Financing in Charlotte>Question Details

Randy, Home Buyer in Minneapolis, MN

What is your opinion of Lending Tree loans?

Asked by Randy, Minneapolis, MN Tue Feb 19, 2008

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As a mortgage lender, I do have the opportunity to purchase leads from Lending Tree. When they say banks compete, they are telling you a half truth. Yes, multiple lenders will get your information, but they are sold off as mortgage leads. The result is a large number of telemarketing calls all clammoring for your business.

As a professional in this business, I highly recommend YOU search for a loan officer you feel you can trust. I did not say "rate shop." In today's volatile mortgage market, rates are fluctuating 3-4 times a day. You need to find a professional that will take time to get to know who you are, what you need and what your goals are. Someone that will take that much time to discover YOU will also provide you with the best programs and options. Because they have taken the extra time to determine what you need, they are much better equipped to advise you. A "rate quoter" is a loan officer to avoid as that is the only way they feel they can earn your business. This typically creates a situation in which a loan officer will over promise and most certainly under-deliver simply because they are shooting in the wind hoping they hit the target. A true professional will take the time to help you determine what your goals are and will then hit the target every time, usually under-promising and over-delivering. Ask any Real Estate Professional... you want that professional that underpromises and overdelivers!

Hope that helps!
4 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 20, 2008
Lending Tree primarily takes the requests and sells the names and phone numbers to at least 4 companies. You do not know who has purchased it. It could be a reputable group or NOT. In addition you set yourself up for what I would think are annoying phone calls that may keep coming. Probably the scariest is that you do not know who is actually getting the info. It could be the most unscrupulous person. In the times we live in getting a referral from a trusted source would be a better bet. The person who referrred you would have had some experience with the person they are sending you to and the person who is being referred should feel some obligation of doing the right thing.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 22, 2008
Whether its Lending Tree or any other Lender that you are not familiar with, Lenders that are not local to you or the property you are wanting to purchase, remember the old adage, "Buyer Beware". I have seen Lenders put my clients through so much red tape and make promises to them that my clients swallow hook line and sinker. Only when the HUD-1 Statement is presented to all parties the day before closing is when the REALTOR sees the fees associated with the Lender and by that time, the clients are already hooked, have their heart set on the home, and are ready to close, regardless of how much money they just got ripped off for. My opinion is just like every other professional that answered....stick local, stick with someone you know...or go to the Lender that someone has recommended them. In the long run, it is the best choice for everyone involved in the transaction. I have heard of those "internet" lenders pulling out at the closing table and / or filing bankrupt at the final hour and the seller, the buyer, the listing agent, the selling agent...and everyone that had a part in the transaction are left out in the cold.
Hope this helps!

Kimberly Gaffney
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 13, 2008
Actually, it seems everyone here is wrong.
I worked for LendingTree, and there are two divisions.
LendingTree sells your information to 4 lenders.
LendingTree Loans on the other hand will finance your loan directly with their dba HomeLoanCenter or LendingTree Loans.
I worked with the LendingTree Loans (LTL) division. They work with a few lenders like Citimortgage, Countrywide, Chase, and some others. They will give you 4 quotes including home from HomeLoan Center (HLC). They will try to have you fund your loan through HLC, and usually HLC gives the better rate.
The rates that are quoted from the other lenders ARE NOT the actual rates from these lenders.
They also ask for a 600 upfront deposit which is very high!

I would recommend that you try a broker instead of paying for a higher rate, and more costs.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 20, 2008
Good evening Randy,

I was one of the original Lending Tree participants. Back when they had the TV commercial with several mortgage people lined up outside the consumer couple's bedroom! Yes, I'm OLD! This goes back to 2000. Lending Tree back then was a lead-generation website where I would pay a fee to obtain leads from the website. Often I found myself competing in my local market with knucklehead mortgage "offers" from States hundreds of miles away, from Loan Officers with ZERO knowledge of local customs, laws, and regulations and closing costs.

I don't know how Lending Tree operates today, but from the responses I see below, looks like it's a similar model to my experience 12 years ago.

Here's my advice to you when it comes to buying your home:

Get a referral to a Local Mortgage Banker. Mortgage Bankers in your community will provide you with a much higher quality of service and financing options than any "Big Bank." Local Mortgage Bankers have long been the source of excellent financing options for homebuyers. Further, Loan Originators who work at Mortgage Banks are LICENSED whereas Loan Originators who work for the "Big Banks" are only REGISTERED. There's a BIG difference.

Sit down face to face with your Mortgage Banker to be thoroughly prequalified. The Mortgage Banker will review all facets of your loan request to answer your questions with regards to the types of loans and maximum loan amounts you could qualify for.

Consumers have been led to believe---thanks to huge advertising budgets with the BIG BANKS---that they should go to their bank for a mortgage loan. This is the WORST place to get assistance with the BIGGEST PURCHASE of your life! These BIG BANKS are basically BIG CORPORATIONS. You're a number, at best. With a Local Mortgage Banker you will be treated like a friend and a client for life. You can't imagine the high quality of personalized service you will receive from a Mortgage Banker until you try.

As to price---rate and fees---competitive if not better than the BIG BANKS. IT'S NOT ABOUT PRICE/RATE WHEN YOU'RE BUYING A HOME! IT'S ABOUT SERVICE!!!

You can verify the License of any Licensed Mortgage Loan Originator at

Trevor Curran
NMLS #40140
Proud Mortgage Banker Since 1989
Web Reference:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 8, 2011
It is always best to have a lender that you can sit down with locally. Anything else is very risky.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 22, 2008
Use a local lender, it gives you more control and you know who you are dealing with. Your home loan is the biggest investment of your life and it deserves someone you can trust.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 22, 2008
As a non-biased real estate professional, (as opposed to an agent of the company you are inquiring about) I stick to my advice. Loans are about more than just an initilal rate. That is often the hook some
lenders use to capture an unsuspecting borrower.

And for this individual to state the rest of us were wrong.....

It still goes to the issue of who you can trust, you were referred to by friend or family, and doing your home- work, and keeping your own council.
Web Reference:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 21, 2008
There are too many quality lenders right in your area to go to a broker oriented service.
I agree that you should shop, get written good faith estimates, and compare. Don't
be afraid to ask questions.
And once you have a committment, it's important for the loan to be funded on time to meet your
closing deadlines. Stay local.
Web Reference:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 20, 2008
I think you would be best off finding someone you were referred to. At Lending Tree your "lead" is sold to 4 or more mortgage people who pay for your name. You will be opening yourself up for a slew of phone calls that may get annoying. A competent mortgage broker can do the comparing for you and the finished product should be the offer of the best mortgage for your circumstance and certainly at the best rate.
A good referral source could be your accountant, friend, financial planner etc. Hopefully, a professional referral will send you in the direction of a person who is ethical, and legitimate. With Lending Tree you get a person who is willing to pay for their leads and that speaks nothing of their character just their pocketbook.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 19, 2008
We received financing from lending tree 5 years ago, with a ridiculous interest rate, because of low credit scores. they told us they would refinance our loan in 2 years. Our loan was sold out 3 times before first payment was due. We thought that waS OK. We contacted them 2 years down the road, they said they cant help uys. So 5 years down the road we r sitting in a foreclosure situation, still with that outragious interest rate. Now we r close to 50 trying to figure out this mess. Never believe lending tree on anything they say, only covering themselves. So sad that a hand shake means nothing these days. Be careful what and who you trust these day, especially when it comes to lending tree. :( sincerely Di) Any suggestions out there?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 8, 2011
It is always best to deal with someone local face to face. In my opinion it makes them more accountable to you if you can walk through there door at any minute. There are firms such as Allen Tate who offer all of your services under one roof. You can have your agent, your mortgage banker, and your insurance agent etc. all at the same place. All working together to get you taken care of. It is a win, win situation for all involved.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 22, 2008
He's right! We're local and I used to work at Lending Tree
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 17, 2008
As a seller whose buyer is using an online, out-of-state lender, I would say GO LOCAL!!! We are 5 months and 4 extensions later, and still haven't closed!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 17, 2008
I would rather go with someone local that I know. I don't like doing business over the phone.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 16, 2008
Lending Tree is great when you're messing with your own money (i.e. refinancing). You can fight with the lender who sold you on a loan that is not reflected in the paperwork all day long and it hurts no one. When it comes to my money and the money of the seller (a purchase), go with a real bank or lender. Banks are regulated like real estate professionals most who have tossed their ethics aside get on there to lie to clients to win the deals. Every client that I have had with them has failed to close to one reason or another but most of the time was the lender was a scumbag. Save yourself the headache, hassle, aggrivation, and your EMD and get with a real bank. If you're unhappy later on, refi and fight with them yourself.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 15, 2008
I have had terrible experience with them. They pre-approved me for a loan and said everything was fine. Then, as the closing date approached and I had commited to them as the loan provider, they then said they wouldn't provide the loan. Beware! We were putting down 1/3 of the value of the property and have a credit score was excellent. When they canceled the loan, they refused to pick up the phone - even the "Customer Excellence" department.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 6, 2008
I have worked with clients who utilize the services of Lending Tree. While I believe the general concept of lending tree to be valuable to a purchaser, I have discovered over the years a good, well versed Mortgage Broker can accomplish the same and/or better results. The format for Lending Tree is to get lenders to compete for your loan. Lending Tree may be working with 4-6 lenders in your market area, where a Mortgage Broker can sometimes have up to 50 or more lenders from which to choose and compete for the loan.

The key is understanding the mortgage industry and it's process. Check out my website for more information.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 22, 2008
This service is for experienced buyers with excellent credit only, in my opinion.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 22, 2008
The confusion is how the law regulating loan officers was written. You can perform the functions of a loan officer without being licensed. I beleieve about half of the people performing the functions of a loan officer in the State of Texas are not licensed.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 22, 2008
To the person from Texas, THEY were the 1st state to require LO's to be licensed, so I am confused as to how you would not know that about your own state
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 21, 2008
This type of thing would be perfect if mortgage loans were commodities like gasoline or a bag of sugar. I think the loan process is complicated and a dishonest loan officer can put you into a very bad product (or even steal your identity). In Texas you are not required to have a license of any kind to be a loan officer, I don't know about other states.

I recommend that buyers apply for a loan with a local loan officer that has been recomended to them by freinds that have used them and been happy with their service. Come in armed with quotes and they will often be able to match them or tell you why it may be a loan that you are not wanting (an adjustable with a teaser rate or something).

I have nothing directly against lending tree, just the type of process.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 19, 2008
I always advise my clients to shop for their loans. What may seem to be a good deal on the surface can add up in fees and delays. Please shop around and compare line item for line item. Feel free to search without obligation or signing in at
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 19, 2008
The loans are not necessarily through Lending Tree- from what I understand it's like referral system. Based on what I know about them- I would recommend them. It won't hurt to check them out.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 19, 2008
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