Lending Tree Review (The LendingTree Lending Comparision Website)
Lending Tree is a matchmaking company that runs a soft search on your credit and then gives you a list of lenders and companies that may be willing to offer you lending facilities. It is a free service, but it has a terrible online reputation because they give your contact details away to a great many companies. Is Lending Tree a scam? No it is not, but it is also not a lender. It is more like a comparison website for lenders. Interestingly, the company that owns Lending Tree also owns the dating site known as Match.com.
What Does Lending Tree Do?
Lending Tree (or LendingTree) connects you with lenders and with service providers. Lending Tree offers you a comparative list of home loan providers, auto loan providers, and personal loan providers. The website also shows you quotes from different business loan providers and student loan providers. They have a credit card comparison tool that links you to different credit card providers. Also, the company offers you a free credit check that doesn’t require a credit card or free trial.
The Lending Tree claims it will try to help you improve your credit rating too. I believe that it is in their interest to help you improve your credit rating because you are more likely to lend from one of their affiliates. However, like most websites that offer free credit ratings, the company is only able to give you advice while showing you what your credit rating looks like. It is up to you to change the way you manage your finances while using Lending Tree credit checks to see if your credit rating has gone up or down. The image below shows the types of tips that Lending Tree have on offer.
Lending Tree – Pros
- Lending Tree doesn’t pull the same trick that Equifax, TransUnion and Experian pull. The trick that the credit bureaus pull is to have you sign up for a free trial and then make it difficult to opt out of the free trial so that it rolls over into you paying for it. Lending Tree doesn’t pull this trick, and as reassurance, they do not take your credit card details when you sign up.
- The Lending Tree website is pretty easy to understand and to use. The credit rating and credit score they show you is not as in-depth as the sort of thing you can buy, but there is no need for an in-depth report these days. As for the comparative side of the website, it is just like using a comparison website except that Lending Tree gives you more of an idea if you will be accepted or not.
- Just like with Credit Karma, Noddle, CreditWise (and others), you do not receive a full credit report, but you see what the lenders see. Some lenders will take a deeper look into your credit history when they agree to lend you money, but when they run their soft search, they are seeing what you are seeing when you generate a credit rating on the Lending Tree website.
- One of the “cons” (downsides) on the list below refers to the poor quality companies that Lending Tree is affiliated with. With that noted, one has to give Lending Tree credit for all the okay, good and great companies that they are affiliated with. Lending Tree gives you a list of companies that are likely to lend to you or offer you services, and only a minority of the companies are of poor quality.
Lending Tree – Cons
- LendingTree is a puzzler in some respects. For example, its stock price is US$345 at the time of writing, which suggests it is a top-class company, and yet its website is optimized so poorly for Google. When you see it on the Google search engine results, the opening text is useless, and the headline shows the company name and its phone number. Do they think that people are in such a rush that they will call before clicking the Google link?
- Lending Tree gives out your phone number to whoever they like. They are not breaking any data protection laws either because their terms and conditions state that they “need” to submit your information to lenders/service-providers in order to get your quotes. You will be hounded by sales calls after using Lending Tree.
- The website connects you with a variety of different lenders. For that reason, the terms, conditions and underwriting processes varies from one quote to the next. This means you need to do research into the underwriting process every time you check out a new lender’s quote.
- The website was designed by somebody who really dislikes white people. Throughout the whole website there are about 3 pictures of white people compared with the tens of pictures of black and Asian people. I know there are fewer and fewer white people in the US these days, but I do not think they are outnumbered by black people at a rate of ten to one. It would be nice to think that maybe the web designer is colorblind and just sees people as people (which would be nice), but I kinda think it is because the designer really hates white people.
- Some of the companies that Lending Tree deals with are absolutely outrageous. It is up to Lending Tree to offer people services from respectable and honest dealing companies. Yet, there are a minority of lending companies that act more like the mafia than lending companies. Lending Tree should exclude such companies from their comparisons, but they would rather (greedily) receive affiliate payments rather than care for their users.
Is Lending Tree Right For Me?
No, Lending Tree is not right for you. This is an odd situation because there is nothing overtly wrong with Lending Tree, and they are certainly not scamming people, but signing up with them is not worth your trouble. Plus, even though we couldn’t confirm it, there are some users online who claim that running searches with Lending Tree affected their credit rating with hard searches. We couldn’t recreate the same circumstances, so we couldn’t confirm if such claims were true or false, but more than one online reviewer has said it.
You will be barraged with marketing calls and emails from their affiliates and there is no way around it. Lending Tree could easily specify that their affiliate-linked companies do not use any of their user’s information, but Lending Tree does not. Additionally, canceling or closing your Lending Tree account is much too difficult and some people find it impossible (for some reason). Plus, some of the lenders that Lending Tree puts you in touch with are of a very poor quality.
Lending Tree is not the one lending you money or providing services, but the way they manage their business is incorrect.
- They could force affiliates to agree not to contact you with marketing calls, (but Lending Tree does not).
- They could only deal with reputable and honest lenders and service providers, (but Lending Tree does not).
- Lending Tree could make it far easier for users to cancel their accounts, (but they do not).
A Top Tip From Ash The Great That Will Get Me In Trouble
Our research team submitted their email addresses and phone numbers in order to use this website. They are burnable (single use) services that we use so that we may sign up for stuff without the risk of being identity scammed. Less than 15 minutes after using the website, we received a sales call from an insurance company, and then from a payment protection company. We also received an average of 8 to 13 junk emails per day.
As I said in the “cons” section, you are tacitly and explicitly giving Lending Tree the right to use your information to find deals for you, and it is at the discretion of their affiliate companies if they wish to use your information for marketing. There is no way to use the Lending Tree service without agreeing to their terms and conditions, so you either live with the marketing messages or you do not use the website.
This got me thinking, do you have anybody who is owed a little negative karma coming his or her way? Don’t set up a Facebook page with the aim of getting that personality to commit suicide, and do not write that person’s name in a public bathroom. Just submit their details to Lending Tree. You do not even need to use their real name, just enter their phone number and/or their email address instead of yours. Let them receive phone calls from overly happy to help Sandra and her deals on great payment insurance options.
Just for giggles, here are a few funny pieces of bathroom vandalism I found online.
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