LendingTree Review - How It Works, Drawbacks, Is It Worth It?

By Zina Kumok
Updated on: Dec 19, 2019

What is LendingTree?

LendingTree describes themselves as “an online loan marketplace for various financial borrowing needs including auto loans, small business loans, personal loans, credit cards and more.” Consumers can use LendingTree to compare rates from a variety of Lenders.

Founded in 1996, LendingTree is currently the largest online lending marketplace in the United States. Their business model is similar to other loan marketplaces like Bankrate, Rocket Loans, Zillow and HSH.

In this review, we’ll explain how their process works, talk about the cost and analyze customer reviews and complaints to help you determine if LendingTree is right for you.

How LendingTree Works

To receive loan offers from Lending Tree, you first need to provide some basic information. This may include your name, address, credit score range, gender, marital status, birthday and email address. In some cases, you’ll have to provide a phone number and the last four digits of your Social Security number.

You may have to answer other questions such as:

  • If you’re a current homeowner
  • If you’ve had a bankruptcy or foreclosure in the past seven years
  • If you or your spouse has ever served in the military
  • If you have a co-borrower on the loan
  • If you rent or own your home

When you give personal information to LendingTree, you agree to let them share these details with their loan partners. Multiple lenders will then contact you about submitting a full application.

Even though it bills itself as a full-scale marketplace, LendingTree doesn’t include every major lender or provider. The service will provide a quick snapshot of available lenders, but nothing like the breadth of options you can find by doing the research yourself.

When you submit a quote request on LendingTree, you’ll see a soft pull on your credit report, which won’t affect your credit score. If you complete a full application with a LendingTree affiliate, then you’ll see a hard pull on your credit. This will knock a few points off your credit score, but you should regain those in a couple of months.

Available Loans

Home Loans

LendingTree offers four types of home loans for single-family, townhome, condominium, multi-family home and manufactured or mobile homes:

  • Home purchase
  • Home refinance
  • Home equity
  • Reverse mortgage

Their mortgage options include conventional, VA, and FHA loans. You can use LendingTree to buy a primary home, secondary home or investment property.

If you’re buying a home without a real estate agent, LendingTree will even offer to provide your information to an agent.

One problem reported by borrowers is that mortgage rates on LendingTree are higher than with other lenders. Right now, my husband and I are refinancing our house and have selected a lender. I put in my real information for a home refinance and only saw one rate that was equal to our current refinance offer. The rest were much higher than other quotes I received.

Personal Loans

LendingTree offers personal loans for the following reasons:

  • Debt consolidation
  • Pay off credit cards
  • Home improvement
  • Home buying
  • Major purchase
  • Car financing
  • Business
  • Vacation
  • Wedding expenses
  • Moving and relocation
  • Medical expenses

Anyone interested in a personal loan needs to submit their reason, how much they want to borrow and how quickly they need the money. The maximum loan amount ranges from $1,000 to $50,000 and includes terms from two to five years.

LendingTree also lets shoppers filter the search by customer rating. That can provide valuable information, but it’s wise to research lenders on objective sites instead of only using reviews from the marketplace. Like other parts of LendingTree, the rates for personal loans may not reflect what the market actually has available.

Credit Cards

LendingTree compiles credit cards and divides them into categories like:

  • Low interest
  • Balance transfer
  • Student
  • No foreign fee
  • No annual fee

Users can narrow down their search further with groupings such as airlines, business, gas, cashback and a general rewards category. They can also filter by credit score or card types (Visa, American Express, Discover or Mastercard).

If you click on “Card Category” at the top center of the page, you’ll see extra categories such as:

  • Student
  • Apple Pay
  • EMV Chip
  • Prepaid
  • Gas
  • Military

There’s also a handy “compare” feature that lets users select a few cards and compare them side-by-side.

LendingTree can make it easier to see which cards you’re likely to qualify for, but it’s not a comprehensive review of all available credit cards. There are many reputable cards missing from their categories, so users should look at other sites before applying for a credit card.

Insurance

LendingTree offers quotes for home, auto and life insurance, as well as insurance bundles. They can provide car insurance quotes for multiple vehicles, and can also bundle car and renters insurance in one policy.

Home insurance providers in the marketplace include Esurance, Allstate and Farmers Insurance, while life insurance companies include Fabric and Ladder.

Because LendingTree doesn’t include all major insurance providers, customers may not be getting the best rates they qualify for. This is where marketplaces like LendingTree may be harmful to customers.

When I input my personal information, I got a list of three companies offering quotes. I clicked on one of them and was transferred to their website, where I was expected to type in my information all over again for a quote.

This is another frustrating aspect of Lending Tree. A customer might think they’ve finished inputting all their information, only to be asked to repeat the process all over again.

Student Loans

LendingTree offers student loan refinancing and new student loans for both parents and children. Their refinancing partners include SoFi, Earnest, LendKey, Laurel Road and Citizens Bank.

Students looking for new loans need to supply their school name, total loan amount, graduation year, zip code and email address. Options include both fixed and variable-rate loans from lenders such as Discover, Sallie Mae, SunTrust and CommonBond. Interest rates will vary based on the institution, total loan amount and current market rate.

LendingTree fails to mention that borrowers should apply for student loans through the federal government before applying with LendingTree. Federal loans have more repayment options, lower interest rates and don’t require a cosigner. Parents can also take out federal loans for their children.

Banking Products

Though it’s known as a loan aggregator, LendingTree also provides recommendations for banking products such as CDs, savings, checking and money market accounts.

Unlike their other services, customers don’t have to submit personal information to see what’s available. This is because the rates aren’t dependent on credit score or location.

If you’re looking for a new bank, make sure to compare options outside of LendingTree. There are several high-yield banks missing from their list.

What to Know about LendingTree

LendingTree shows rates based off the information you supply. If you think you have a 750 credit score, you’ll see rates for that score. If your score is actually closer to 650, the final rate will likely be higher than the initial one. Use accurate information or you might discover a less desirable rate later on in the process.

Some users complain that rates on LendingTree aren’t competitive. If you’re using LendingTree as your only research tool, you probably won’t get an accurate view of what’s available. Look for rates outside of LendingTree to see what you actually qualify for. Remember to compare APRs, not just interest rates, because those reflect all possible fees.

Downsides of LendingTree

One major drawback to LendingTree - and a primary complaint among users - is that you have to input your email address and sometimes your phone number to get personalized quotes.

There’s no option to get a quote and then reach out to the lender yourself. It can be incredibly annoying to receive a barrage of phone calls and texts just because you asked for a quote.

LendingTree has an online form you can fill out that puts you on their “do not call” list. Unfortunately, this doesn’t apply to lenders who got your information from LendingTree. You’ll have to ask them directly to stop calling you.

One way to avoid this problem is by giving out a Google Voice number when filling out forms. This lets you input a real number where you can still access voicemails and text messages without granting access to your real cell phone. You can get a Google Voice number for free with a Google account.

Bottom Line

Despite its limitations, LendingTree is still a reputable site that connects eager consumers with lenders. They have a Trustpilot score of 4.5 out of 5 with more than 7,500 reviews.

Borrowers considering a loan can use LendingTree as a jumping-off point. If they don’t like what they see, there’s no obligation to follow through.

Signing up on LendingTree should only be done once you’re ready for a loan; otherwise, you’ll be inviting lots of annoying phone calls. If you decide to use LendingTree, try to get quotes from a couple of other sites as well.


Customer Reviews

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  • If it sounds too good to be true

    • By Steve Picanco,
    • San Bernardino, CA,
    • Apr 27, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I received an email from LendingTree stating that I qualified for a loan up to $6,000. I could really use that money, so I gave them a call. I was told I would get a $6,900 loan and make 36 payments of only $209. In the back of my mind I'm repeating, "if it's too good to be true..." But, I'm an honest guy, and I thought they would be, too.

    They sent me an official looking loan document saying I was approved and yada, yada, yada. They wanted me to sign it and fax it back to them. They told me that 25 minutes after they receive my fax, the money would be in my bank account. Needless to say, it was never put it.

    The following day I phone LendingTree to find out the status of my loan. The first thing I thought was "odd, they never say the company's name when they answer the phone." Then, they tell me I need to pay $300 for some kind of insurance because my credit is bad. They wanted me to buy an iTunes cards. That's why I finally admitted to myself that if it's too good to be true, IT IS! Oh well, you live and learn!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • LendingTree mortgage

    • By Ted B.,
    • Florida,
    • Aug 4, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I was waiting in a doctor's office and clicked on an email. I just wanted to check out the current rates and see if I might be in the market. I filled out a few pages of requested info, but when I got to the last page, I read that "by clicking continue, you agree to receive calls from our partners" (not a direct quote, but you get the point). I decided that it was not for me, so I closed the page. I DID NOT agree to be contacted, but I was deluged with calls. 39 calls in the first 5 minutes. This has got to be illegal. I finally answered one call and asked to be removed from the calling list. I didn't get half the request out before he hung up on me. LendingTree had just guaranteed that I will never use them. Shady, shady, shady.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Overwhelmed with LendingTree

    • By Daisy N.,
    • California,
    • Nov 5, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I was looking for a home equity line of credit. I contacted my bank and my credit union and thought to contact LendingTree as well. I only entered my basic contact information. I immediately got a response from Ruben. Ruben wanted more information but I was reluctant since I wanted to be sure he was working with LendingTree. I told him I was going to check him out and get back to him. I continued to get phone calls, text, emails from brokers from all over California. I didn't feel comfortable, so I decided to go with a lender I knew. As I continued to be contacted, I told them that I had a lender already, but they didn't care. They continued to call. Ruben told me my credit was ran by LendingTree. I was so upset since I didn't authorize it. He kept calling and texting me several times. When I told him I was going to post a negative review, he said he would sue me. I couldn't believe what was happening to me. I felt harassed, violated, and overwhelmed. It was a big mistake to fill out my contact information at LendingTree.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Concerns

    Overall Experience:

    While LendingTree is a good concept and allows access to a large number of lenders, my experience was that there is very little ethical oversight of these lenders. they try to make a fast sell regardless of sound economical factors, as a few years ago when the house market went down.

    The lenders at that time wanted to give me an adjustable mortgage when everyone new at the time that it was not a good thing for the client and as I refused the offer of the adjustable mortgage deal, as the agent was hanging the phone on me, he said, “Stupid idiot!” Lending Tree should be more careful as to who they refer clients to. Thanks

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Robocall nightmare

    • By Julia Stone,
    • Wisconsin,
    • Dec 5, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I was not prepared for the dozens of calls I received from so many mortgage brokers. I thought the process would let me know if I could get pre-approved for a mortgage and it became impossible to keep up with the lenders. I had to turn my phone off for a week. All of them wanted additional info to process my loans and I thought that's what I had gone through in the first place.

    When I stopped answering my phone, the emails started and I had to unsubscribe to each one. Lending Tree gives you no option to opt out to everyone through their site. This is what really irritates me. I finally had to start telling each lender that I was not interested and every single one hung up on me when I did. I've never seen a ruder group of people and the process was a nightmare.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • LendingTree is just a "bait-n-switch" scam

    • By Michael W.,
    • Texas,
    • Feb 27, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I wanted to change the terms on my auto loan. I signed up for LendingTree and they sent me 6-7 offers. All of them had low rates, but when you contact them directly, they raised the rates. I have great credit so it's not a credit issue. This is called "bait-n-switch!" I'm not a lawyer, so I don't know if it is illegal, but I do know it is unethical and a waste of my time. All I got were scammers and junk phone calls.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Scam-types

    • By Mark Hodgson,
    • New Jersey,
    • Feb 16, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    As you go through their process, they want more and more contact information. The final one is your phone number, then when you click on the button that states "get quotes" and in that process accept all of their terms and conditions, what you get is not a quote, what you get is a mad rush of salespeople calling you. These are not quotes, these are salespeople from companies that you have never heard of who want all your information. They want to make a sale NOW. All I wanted to to do was look at rates and costs and make my own decision on my timeline. In the end, I found no company that I could trust from them.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Horrible company

    • By Kirk R.,
    • Los Angeles, CA,
    • Sep 20, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I was trying to get a loan to catch up on some bills, and I supposedly qualified for $2600 with them. They are very aggressive in trying to do everything in the same day, your route number bank account etc., and they try to rush you. After I did my homework on them they must have known something. The offer of $2600 was supposed to have been good for 30 days. I asked the salesperson about the APR on the loan and he said, "look it up on the website." I did; it was 187 percent APR. I got an email the next day saying my loan was rescinded.

    A bunch of crooks! I emailed back saying thank God crooks.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Want every high pressure lender in the country calling you? Then Lending Tree is for you!

    • By Matt O.,
    • Brentwood, CA,
    • Aug 4, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I went to Lending Tree to see what rates would be advertised as. They don't have much, but they presented an opportunity to give them some basic information and with a soft credit pull gets me some lender rates. So I did that. Not only did they not get me any rates or "offers" online, but I also got over 100 calls in a 48 hour period. Yes, 100! Even if I wanted a loan right away, this is not how I would want to do it. Awful experience!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • SCAM!

    • By Bette M.,
    • Minnesota,
    • Feb 18, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    A text message was sent to me (by Steve Davis with Lending Tree) stating I had been approved for up to $10K TODAY. Because I am in need of the money, I called them back. After I verified information (personal information) with him, he stated that because my credit wasn't very good I would need to have a place called Credit Bureau Department deposit a random dollar amount into my account then send it to them (Lending Tree) and my credit score would then increase. Once that all happened then the original $10K would be deposited into my account. SERIOUSLY?! When I started asking specific questions and stating that they were a SCAM, they no longer wanted to talk. Imagine that! Unfortunately, they prey on people that are in desperate situations...sad!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Rude

    • By A,
    • Michigan,
    • Oct 2, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I called to get a loan, I don't have good credit because of bankruptcy but was honest about it. They said they would send me to a company that would give me a loan. Put me over to someone that wanted to rebuild my credit. When I said I need a loan now, he was very rude and said goodbye!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


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