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.
Doug thought consumers could be better served, and he asked himself, “Why not create a way for banks to compete for their customers’ business instead of customers having to do all the legwork to find the best deals?”
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.
Doug doesn’t own that townhouse anymore, but today Doug has created a team whose core mission is to empower consumers so they don’t have to go through the hassle and uncertainty he went through years ago.
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.”
In 2003, LendingTree, LLC caught the eye of media mogul Barry Diller and was acquired by his company IAC/InterActiveCorp that May. As a result, LendingTree, LLC joined a number of great businesses also recognized as leaders in their own industries including Ticketmaster, Ask.com, Home Shopping Network (HSN), and Match.com.
After a few years, LendingTree spun-off from IAC in 2008 to join newly established Tree.com, Inc. which included a portfolio of various financial matchmaking services the company could offer consumers (NASDAQ: TREE).
In 2014, Tree.com rebranded itself back under its LendingTree flagship name with its multi-product loan matching services under the LendingTree brand.
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. That includes home loans, personal loans, deposit accounts, credit cards, insurance and so much more. 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.