LendingTree is an online lending exchange that connects consumers with multiple lenders, banks, and credit partners who compete for business. LendingTree is not a direct supplier of loans; it is instead a broker. Since being founded in 1998 LendingTree has facilitated more than 32 million loan requests. It is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina.
LendingTree also provides financing tools, comparative loan searches and borrowing information.
After graduating from Bucknell University, Doug Lebda went to work for PricewaterhouseCoopers in Pittsburgh as an auditor and consultant. When he decided to purchase his first home and obtain a mortgage, he found the process of visiting multiple banks and combing through mortgage offers frustrating, time consuming, and exhausting. Lebda realized that if the process was that difficult for someone with his financial acumen, then there must be a massive market of others with the same desire for a better way. With this idea, Doug founded CreditSource USA in 1996 with Jamey Bennett, whom he knew from Bucknell and had previous experience founding BookWire. The new company was later rebranded as LendingTree and by 1998, LendingTree launched nationally online with its headquarters in Charlotte, NC.
LendingTree went through a successful IPO on February 15, 2000. Bennett left LendingTree after the IPO.
In May 2003, LendingTree, LLC was acquired by IAC/InterActiveCorp, former owner of Ticketmaster, Home Shopping Network and current owner of Match.com. In 2004, LendingTree acquired HomeLoanCenter.com and formed LendingTree Loans.
After 5 years, LendingTree spun off from IAC to join newly established Tree.com, Inc. Tree.com is now the parent company of several brands and businesses in the financial services and real estate industries including LendingTree.com; GetSmart.com; DegreeTree.com; LendingTreeAutos.com; and DoneRight.com.
In 2015 LendingTree disassembled the Tree.com umbrella to focus on its core brand, LendingTree which now incorporates Business Loans, Personal Loans, Debt Consolidation, Free Credit Scores, and Student Loans along with its core mortgage products Home Loans, Mortgage Refinance, and Home Equity.