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LendingTree Review: Do You Really Win?

“When banks compete, you win” is a slogan you’ve probably heard recently but is that really true or is that just a clever slogan wrapped around some somewhat clever advertisements? In summary, I think LendingTree [3] offers you a quick, free, easy way to determine what the ballpark rates should be for someone with your credit profile. The fact that it’s free makes their offer compelling, why not enter in your information so you can figure out whether you can get a good rate or just an OK rate.

When I was looking at houses over two years ago, I signed up to LendingTree [3] because of all the advertisements I saw on the television and because I felt that it was a useful resource. It’s essentially a search engine for mortgage loans and while the banks don’t necessarily “compete” in the sense that they are scrambling to beat one another for a loan, it certainly aggregates all the offers in one place so you can compare them easily.

Easily Compare Offers
I think that everyone should use LendingTree [3] because getting those offers is free and because it gives you a general idea of the rates you can probably expect. See, Bankrate is nice with their rate listings but they’re not terribly accurate; getting a series of rate quotes based on your personal information and geographic area will give you a better sense of what’s a “good” rate and what’s a “bad” rate.

Pre-Approval Letter
Another benefit to using LendingTree was that they processed me for a pre-approval letter and I was able to print that out within hours (I want to even say within minutes since in a previous post I talked about how LendingTree called me a little after I submitted a quote [4]). A pre-approval letter is crucial whenever you’re bidding on a home because it shows that you are a qualified bidder (that you’re good for the amount that you bid) and, given how hot the market was in two years ago, so it was definitely a bonus to using LendingTree (even though my loan wasn’t originated by a LendingTree lender).

Lots and Lots Of Offers
This can be a good or a bad thing depending on your perspective but within minutes of applying, I was deluged with mortgage related emails from all sorts of lenders from local banks and credit unions to big national banks that had a presence in my geographic area. Some of the offers included sample rate quotes based on my information, some were just cold call type “hey we’re here, call us,” but in general it was good.

Why Am I Pimping LendingTree?
I’m compensated for each signup but also because I had an email asking me whether I thought LendingTree was worth using and whether it resulted in any spam. I don’t think I’ve gotten any spam as a result of using LendingTree but you can never be certain with those sorts of things. Since it’s a major company and fairly reputable, I’m inclined to think that they don’t sell the lists or do anything questionable. However, considering your information is forwarded to a bunch of banks and lenders, you could perhaps get spammed if those institutions sell your information. Ultimately, who knows… use a good spam filter and you should fine.

Has anyone had a good or bad experience with LendingTree?