The History of LendingTree

It all started with the seed of an idea. Decades later, we’re still growing.

1996 After an extremely frustrating buying process, Doug Lebda purchased his first condo for $55,000. With an eye on improving that process for others, he teamed with Tara Garrity and Jamey Bennet and founded Lewsburg Ventures Inc. The company was later renamed CreditSource USA, then eventually, LendingTree.


1997 With a workforce of four employees, LendingTree’s market valuation is set at $10,000.

1998 launches into cyberspace (it was the late 90s, people said that then), creating a marketplace where lenders compete for business.

1999 LendingTree started acting like a real deal company, hiring for positions including head of strategy, head of HR, CFO and CMO, all in preparation for a potential IPO.

2000 LendingTree opens Charlotte, NC headquarters and goes public in $44M IPO (just two weeks before the dotcom market meltdown).

LendingTree’s first acquisition: Homespace, an introduction into the real estate space with the “Find a Broker” product.

2001 LendingTree launches that “I’m in debt up to my eyeballs” ad that everyone saw. Seriously, we reached 59% national brand awareness among adults in the US, and 70% awareness among frequent internet users in major metropolitan markets. That commercial is still funny.

2002 Launch of LendingTree’s new logo with a burgundy leaf. So 2002.

2003 LendingTree is acquired by USA Interactive (now IAC/InterActiveCorp) for $726M.

LendingTree acquires

LendingTree acquires

2004 LendingTree acquires and forms LendingTree Loans. Real estate business, Service Magic, is also acquired.

2005 LendingTree becomes a title sponsor for the annual HGTV Dream Home Giveaway, and a sponsor for ABC’s Extreme Home Makeover.

2006 LendingTree reaches milestone of 20 million loan requests, with more than $152 billion in closed loan transactions.

2007 LendingTree launches High Yield Savings Account marketplace.

2008 LendingTree is spun off from IAC as newly established, Inc (NASDAQ: TREE). Doug Lebda, LendingTree’s founder, returns as CEO.

2009 LendingTree launches a new look for the logo with a new “You to the Rescue” ad campaign.

LendingTree acquires

Three LendingTree employees safely land in the Hudson River on US Airways Flight 1549. No, they weren’t in that Sully movie, but they did appear on The Ellen Show.

2010 LendingTree creates six core principles to guide employees and the business into a new decade.


LendingTree acquires Surepoint Lending.

2011 LendingTree opens an office in Burlingame, CA (that’s in the bay area).

LendingTree sells for $8M.

2012 LendingTree Loans is sold to Discover Financial Services for $56M.

LendingTree reaches milestone of 30 million customers.

Carla Shumate Chief Accounting Officer and Treasurer of LendingTree, Carla Shumate joins the company.


2013 The new “Lenny” ad campaign is launched, featuring a puppet built by the Henson Creature Shop.

Neil Salvage President of LendingTree, Neil Salvage joins the company.


2014 The first version of My LendingTree launches and begins offering free credit scores to customers.

2015 LendingTree market cap exceeds $1 billion for the first time.

2016 LendingTree acquires SimpleTuition expanding into student loans.

LendingTree acquires CompareCards, strengthening its credit card business.

2017 LendingTree is named as Fortune’s Third Fastest Growing Company

LendingTree acquires Deposit Accounts.

LendingTree acquires MagnifyMoney.

LendingTree acquires SnapCap.

J.D. Moriarty CFO of LendingTree, J.D. Moriarty joins the company.


2018 A new logo and visual brand launches.

LendingTree acquires Student Loan Hero.

LendingTree acquires Ovation Credit Services.

LendingTree acquires QuoteWizard.

LendingTree acquires Value Penguin.

Sushil Sharma CPO of LendingTree, Sushil Sharma joins the company.


Jill Olmstead CHRO of LendingTree, Jill Olmstead joins the company.


Arun Sankaran CISO of LendingTree, Arun Sankaran joins the company.


Adithya Yaga CSO of LendingTree, Adithya Yaga joins the company.


2019 The new “May the best loan win” tagline and ad campaign launch


Where does LendingTree go next? Let’s find out together.