Apr 13, 2023

Bankrate, LendingTree, NerdWallet, SmartAsset: Which is Best for Banks and Credit Unions?

Bankrate, LendingTree, NerdWallet, SmartAsset: Which is Best for Banks and Credit Unions?

As a bank or credit union, you’ve watched the world transform in recent decades. Now, even when you’re handling tangible assets like a house, your customers expect to be able to learn what they need and complete a lot of the process digitally. In fact, the more digitally primed your credit union or bank can be, the more likely you are to land quality mortgage leads — and to see mortgage lead conversion.

This applies to your own website, of course, but it also means tapping into other resources, too. Specifically, you can look to mortgage lead acquisition platforms to get good mortgage leads. In exchange for some money, these four solutions can do the work to find potential homebuyers and refinancers for you.

But where is that money best spent? To help you find out, let’s compare four of the top lead acquisition platforms for credit unions and banks. 

#1: Bankrate

We put Bankrate mortgage leads first on this list because Bankrate ranks first in two major ways: lead quality and lead cost. With this company, you have a few options you can explore, from getting reviewed by their editorial team to getting featured in their regularly updated mortgage interest rate tables. 

Our user base reports that Bankrate mortgage leads are high-quality. By the time a Bankrate website visitor gives their information to Bankrate, they’ve gone through a few steps on the site that show they have serious intent to purchase or refinance a house. 

Quality comes at a cost here, though. Many banks and credit unions that advertise with Bankrate pay around $200 to $250 per lead. If you’re going to choose this option, before you start spending that much, make sure you have the sales team and resources in place to move you toward mortgage lead conversion. 

#2: NerdWallet

Like Bankrate, NerdWallet offers comparison tools alongside a wide library of educational articles. You can explore getting NerdWallet mortgage leads by getting onto their rate tables or getting named in their articles, from lender reviews to best-of lists. 

The difference between Bankrate and NerdWallet mortgage leads comes down to what happens when a person is interested. Say a user finds your company on a NerdWallet rate table. If they click on your credit union or bank, you pay NerdWallet for that click. And that click takes the user to a landing page you own. 

That means that if you have well-designed, convincing landing pages, you could see high mortgage lead conversion. But if your landing pages leave a lot to be desired, you could be wasting money on quality mortgage leads you’re not in a position to convert. 

Ultimately, invest in your landing pages before you invest in NerdWallet mortgage leads. But once you’re ready there, you can expect to pay about $160 to $195 per lead with NerdWallet.

#3: LendingTree

LendingTree was an early player to the mortgage comparison game, which is why a lot of consumers know its name. It differs a little bit from Bankrate and NerdWallet in that its emphasis is less on education and more on straight-up comparison. 

While other lead acquisition platforms which match leads to your specific credit union or bank, many LendingTree leads get handled differently. Specifically, when website visitors fill out their lead questionnaire, the resulting LendingTree leads get sold to multiple different lending institutions. And that means your bank or credit union has competition to get that lead’s business. Your sales team needs to be ready to make initial contact quickly and move that person through the sales pipeline at a steady clip. 

While that might lower your mortgage lead conversion rate, it does have an upside. LendingTree Leads often cost $30 to $50 each. 

#4: SmartAsset

Just like NerdWallet and Bankrate, SmartAsset offers educational articles and tools (e.g., calculators) alongside lender reviews. And like NerdWallet, when interested parties click on your credit union or bank from their site, they direct them to one of your landing pages.

That means that, again, mortgage lead conversion hinges on the strength of your landing page. You could pay SmartAsset around $150 per lead for quality mortgage leads, but if you don’t have the landing pages to hook those leads, you’ll be wasting money.

SmartAsset is also unlike the other options on this list in a key way. This site doesn’t maintain its own rate tables, which means you don’t have the opportunity to get listed there. Ultimately, if you have strong landing pages, NerdWallet may be a better option. And if you don’t, Bankrate or LendingTree are likely better fits. 

Other options

Here, we only looked at a handful of lead acquisition platforms. You could also explore Credit Karma mortgage leads, Zillow mortgage leads, or a wide range of other choices. 

To explore other options to get quality mortgage leads or to better position your bank or credit union for mortgage lead conversion, don’t hesitate to request a demo with our team. We can show you how you can develop a digital advertising plan that keeps your cost per lead down while supporting conversion.

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