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The www.FedPrimeRate.com Personal Finance Blog and Magazine

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Beware of LendingTree® Loans

www.FedPrimeRate.com: Beware of LendingTree® Loans

So, I decided to try and consolidate my credit card debt via a LendingTree® loan.

Bad idea. I did not get approved.

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They lure you in with words like "No hidden fees," "No points," "No collateral required," and "Borrow up to $35,000."

Then, when you initiate the loan request at LendingTree.com, you'll be asked to submit all kinds of personal information, like:

  • What's your employment status?

  • What do you need the money for?

  • How much do you want to borrow?

  • Estimate your credit score

  • How quickly do you need the money?

And they'll want you to submit your most sensitive personal information too, like your Social Security number, your address, your current and former employers, etc.


You'll be presented with a list of potential lenders and their terms (maximum loan amount, interest rate, monthly payment, etc.) 

So, despite having a very good FICO® credit score (780), the bank I chose, First Midwest Loan (www.firstmidwest.com) did not approve my application.

Why?  Well, 1) They did not like the fact that I am self-employed and 2) They asked me to submit 2 years of tax returns, which I did not have (The online tax preparer I used promised to save all my returns, but they didn't.) 

So, If you're going to apply for a loan online, be sure you are ready to submit your tax documents.

And if you are self-employed: good luck.

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Of course, applying for this loan resulted in a hard inquiry, so my credit scores will almost certainly experience significant dings.

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Does LendingTree sell your personal / sensitive information?

Well, there's a link at the bottom of the First Midwest Loan homepage that reads, "Do Not Sell My Personal Information."  When you click this link, you are taken to a page that says:


"...Residents of California have certain rights regarding the sale of personal information to third parties. First Midwest Bank, our affiliates, and service providers use information collected through cookies or in forms to improve the experience on our site and pages, to analyze how our site is used, and to present personalized advertising.

At any point, you can opt-out of the sale of your personal information by selecting Do Not Sell my Personal Information.

You can find more information and how to manage your privacy choices by reviewing our California Consumer Privacy Disclosures located on our Privacy information page by following the link on the bottom of any page..."
In other words, unless you visit the bank's opt out page and waste a significant amount of time filling out the opt out form, your personal / sensitive information can be sold to...Whoever....

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Borrowers: Beware

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