PROS / As a broker, LendingTree connects you with multiple choices in lenders and loan offers.
CONS / After you find a lender, you no longer work with LendingTree, so it cannot explain the entire underwriting process as it varies from lender to lender.
VERDICT / LendingTree connects you with lenders from its network so that you can compare and choose the best loan rates, fees and terms that fit your specific financial situation.
When choosing a lender for your mortgage or refinance loans, you want to find the lowest rates and fees along with a term that works with your borrowing goals. You can take the time to shop around, but LendingTree is a broker, so it takes the time for you to find the best loan options. When you apply for a loan with LendingTree, it collects from its network of lenders to provide competitive loan offers from top lenders in the country. Because LendingTree does the legwork for you and provides a range of quotes, we award LendingTree our Top Ten Reviews Gold Award for mortgage and refinancing companies.
Rates & Fees
While a direct lender offers you the best rate you qualify for, all lenders have their own process of choosing your loan amount, rates and fees. LendingTree is a broker, not a direct lender. When you prequalify for a loan with LendingTree, it connects with multiple lenders that are all able to offer you a loan. You can then compare mortgage offers side by side for a quick idea of which mortgage companies will offer you the best rates.
When we contacted the company, it provided us with averages from its lenders for their rates, fees and additional costs. In a best-case scenario, LendingTree lenders can provide fixed interest rates that beat most of the competition, ranging from around 4% up to around 4.25%. Variable interest rates also start lower than with most other companies at around 3.6%. The average bank fees, including closing costs, depends on the lender you choose. Some lenders may not have additional fees while others may charge up to around $1,200, which is more than with many direct lenders. But again, fees and rates vary with each lender.
Eligibility & Requirements
With this broker offering you multiple offers, you also have a better chance of qualifying due to wide range of accepted requirements. For example, the preferred credit score for most lenders is between 660 and over 700, but LendingTree has lenders who accept credit scores as low as 580. The preferred down payment in the industry is around 20%, but if you do not have a full 20%, you can apply for an FHA loan with LendingTree, which only requires 3.5% down.
When we contacted the company, we had positive experience with its customer service. The agents were willing to answer the questions they could; however, they were not able to answer specifics about individual lenders. LendingTree takes your information and connects you with lenders, but it does not handle your loan after that point.
The process consists of taking your basic information, including desired loan amount, available down payment, credit and employment history, DTI, and other personal information. After LendingTree enters your information into its system, it provides you with lenders and loan offers. This process is instant, so you can quickly find a loan. After LendingTree's part in your loan, you will work with the specific lender, most of which complete the underwriting and processing steps in under a month.
If you want to know more about LendingTree, you can view its website. It provides education on different loan types and offers financial advice. A valuable resource it offers is a database of reviews from real customers for the lenders it works with. The reviews provide a star rating along with customer reviews; some companies have hundreds or thousands of reviews.
Loan Types Offered
If this is your first mortgage, you have a few choices in loan types. Which loan type you can receive depends on a number of factors. If you have excellent credit and a low DTI ratio, you will likely be able to get a traditional 30-year mortgage loan. These come with either fixed or adjustable rates, depending on your preference and current market trends. The other first-time borrower option, as touched upon above, is an FHA loan. These federally insured loans help those with low credit scores and low down payments qualify for a loan without receiving exorbitant interest rates, though the borrower must pay extra for the insurance.
For refinancing options, LendingTree works with lenders who offer refinancing and equity loans. Basic refinancing loans allow you to rework your current loan to lower the interest rate. A cash-out refinance loan allows you to borrow more than what you owe in your home and keep the difference. With a traditional home equity loan, you borrow one lump sum with your home put up as collateral. A home equity line of credit also borrows against the value of your home but works more like a credit card that you pay off monthly and borrow up to your limit. While not all of LendingTree's lenders offer all loan types, LendingTree can connect you with a lender who does.
LendingTree stands out among the competition because it offers choices. Rather than receiving one offer that you can take or leave, LendingTree connects you with multiple lenders and offers so you can compare what rates are available to you, and then choose the best mortgage and refinancing company.