How Do Lending Tree Rates Really Compare?
If you turn on your TV for any amount of time you will probably hear the familiar commercial from Lending Tree telling you “that when edges compete, you win. Millions of people each year flock to this mortgage giant in hopes of finding the “Holy Grail” of interest rates. As a loan originator I can tell you that the good rates really are at Lending Tree, if only their clients would only use the system.
Lets confront it, “doing” a mortgage and speaking with a loan officer is somewhere on the same level as going to the dentist. Nobody really wants to do it, but ultimately you have to. go into Lending Tree, the magical cure for having to worry about and negotiate your next mortgage. Push this button and “Presto” you get the great rates. Most people are a little surprised to find out that it isn’t quite that easy.
First off, Lending Tree does not offer rates; they offer multiple lenders to you who will offer up their rates for you. Then, after speaking with 3-5 different lenders you must choose the one you like the best. Easy enough you would think. If so, why then do up to 50% of people using lending tree use the mortgage company that calls first?
When half of Lending Tree’s clients are “signing up” with the first lender that calls them it indicates that their clients may not be speaking with every lender. Isn’t that the point? How can you be sure that you are really getting your best deal if you throw in the towel after the first call? The truth is you can’t, and this is why some people may not get their best interest rate from Lending Tree.
My theory is that most of the people who use Lending Tree do so in an attempt to inoculate themselves from the “business” of doing a mortgage. Once they speak with the first mortgage loan officer they are ready to be done with it and move on. This is understandable, but unfortunately this is not going to provide you the best deal most of the time. The system is designed for borrowers to speak with multiple lenders.
However for those who choose to work the system correctly, great deals will follow. In today’s mortgage market having four lenders compete is akin to a pack of wild dogs fight over a fluffy bunny in wintertime. You are going to “win” and win big. The price of rough is a little time invested on your part speaking with all the lenders to see what their rates and terms are.
A little forward planning will take the sting out of the time of action. Set a day or an evening aside to speak with everyone. Have pen and paper ready to take notes and be ready to discuss income, assets, taxes and insurance. use an equal amount of time with each lender and get ready for the best mortgage deal in town, courtesy of Lending Tree.