Is LendingTree Reputable?

With interest rates still at record lows, my wife and I have been considering refinancing our house (last year, we refinanced our rental home). I typically use a trusted mortgage pro to handle anything I do with my home – but this time I thought I would go elsewhere. His rates have traditionally been higher than other lenders – but I’ve remained loyal to him because he is so helpful and I know we aren’t going to get “messed” with.

That said – this time around I figured I would give Lending Tree a try. I’m sure you’ve seen the commercials, “when banks compete, you win” – or this guy, Stanley Johnson:

They have definitely spent the marketing dollars to become a big player in the bank/lending recommendation business.

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My story with LendingTree

So, on January 11, I decided to “let the banks compete” and submitted my inquiry for a refinance on our house at LendingTree.com. It was a pretty easy process and it didn’t take a lot of time. I answered some pretty basic questions about the loan I was seeking, terms, personal information and hit the submit button.

In minutes – no seconds really – I was flooded with emails from lenders. Then, a few phone calls – from real people – started trickling in. I didn’t answer.

I was a bit freaked out. But, I should have known this was going to happen, right? I figured that I’d get some inquiries here and there – but instantaneous? It was like these folks were just waiting by the phone and computers – just ready to pounce. On me.

One of the first inquiries was from Discover Home Loans. I have a credit card with them and have written about how you can use your Cashback rewards at Amazon. Discover was really my first credit card – and while I’ve given them my share of stupid tax over the years, I have generally appreciated how they conduct themselves (as far as credit card companies are concerned). So, I responded to them, getting the representative on the phone who had initially contacted me. He was polite and helpful – got some initial information from me so he could start the process of my refinance. There was a little more immediacy to his pitch than I would have liked – but the guy is trying to a “close a deal” – so I wrote it off as such.

All the while – the emails and phone calls continued. I tried to close out the other offers on my account – but this didn’t stop ’em. They just kept calling. And emailing.

I continued my correspondence with my rep at Discover and sent him more documents and information he had requested. The whole process was going smoothly and I was generally pleased with how they were handling my case.

The other lenders? They still wanted to compete. And so, the phone calls -and emails kept coming. I replied to a couple, letting them know I was working with another lender, but I couldn’t reply to all. It was getting annoying.

Several weeks passed, my case was handed off to an assistance of my rep at Discover and the process continued. Documents signed, scanned and sent. The refinance process is not an easy one (as you might be aware) – and it has gotten a lot worse over the years thanks in large part to the recent mortgage crisis.

At this point – I was hoping for an off switch at LendingTree – but I couldn’t find one. And, I really didn’t want to answer every single offer with a “sorry, I’m working with another lender at this time..”

Due to the nature of our personal situation our refinance has started to get bumpy. It’s now approaching two months since my initial inquiry and we are still trying to  make it work. And, I’m sure this is not entirely their fault – but more related to our unique situation. Still – it’s not been a great ride.

Oh – the phone calls and emails? Yes, they are still coming. Not quite as frequently as they once did of course. The bad thing about the age we live in is the customer relationship programs these big companies have now. Once you get loaded into their sales funnel, it’s almost a guaranteed life sentence of being annoyed by them. I didn’t sign up for that.

So is LendingTree any good? I can only speak to the home mortgage side of their lenders – but I could only imagine the treatment being the same with other products. They need to work on allowing the customer to “tame” the lenders – and opt out (right away) of any offers or promotions they don’t want. Otherwise, they are going to annoy some good people.

Part of any good business is having people come back again for your service. In the future, I’ll probably opt for my trusted mortgage advisor or my personal bank to get the loan I want.

Have you ever tried LendingTree? What’s been your experience?

UPDATE 3/3: After publishing this article a representative from LendingTree contacted us to let us know they are working on making the experience better for customers. We aren’t out to bash a service or give bad reviews – but to share our experience with you so you can be better informed. While it appears that LendingTree has a little bit of work to do, it does seem like they are out to create a better product for all. 

get a free quote at LENDINGTREE

LendingTree

LendingTree
8.2

Ease of use

8.5/10

customer service

8.5/10

performance

7.5/10

Pros

  • Easy to use/register
  • Immediate offers
  • Good customer service
  • Responsive banks

Cons

  • Sometimes offers can be overwhelming (too many)
  • Banks can be too pushy

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31 comments

  1. Good review Aaron! I’ve never used Lending Tree and was always curious. I understand the felt need to compete, but I can understand how your experience was overwhelming or just down right annoying. I agree that they should have some type of off switch or at the very least they only allow a certain number of companies to contact you at once.

    • Aaron says:

      Thanks John. Yeah – I’m hoping they can develop something like an “off” switch – otherwise, I don’t think they’ll get many returning customers.

  2. Adam Heeg says:

    I almost signed up on LendingTree just now in 2016. They required my email, phone, address, social security number, and I was required to agree to phone calls, emails, and other advertisements to continue. I cancelled the sign up and I’m glad I did. Putting that much personal information out there with consent for it to be used in any way they see fit is unreasonable and unacceptable to me.

    • Barbara says:

      I cant remember exactly which service I used to compare a mortgage refinance loan, but I had the same exact experience. We refinanced within a couple of months, but we are still, one year later, receiving calls! I attempted to answer a couple of the calls back in the beginning, but experiencing the aggressive nature of the person on the phone when I tried to explain that we already had begun the process and made a commitment with another lender and to please remove us from their calling list, was enough to prompt me not to answer anymore of their calls. SO ANNOYING and no way to turn it off.

  3. Todd Dufrene says:

    If they agreed to make the experience better, they have not done it yet. As soon as I hit check my rate, my phone exploded. When I asked to be removed from the Lending Tree site, the were quick to do so. BUT, they do not send anything out to the lenders that are constantly calling. Some that I talked to were borderline RUDE when I said I was just checking and may stay with what I have. All in all, it is a great way to get noticed but you are overly noticed. LT said they only send information to 4 or 5 lenders but I was attacked by 30+ lenders. Oh and they were ALL rated number 1 by Lending Tree.

    • Aaron says:

      Thanks for letting us know about your experience with LendingTree Todd. Yeah, that is the one thing that I found annoying too. But, I guess you will get that if banks are “competing” for you. I did find the rates to be competitive overall.

  4. David says:

    We used Lending Tree in 2003 for an original home mortgage. Back then I don’t recall getting a barrage of replies, but we picked the top three we liked and went from there. The one we picked though, of course offered the best rates and terms.

    Turns out they lied. We got a bait and switch where many things changed in the HUD-1 and we didn’t get to see it until 30 minutes before our closing appointment. It was not a good day. We felt like we had no choice but to sign anyway, all the while feeling like we were taking it in the shorts.

    We refinanced to a 15 year fixed in 2009 and it’s one of the best financial moves I’ve ever made.

  5. Stop Calling says:

    Wow- I was about to complete this. Got to the ss part backed away thinking — eh…? Googled read this article and just as finished, before I even got to any kind of submit button I had two calls.

    Eager beavers! That’s annoying as duck.

  6. I used Lending Tree recently for a cash-out refinance on my house. My phone exploded along with some emails. I quickly narrowed down to 2 lenders because they has the best rates/options for me and were the nicest and most accommodating with my questions.

    When I said “thanks but no thanks” to lenders, I have not heard back from them. I expect to still receive automated emails, but I can always unsubscribe.

    Maybe Lending Tree has added the “off” button. Just expect to be contacted aggressively as the tradeoff for finding a great deal and you’ll be fine.

  7. Laurie says:

    Made the mistake of signing up with LendingTree today. I have a manufactured home, they do not bother to find out who does loans for this type of home even though I have requested this each time. So far, have been handed off to two different companies and each have said sorry, no manufactured homes. Meanwhile, I’m already getting emails and no doubt phone calls will follow. Isn’t there some law against this type of behavior. They haven’t provided a service, I did not opt in for robo calls or any other. All I did was call them.

    • Aaron says:

      Hi Laurie. This is kinda how the “when banks compete” process works with them. Hopefully, you’d be able to get a fair interest rate when / if they can help.

  8. Michael Bowman says:

    Hi Aaron, interesting and informative article. I work for a lender who buys Lending Tree leads and I call on them for the loan officers. I have also read on the LT website that they only send a prospective client’s lead to “up to 5 lenders”. But, I also believe that to be way false. I talk to many people (the ones that answered) and I repeatedly hear the term “bombarded with phone calls from lenders”. A guy was telling me today that he had about 800 calls today alone (perhaps a little bit exaggeration but probably pretty close…). I think your idea of an “off switch” is a very very good one.
    I am not cold calling anyone. The people I call have requested lenders to call them to see how we can help them with a loan. It is a complete waste of my time with this Lending Tree system if 799 other companies are also calling and driving the possible client crazy and I make that 800th call to them and either they don’t answer or I am berated for bothering them and hung up on. And when someone, like Brian, simply says “thanks but no thanks” I will remove their lead from our system so that we don’t waste time trying to make contact. I am very low pressure and will accept their word that they are satisfied with a lender already or have changed their mind about buying a house at this time. I am appreciative that they are letting me know, in a nice way, so that I can remove them.

    I also had to laugh when I read Tod say that all the lenders stated they were #1 on Lending Tree. There is actually a top 10 list for customer satisfaction for each quarter (we are actually #2 on the list for the 2nd quarter of 2016…no seriously, we are! Lol) Here is the link: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/lendingtree-announces-top-lenders-for-q2-2016-300329595.html We again made the top 10 list for the 3rd quarter but as of this date do not know what our number is. I am hoping we are #1 this time but we shall see!

  9. Maxwell Powers says:

    I find it “interesting” that when describing the information that Lending Tree collects, you gloss over the fact that they ask for YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER! That’s right, simply saying that they collect “personal information” is very dismissive of this important fact and a disservice to your readers. I didn’t know anything about your website or who you guys are (maybe funded by Discover, or worse yet, by Lending Tree????), but, in any event, assuming that you are legit, this is a huuuge omission. God knows how many people out there end up with ALL the information they need to commit credit fraud once an unsuspecting customer works with the Lending Tree website (they ask for name, DOB, address, and social–THAT”S ALL YOU NEED TO FRY SOMEBODY”S CREDIT!!!!). I say stay away from Lending Tree and go directly to three or four banks you trust, compare their offerings, and protect yourself.

    • Aaron says:

      Hi Maxwell. Thanks for stopping by. We do not work for LendingTree or Discover. We do however receive a small commission from LendingTree should someone decide to click on the link to get a quote. However, as you can gather from this post, we are somewhat lukewarm on their offering – though I think they have improved since we originally wrote this review. Thanks for bringing up the social security number. That could be a turnoff to many – however, if someone chooses to misuse your information in this manner, they can face some pretty serious consequences for doing so. Best.

  10. Jim says:

    I was looking for information about an equity loan. Without knowing who the company who was requesting information from me, I started filling out the information. As soon as I entered my phone number, I started getting calls. I had not finished entering information! The calls have continued non-stop since then.

    I have an app on my phone which lets me know who is calling and will not accept calls from know scams and telemarketers. Three out of every 5 calls are scams! Only 3 firms appeared to be legitimate (they have known names and phone numbers.)

    I called Lending Tree to notify them of the situation and the customer service rep claimed to never have heard of the situation that I described.

    How many people without the app have responded to scam calls and have been taken in?

    • Aaron says:

      That’s a fast response Jim! Thanks for the heads up on this. I didn’t encounter any scams when I called – just got a lot of them competing for my biz.

  11. A. L. Nedwick says:

    Lending Tree ruined my credit score! These lenders were all into my credit report because of giving my social security number to Lending Tree, of course. Never knew I would have all those messages and calls. Thought I would be working with one company–Lending Tree. WOW was I wrong. Because of this I would NEVER recommend Lending Tree.

  12. Constance says:

    This company is dangerous. Giving your personal information out to dozens of companies, rather than the 3-5 they state when you sign up, can ruin your credit. Further, your life will be dominated for weeks or months by answering the calls from the lenders. My answering machine is filled virtually every day with lender calls, and legitimate calls to my home cannot get through. I miss important calls now, and lending tree claims that they have no way to stop the calls once the onslaught has been triggered. I have been thinking of taking them to small claims court given the misrepresentations on their website. Perhaps a class action is in order.

  13. Kelley says:

    I am very nervous about giving my information out to this Royal United Mortgage. His name was Steve Davis. It is the first call I received when I put in my number. He seemed reputable and he did send me an email with all his information. But I want to be completely certain the company is legit. Can you please supply me with well known mortgage companies for a refinance on my current home and let me know how to look them up on the Better Business Bureau.

    • Aaron says:

      Hi Kelley. Thanks for your note, however we cannot vouch for any of the lenders that LendingTree has in their system. I would assume they have some way to vet most of their base of lenders, so there is some confidence there. It might be best to stick with well-known banks?

  14. Jeff says:

    Seems like the lesson here is, get a new gmail account just for the lending tree process, and get a google voice number to use for your application. Once you secure financing you can give the lender your real phone number, then trash the old google voice number and temporary email account. I’m considering using lending tree myself to try to get a good deal on an auto loan and I think this is what I will do.

    • Aaron says:

      Hm, that’s an interesting way to handle it Jeff and would certainly take care of all the feedback you’ll get. Smart! Love to hear how it turns out if you use them.

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