CHARLOTTE, NC (August 21, 2012) - Consumers today are avid comparison shoppers, committed to finding the best value for their money, however many home buyers fail to follow suit, accepting the first home loan offer they receive, missing out on substantial savings. According to a new LendingTree survey of 1,380 homeowners conducted online by Harris Interactive from May 31 to June 4, 2012, 89 percent of American adults compare prices when shopping for big purchases, but only 51 percent of homeowners with a mortgage comparison shopped for their current mortgage.
"Deciding on a mortgage is likely the most important financial decision consumers will ever make, yet borrowers are more often than not taking the first offer that comes their way, failing to fully capitalize on low rates," said Doug Lebda, founder and CEO of LendingTree. "It is important for borrowers to understand that they have the power to choose which loan and which lender to use. It is acceptable to negotiate with lenders and to walk away if you are not fully satisfied. Consumers need to be engaged in the mortgage process to secure the best deal."
LendingTree data showed from August 6 to 10, 2012 that rate variance is particularly high in the current low rate environment, with rates varying by as much as 1.5% for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage loan. For example, a consumer with a credit score of 759 and a loan amount of $260,000 might receive quotes from lenders ranging from 3.25% to 4.625%. By choosing the lowest rate, the borrower would save $214 per month, $2,568 per year and nearly $74,000 over the life of the loan.
The study also reveals that two times as many women compared to men were not involved in obtaining their current mortgage (23 percent versus 12 percent, respectively). Forty-five percent of women mortgage-holders age 18 to 34 were not involved in obtaining their mortgage, compared to 21 percent of women ages 35 to 44 and 16 percent of women 45 to 54 years of age.
"Many people approach the process of getting a mortgage with apprehension, thinking they have very little control of the end result. But rushing through the process without comparing loan offers could be a costly mistake," continued Lebda. "LendingTree provides borrowers with an easy-to-use, educational tool to help consumers compare multiple mortgage loan offers and to choose the loan and the lender that best suits their needs and financial situation. Our goal is to ensure every borrower is confident they have received the best possible value on their mortgage."
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Lending Tree from May 31 - June 4, 2012 among 2,209 adults ages 18 and older, 1,380 of whom are homeowners. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Megan Greuling at Megan.Greuling@tree.com.
About LendingTree, LLC
LendingTree, LLC is the nation's leading online source for competitive home loan offers, empowering consumers during the mortgage, refinance or auto loan process. LendingTree provides an online marketplace which connects consumers with multiple lenders that compete for their business, as well as an array of online tools and information to help consumers find the best loan. Since inception, LendingTree has facilitated more than 30 million loan requests and $214 billion in closed loan transactions. LendingTree provides access to lenders offering mortgages and refinance loans, home equity loans/lines of credit, and more. LendingTree, LLC is a subsidiary of Tree.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: TREE). For more information go to www.lendingtree.com, dial 800-555-TREE , join our Facebook page and/or follow us on Twitter @LendingTree.