LendingTree is an online loan marketplace that allows potential borrowers to receive multiple loan offers by filling out just one form. Once you complete your application, you receive multiple offers from financial institutions, allowing you to compare rates and terms and find the best deals.
The idea behind LendingTree is to make banks compete for your business, rather than making you do all of the work in researching the best loan products for your own situation. We’ll take you through how LendingTree works, what kind of loans you can expect, and other considerations when applying for a personal loan through LendingTree.
LendingTree Personal Loans
All of LendingTree’s offers are for unsecured loans, so you don’t have to worry about putting up any type of collateral, such as your car, house, or savings just to get a loan.Interest rates depend on a number of factors, including your credit score, how much you borrow, and the term of the loan.
Because of the nature of LendingTree where you are given multiple offers from different lenders, it’s not uncommon to see a range of rates when you do receive proposals. However, LendingTree states their lender partners offer rates as low as 5.32% APR and can go all the way up to 36%. You could see variations in rates as high as nearly 5% depending on your financial history.
Loan amounts vary from $1,000 to $35,000. Funds can be used for a variety of reasons, including debt consolidation, college tuition, home renovation projects, vehicles, business expenses, and even as a down payment on a property. There are no application fees associated with LendingTree, but as a borrower you will be responsible for any fees associated with taking out the loan, including origination fees and closing costs. Finally, most borrowers using LendingTree have a credit score of at least 660.
Start off by choosing the kind of loan you want. The most popular categories include debt and credit card consolidation, home improvement, vacations, wedding expenses, and medical expenses. From there you’ll fill out a request form, which can be completed either online or over the phone. You’ll be asked questions about your desired loan amount, your employment, and your income, all of which will need to be verified later in the process.
After your information is filled out, it’s sent to several lenders. They each analyze your information individually and send you a loan offer customized just for you. You can see all of your available offers directly on your LendingTree account dashboard. You’re under no obligation to accept any offer, and you can even negotiate using other lenders’ offers as a starting point.
Note that once you fill out your information through LendingTree, you’ll deal with lenders directly, rather than going through the initial website. LendingTree is a loan broker, not an actual lender.
When LendingTree pulls your credit report as part of the initial process, it only performs a soft pull. However, there is no guarantee how each lender handles credit checks. Each one may perform either a soft check or a hard check, the latter of which can affect your credit score. And with personal loans, each inquiry counts separately on your credit report no matter how close together they were conducted.
Once You’re Approved
Once you select a loan offer, you’ll work directly with the lender to complete the application process. This typically includes providing supporting documentation to verify your financial information, such as pay stubs, W-2s, and bank account statements. The rest of the process really depends on your individual circumstances with the lender: how and when you’ll receive the funds and what your repayment terms will be.
All of LendingTree’s partner lenders report payments history to Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, which can help your credit score when you pay on time each month.
One of the benefits of signing up with LendingTree is that you can track your credit score for free with your account. The website also has a lot of great resources for borrowers, including articles and tips to help you figure out which loan is the right choice.
There are also countless customized calculators to use, including those geared towards mortgage, debt consolidation, home affordability, personal loan repayment, and many many more. If you need some help figuring out what your loan payments could look like in several different scenarios, then LendingTree is the place to go to find exactly what kind you’re looking for.
LendingTree also offers an app for both iOS and Android smartphones. You can check on your credit score, review your current loans, and even apply for a new loan. It’s a great way to stay up to date on what’s happening with your finances.
LendingTree was launched nationally in 1998 by a former accountant who was tired of having to shop around at banks to find the best loan rates. Instead, he wanted to make financial institutions compete with each other for customers’ business. Since that time, LendingTree has facilitated over 55 million loan requests and reach $251 billion in closed loan transactions.
It offers personal loans, mortgages, refinances, home equity loans, auto loans, student loans, small business loans, and more. Clearly LendingTree is a major player in the industry with lots of borrowers appreciating its business model.
What to Consider Before Finding a Loan with LendingTree
LendingTree’s matchmaking model is a little bit different from most online lenders. Think about both the pros and the cons before you start filling out your application form.
Being Courted by Multiple Lenders
The thing that makes LendingTree so great is also the thing that can cause the most annoyance for potential borrowers. That is the access you receive to several different lenders and loan offers. On the one hand, it’s great because you get to shop around and negotiate multiple loans without having to manage scores of applications. On the other hand, many users complain about the dramatic number of phone calls and emails they receive from lenders almost immediately after filling out the form.
If you don’t want the hassle of dealing with a lot of lenders vying for your business, then LendingTree might not be a great choice for you. If, however, you like the idea of pitting lenders against each other and bargaining for the best deal, then you’ll probably enjoy the entire process. For most people, it will likely be a matter of whether or not the inconvenience is worth the additional access to loan offers.
Unsure of Your Credit
As a loan broker, LendingTree can be a good option for borrowers with a range of credit scores. Since the company partners with all types of lenders, you might have a better chance of finding one that works with individuals who have bad credit or even limited credit. In fact, many users report that they receive dozens of offers to compare through the website. That’s because LendingTree partners with more than 1,500 lenders across the country.
If you’re not sure exactly where your credit stands or what type of offers to expect, this can help you wade through lots of options and get a better idea of what loan terms you should be receiving. Plus, that’s a lot more information to compare rather than simply trying to navigate just a few loan applications on your own. There’s always something to be said for diversity, and LendingTree certainly provides that.
LendingTree’s service doesn’t stop once you pick a loan. A nice perk provided by the company is that they continue to monitor better deals for your loan needs. When a potentially less expensive loan becomes available for your credit profile, LendingTree actually sends you an alert so you can check out the details. From there you can decide whether or not it’s worth refinancing your personal loan.
Taking out a personal loan of any kind is a huge decision. Before applying through LendingTree, be sure to thoroughly weigh the pros and cons that come along with working through a broker rather than a direct lender. There is definitely a lot to consider before you make up your mind on what is the best path when searching for a personal loan.