
- Personal Loans
- Auto Loans
- Free Credit Score
- Student Loan Refinance
- Business Loans
How to Use LendingTree?
- Fill out one simple form online – Customers interested in a loan complete a simple form online. Or they can contact the company at any point in the process at 1-800-813-4620, in order to get answers to their questions.
- Receive multiple offers – LendingTree connects their customers to multiple lenders who provide several customized loan offers based on their credit profile. Qualified applicants can receive up to five offers in just minutes. Also, customers can use LendingTree and assess loan options with no impact to their credit score.
- Pick the best deal for you – Customers choose the loan offer they prefer and if needed, they can work with a real, live person to help finalize all the details.
LendingTree Application Process
Since LendingTree doesn’t generate the loans themselves, any specifics regarding the application process will depend on the individual lender’s requirements. However, given the breadth of its provider network and its vast experience in the industry, the company provides a high degree of flexibility for its customers who wish to explore their all their lending options.
Although the specifics of qualifying for a loan through a LendingTree affiliate will differ from lender to lender, it is safe to assume that a borrower will need a FICO score of 629 or above; have a verifiable bank account, and be a US citizen. Additionally, with regard to personal loans, a debt-to-income ratio of around 36% will be required.
LendingTree is an excellent resource for those who are unsure of their personal borrowing capacity. Because the company utilizes a borrower’s personal information to ascertain which offers they are most likely to qualify for, it provides maximum flexibility for borrowers with all types of financial backgrounds.
LendingTree Cost of Loan
Generally speaking, LendingTree offers personal loans with an average APR range of around 4.69%-35.99%. Clearly, only those borrowers with good-to-excellent credit will qualify for the low end of that spectrum. All other fees will vary depending on the lender.
Origination fees typically hover around 1%-5%, but consumers would be wise
to explore all their options because in today’s market, there are plenty of lenders that waive origination fees, and others that feature no additional fees at all.
This is where the strength of LendingTree’s vast network really comes to the fore. Customers can sort through a variety of options to find the cheapest and best loan for them.
LendingTree is a marketplace for loans, so each individual lender they’re associated with will have a different reputation. However, LendingTree only works with accredited originators with proven track records in the industry.
As an online resource, LendingTree is generally well regarded due to its flexibility and unsurpassed customer satisfaction. The company can provide personal loans for basically anything, connecting prospective borrowers to its huge list of trusted and vetted affiliates, effectively providing every type of rate, term, and loan features option under the sun.
As online marketplaces go, there really is no other company that has operated so effectively for so long. Customer opinion is universally positive, and it usually centers on privacy, ease of use, and the speed of the loan approval process.
The company has an A- with the Better Business Bureau and it has far more positive reviews than negative ones, which is unusual for a company so dominant in its business sector. Also, the company’s TrustPilot score is impressive with 95% positive reviews.
How does LendingTree Make Money?
Lenders pay the company for a chance to compete for a borrower’s business.
Customer profiles are submitted up to five lenders who then provide a customized loan offer based on the borrower’s request.
LendingTree is completely free to use but of course, if a borrower chooses to proceed with a loan, they will be responsible for any processing fees, closing costs, or any other fees as normally required by the lender.
Helping Individuals to Achieve Financial Independence
In 2010, LendingTree established the LendingTree Foundation and AboutFinancialLiteracy.com – two initiatives with a shared goal of increasing financial literacy. The LendingTree Foundation is designed to provide personalized coaching to cash-stricken families and individuals on the road to financial freedom. AboutFinancialLiteracy.com will offer a multitude of tips and tools for those looking to get their finances on track.
The LendingTree Foundation will mentor these families as part of its Financial Fitness Academy, a one-on-one program that will educate them on personal finance issues, help them set financial goals, and provide them with the tools they need to stay on track.
The LendingTree Foundation is also launching the Financial Future Fund, a grant-based aid program in which the company will offer Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) for participants who have completed the mentoring program.
The IDA is a match-based savings account in which deposits will be matched by The LendingTree Foundation.
To align these efforts, AboutFinancialLiteracy.com will also offer a host of tips and tools for consumers, including MoneyRight – an online budgeting device that allows users to create a budget, manage spending and boost their savings.
The LendingTree Foundation is actively engaged in the effort to promote financial literacy and education, and it has made a substantial commitment to this important cause.
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