Our Story

In 1996, a young accountant named Doug Lebda wanted to buy his first home. It turned out that finding the perfect townhouse was easy, but finding the perfect mortgage to pay for it wasn’t. Bank-by-bank, offer-by-offer, it was time-consuming, complicated and tedious – even for a financially savvy accountant.

And thus, a great Internet idea was born. Doug founded LendingTree in 1996, and launched it nationally in 1998, which has put the power back into the hands of the consumers by giving them a centralized location to receive multiple loan offers by filling out one simple form.

View the History of LendingTree

“There has to be a better way.”
– The seed that became LendingTree

Today, many of the nation’s largest lending institutions, including a wealth of regional and local lenders, and alternative lenders, have joined the LendingTree marketplace. This diverse network— and our stable of brands—allows LendingTree to offer a way for consumers to shop for a variety of financial products.

LendingTree’s list of products seems to grow every year, but the mission stays the same: to simplify financial decisions for life’s meaningful moments through choice, education and support. To accomplish this, our team lives by a set of core principles that undergrid everything we do at LendingTree. It’s how we’ve become the innovative company we are today. Here’s a video to prove it!

How LendingTree Makes Money

The creation of LendingTree was a win-win solution for borrowers and lenders. “When we launched the site in 1998, we were able to empower consumers with choice, convenience and value,” Doug says. “And lenders could target consumers whose needs they were best prepared to meet.”

Lenders pay us to be on our network to compete for your business. We pass your information on to them, and you choose the best offer. For some products—like credit cards and deposit accounts—we’re paid when a customer makes a purchase or signs up for a service. This model allows us to make LendingTree free to use, always. No markups from us, and no charges for you. Of course, if you decide to take out a loan you will be responsible for any processing fees, closing costs, or other fees as normally required by your chosen lender.