Survey: Americans Bargain Shop For All Things – Except Loans

by Lolita Thomas

LendingTreeLendingTree’s survey reveals that though Americans bargain shop for many things, they do not adequately research financial loans.

Out of the 1,024 people surveyed (ages 25 and up), 79 percent of Americans claimed to be bargains shoppers. An overwhelming  83 percent of surveyors look at online comparison sites like Amazon, Expedia and Priceline when shopping; 30 percent report shopping for the best loan rates. However, only 14 percent report comparing different loan options, and 18 percent claim to have never shopped around.

Andrea Woroch, LendingTree’s consumer savings expert, said that the primary reason for that disparity is Americans’ inability to see the impact that their financial decisions will have on their future.

“There could be a number of causes for this irrational behavior and it may vary among types of consumers,” Woroch said. “One is simply that many Americans don’t understand the long-term costs associated with compounding interest and the time-value of money. Another possibility is that consumers are uneducated about loan shopping and the importance of comparing interest rates before financing a purchase.”

LendingTree also reported that 32 percent of the participants looked at only one mortgage rate when buying a home.

Woroch continued: “It’s easy to become emotionally involved with the purchase itself or to find the loan process so frustrating that you would rather finalize the purchase instead of shopping around. Unfortunately, consumers are becoming accustomed to paying a premium for convenience on a variety products we purchase every day, such as bottled drinks.”

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