LendingTree is perhaps one of the most comprehensive online mortgage portals. When you apply for a loan, you’ll get connected with several nationwide lenders within moments and without any extra work on your part.
That’s because LendingTree isn’t a lender but is instead a lending marketplace. Scroll through their participating lenders and you’ll find LendingTree has 101 pages with 15 lenders listed on each.
The list is only expected to grow.
Shop around if you want, but LendingTree will tell you everything you need to know about any lender wanting to work with you. Just fill out the form with some personal details, including your address, email address, and the last four digits of your Social Security Number, and you’ll get loan offers.
LendingTree Mortgage Application Requirements
Lenders in the LendingTree network look at several different criteria when evaluating your application.
It depends on the loan you apply for and the company you choose to work with, but typically borrowers with LendingTree have a credit score of at least 640. If your credit score is lower, you may want to consider improving it before buying a home. A lower credit score means a higher interest rate. It means you’ll pay more money for the ability to take out a loan no matter which lender you choose.
Debt-to-Income Ratio (DTI)
Add up all of your monthly debts. How much do you pay for things like student loans, car loans, and credit card payments each month? Divide the sum of your monthly debts by your gross income (the amount you make before taxes and health insurance are taken out). That’s your DTI.
It all depends on what you make, but LendingTree’s maximum DTI tends to be around 45%. Remember: this 45% must include whatever monthly mortgage payment you would take on with a new home loan.
Available Cash for Down Payment and Closing
Depending on what loan you choose and qualify for, you may need to make a down payment. FHA loans are the standard loan of choice for many first-time homebuyers because of the low down payment option of only 3.5%.
The typical purchase price for a new home is usually around $200,000. In this scenario, 3.5% of $200,000 is $7,000. Plus, there are closing costs to consider, which vary with each lender, loan amount, and location. However, for a $200,000 house, that could add about $4,000 to the necessary costs to close.
If you haven’t worked at your present job for at least two years, it doesn’t mean you won’t qualify for a loan. But, if you have, your application will be looked upon more favorably.
This is because borrowers who are able to hold a steady job tend to be more likely to pay their debts. If you don’t have a lengthy employment history, it may hurt you when you are applying.
Types of Home Loans Available from LendingTree
LendingTree’s network offers various home loan options geared towards all kinds of borrowers.
Conventional and Jumbo Loans
Unlike an FHA loan, a conventional loan mortgage is not guaranteed or insured by a governmental agency, such as the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). The minimum credit score for conventional loans is 620. A conventional loan can mean any number of loans, such as:
- Conforming Loan
- Jumbo Loan
- Non-conforming loan
- Portfolio Loan
- Sub-prime Loan
Almost all conventional loans are what we call “conforming” loans — meaning they operate within the parameters set forth by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
A loan that does not operate within set parameters is called a non-conforming home loan. These types of loans are often larger than the limitations set forth by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They’re also called jumbo loans.
A portfolio loan is one where the lender holds the loan in their own books/ portfolio. Each lender can set their own rules and allow the borrower to do things they couldn’t do with a traditional lender, such as use stocks and bonds for security.
A sub-prime loan is geared towards borrowers with poor credit history and low income. These loans usually have higher interest rates and lender fees than other types of loans. There are limitations for subprime loans set forth by the government to protect borrowers, but it still is not government-backed.
An FHA loan is a government-insured loan that enables people with low to moderate income to purchase a house with as little as 3.5% down. Depending on where you live, there are mortgage limits and income limits.
FHA loans are so popular with borrowers because they don’t demand a perfect credit score. The minimum credit score is 500. The interest rates are often lower than other types of loans and, if desired, can also become an assumable mortgage. That means they can transfer a previous owner’s debt to a new buyer.
VA loans are offered to both current and retired military personnel, as well as their spouses. VA loans are outstanding because they don’t require a down payment, have low rates, and can be used to finance up to 80% of the home’s value. For VA loans, most lenders require a 620 minimum credit score.
Better still? Mortgage insurance (PMI) is not required. The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs guarantees the loan, which was created to help both active military personnel and veterans become homeowners.
Home Equity Loans and Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs)
LendingTree lets shoppers tap into their home equity and compare options for home equity loans, home equity lines of credit (HELOC), and cash-out refinance loans.
Fees and Rates
LendingTree always posts the current rates for participating lenders online, so you never need to wonder what kind of rate you could start at. Just keep in mind that your credit score and loan amount affect how high of an interest rate you’re likely to get, no matter which lender you ultimately choose.
Even with mortgage rates expected to rise for the foreseeable future, we’re still at historically low rates right now. So if you have good credit, now may be the time to lock in a low rate.
LendingTree by itself doesn’t charge any fees, nor does any direct mortgage lender it works with charge any upfront fees before your loan closes. So if you get a call from someone saying you need to pay a fee to ensure a loan or guarantee a rate, it’s a scam.
LendingTree Mortgage Process
Apply online through LendingTree’s website. LendingTree will match you with the best lender that services in your area and can work with your credit. From there, you choose the lender that can offer you the best package.
After pre-approval, the process is the same as it would be anywhere else. Find a house, make an offer, and then go through the inspection and appraisal processes.
If both come back fine, you’re good to close. Closing typically takes about a month, but it could either go by faster or longer depending on the lender. The exact timeline depends on the amount of traffic the lender has when you put in your offer.
LendingTree Special Features
With LendingTree, you can close as fast as 30 days, all the while knowing you got the best rate for you and your family. It’s a one-stop portal to only the best network of lenders nationwide. With LendingTree, it’s no longer necessary to submit a loan request to multiple lenders to compare rates and loan terms. Instead, apply once online and you’re done.
LendingTree Mortgage Reviews
One of the best ways to research mortgage companies is by reading third-party reviews. You can discover what actual customers are saying about them before you choose to do business with them.
LendingTree currently has a Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating of A+, indicating excellent customer service. They also have very few complaints. You can find more LendingTree Mortgage reviews at other review sites as well.
LendingTree is convenient, safe, and offers good customer service. It’s also perhaps the best use of your time if you want to shop around for the best lender before beginning your house hunt. While some people complain about the numerous emails and phone calls from multiple lenders, they will die down after several days. But, it may be best to give them a phone number that you don’t mind receiving calls on.
Many borrowers go on to use them for all of their other loan needs as well, such as personal, auto, or business loans. LendingTree offers the same excellent service regardless of what type of loan you need.