LendingTree Vs. Bankrate: Comparing Their Mortgages And Loans

If you’re in the market for a mortgage, loan, or other financial product, chances are you’ve heard of LendingTree and Bankrate. These are two of the most popular online marketplaces for comparing financial offers.

But which one is better for your needs? I’ve used both pretty extensively, so let me break down the key differences and pros/cons of each.

A Brief Comparison Table

Type of ServiceOnline loan marketplaceFinancial product comparison website
Loan OffersProvides real pre-qualified loan offers from lender partnersNo pre-qualified offers, just rate comparisons
Credit ChecksSoft credit check required for personalized ratesNo credit check required
Loan OriginationPartners with lenders who originate loansDoes not originate any loans themselves
Deposit ProductsMainly focused on loan productsAllows comparison of deposit rates like savings accounts
Lender ReviewsMinimal lender reviewsExtensive lender reviews provided
AdvertisingMinimal adsWebsite relies heavily on advertising revenue
Educational ContentSome articles and guidesExtensive articles and financial education
Mortgage ShoppingBest for getting pre-qualified mortgage offers to compareBest for learning mortgage basics and seeing national rate averages
Other LoansGood for pre-qualified offers from variety of lendersAllows anonymous browsing of average loan rates
Site NavigationSimple and easy processCan be confusing with cluttered layout

Overview of LendingTree And Bankrate

First, let’s quickly summarize what each company does.


LendingTree operates an online loan marketplace that connects borrowers with lenders. When you request quotes on LendingTree, they match you with up to 5 lenders who may be able to offer you a loan. This allows you to easily compare multiple loan offers side-by-side.

Bankrate is a personal finance website that allows you to compare rates and offers on mortgages, loans, deposit products, and more. Unlike LendingTree, Bankrate is not a lender – they simply aggregate rate data from many different financial institutions.

So, in a nutshell:

  • LendingTree provides actual loan offers from their lending partners
  • Bankrate shows you rate comparisons, but doesn’t actually originate loans

This key difference affects the user experience on each platform. Let’s look at some specific pros and cons of LendingTree and Bankrate.

Also Read: Choose Between Triad Financial And 21st Mortgage.

LendingTree Pros And Cons

LendingTree Pros

Here are some of the things I like about using LendingTree:

  • Pre-qualified rates: When you check rates on LendingTree, you go through a soft credit check, which allows them to show you pre-qualified rates from multiple lenders. This helps give you an accurate starting point before formally applying.
  • Actual loan offers: As mentioned above, LendingTree provides real loan offers, not just rate estimates. This is huge – it means you can evaluate actual loan estimates including fees, terms, and payments.
  • User friendly process: LendingTree makes it super simple to compare multiple lenders at once without repetitively entering your details on each website.
  • Lender variety: LendingTree has a very wide lender network. For common loans like mortgages, you’ll often get 5+ pre-qualified offers to choose from. This allows you to find the best rates.
  • Loan closing support: LendingTree provides support until you close on a loan. They help guide you through the application, documentation, and closing process. This support can be invaluable for complicated products like mortgages.

LendingTree Cons

No service is perfect though, so here are a couple potential downsides of LendingTree:

  • Soft credit check required: To get personalized rates, LendingTree does a soft pull on your credit. This doesn’t impact your scores, but some people dislike the inquiry showing up.
  • Pre-qualification only: While LendingTree provides official pre-qualified offers, you still have to go through the full application on the actual lender website. The pre-qualification isn’t a guarantee of the final terms.
  • Variable lender quality: Because LendingTree works with so many lenders, loan offer quality can be hit or miss. You may get offers from some obscure lenders mixed in with top national banks.

Bankrate Pros And Cons


Bankrate Pros

Now let’s look at some benefits of using Bankrate:

  • No credit check: One of Bankrate’s biggest advantages is they provide rate comparisons with no credit check required. This allows you to easily explore options anonymously.
  • National average rates: In addition to lender-specific rates, Bankrate shows the national average for each product. This gives you a benchmark to know if an offer is competitive.
  • Extensive educational resources: Bankrate has in-depth tools and articles covering virtually every financial topic imaginable. Their educational content is top-notch.
  • User reviews: Bankrate allows customers to review financial institutions. This provides valuable insight on things like customer service quality and ease of process.
  • Deposit product comparisons: Bankrate allows you to compare deposit offers like savings accounts, CDs, and checking accounts. LendingTree focuses specifically on loan products.

Also Read: Is Bankrate Better Than NerdWallet?

Bankrate Cons

Bankrate is a great resource overall, but a few drawbacks include:

  • No pre-qualification: Bankrate only shows estimated rates, not pre-qualified offers. To get actual loan offers, you have to apply directly with each lender.
  • Clunky site navigation: With so much content crammed onto one site, Bankrate’s navigation and layout can be confusing at times. It takes some getting used to.
  • Aggressive ads: Bankrate’s free content is funded by advertising revenue, so expect to navigate a lot of flashy ads. The ads can be disruptive when trying to focus on content.
  • Not a loan originator: At the end of the day, Bankrate itself does not originate any loans or financial products. It’s simply an advertising platform.

Which Is Better For Mortgage Shopping?

If your goal is to get pre-qualified for a mortgage and evaluate actual loan offers, LendingTree is likely the better choice. You can easily compare personalized rates from multiple lenders after a soft credit check.

That said, it’s still wise to check Bankrate’s mortgage rate averages and reviews to get a baseline. I’d recommend using both LendingTree and Bankrate together when mortgage shopping. Use Bankrate for education and average benchmarks, then get pre-qualified offers on LendingTree.

Which Is Better For Loan Shopping?

For other loan products like personal loans, auto loans, student loans, etc. the choice between LendingTree and Bankrate is less clear.

LendingTree is great if you want real pre-qualified offers upfront. But you may have to sort through irrelevant lenders.

Bankrate allows you to research average rates without a credit check. But you’ll have to apply individually to each lender site.

I’d probably lean slightly towards LendingTree for these loans too, since seeing multiple pre-qualified offers can help you both compare rates and shop for the best lender fit. But I’d still supplement it with Bankrate’s educational content.

Also Read: Choose Between Lendingtree And Credit Karma.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is Bankrate credible?

Yes, Bankrate is a very credible source for financial comparison information. They have been in business for over 45 years and are transparent about how they calculate their rate averages. Bankrate gathers actual rates from lending institutions to provide accurate rate comparisons. They are frequently cited by major media outlets as an authority on market interest rates.

How accurate is bankrate.com?

Bankrate is quite accurate in terms of providing market averages on lending rates and deposit offers. They aggregate actual rates from lending institutions across the country. However, the rates shown may differ slightly from what an individual is actually quoted, since Bankrate uses national averages. For your specific personalized rate, it’s best to apply directly with lenders.

Is LendingTree a reputable company?

Yes, LendingTree is a reputable online loan marketplace with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. They have been in business since 1996 and have facilitated over $350 billion dollars in closed loan volume. LendingTree checks each lender on their marketplace for proper licensing and certifications. They also routinely survey customers for feedback on lenders.

Does LendingTree actually lend money?

No, LendingTree does not directly lend money. They operate an online marketplace that connects borrowers and lenders. LendingTree provides quotes and pre-qualified offers from their lending partners, but you must ultimately apply and close the loan directly with the actual lender. LendingTree never disburses loan funds themselves.
So, in summary, LendingTree is an established, reputable platform for loan shopping, but they do not fund loans themselves. The loans are financed by their partner lending institutions. LendingTree simply facilitates the matchmaking process.

Also watch the video of LendingTree!

The Verdict

In summary, here are some quick takeaways on when to use LendingTree Vs. Bankrate:

  • For mortgages, use both together – Bankrate for education and averages, LendingTree for offers
  • For other loan shopping, lean towards LendingTree for the pre-qualification and easier comparison
  • For deposit products like savings or checking offers, Bankrate is likely better
  • For investment research and general finances education, Bankrate has better content
  • If you dislike credit inquiries, Bankrate allows anonymous browsing
  • If you want a simplified loan shopping process, LendingTree streamlines things

So, in the end, both LendingTree and Bankrate can be extremely helpful during the lending and shopping process. I’d recommend using both to get the full picture before committing to any financial product.

Leverage the strengths of each platform, and you’ll be better equipped to make smart financial decisions.

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