NerdWallet is a financial review site. They give ratings to banks, lenders, mortgage providers, and many other financial services businesses. However, what seems like a simple review enterprise is actually a meticulous scam.
In my NerdWallet review, I have discussed why NerdWallet is an unreliable review site and why you should avoid reading their ratings. Let’s begin:
Why NerdWallet is Unreliable
NerdWallet is a website which recommends financial services to people according to its evaluation. On paper, it seems like a great company. Finding the best mortgage lender or loan provider is quite challenging and requires a lot of research. So people look for third-party reviews to figure out which one is the best option.
So, they go to review sites such as NerdWallet. But this is where things become unreliable.
NerdWallet makes it seem like it’s giving an unbiased and detailed review of a provider’s services. However, in reality, it’s only a blogging platform which gives biased reviews on the basis of its affiliate network.
In simple terms, NerdWallet gives positive reviews to the people who give it commission for recommending their services. So when you read a review on this website, you’d think you’re getting an honest review, while in fact, it’s an affiliate review, which is a completely different thing.
What is Affiliate Marketing and How NerdWallet Abuses it
In affiliate marketing, a business forms a partnership with an influencer (or a website) and the latter gets commission for every customer it brings to the former. It creates a win-win situation for both parties. The business gets to promote its services and get clients, whereas the influencer (or website) gets to monetize its audience.
It can be a great thing but websites like NerdWallet use it mischievously. This is a simple rundown of how an affiliate makes money:
- It partners with a business which gives it exclusive links (affiliate links)
- The affiliate recommends that business to its audience
- When a person clicks on the affiliate link and buys a product from the business, the affiliate earns a commission
The commission could range from 5% to 50% of the cost of the product (or service), depending on several factors.
I explained all this so you can understand why NerdWallet is an unreliable source. They earn commission from recommending you services. All the following ‘Learn More’ buttons are affiliate links:
Notice how all of the providers have a near-perfect rating. That’s not because the provider is great. It’s mostly because NerdWallet wants you to click on the affiliate link and purchase their services.
Why would they say their commission provider is bad? After all, they are a business and they want to make money too.
But, you, the reader would think the ratings are based on proper evaluation of a provider’s services. You wouldn’t think for a moment that NerdWallet is giving you a biased review so it can make money from you.
NerdWallet gets commission from the providers it recommends. That’s why, its reviews can’t be trusted. Why would it point out the shortcomings of a provider which pays its bills?
Others’ NerdWallet Reviews
When I googled NerdWallet reviews, I found multiple complaints from its readers. It seems like I’m not the only one who discovered this scam. Many others have shared their concerns over the trustworthiness of NerdWallet reviews.
On Trustpilot, NerdWallet has a ‘Poor’ rating. Even though Trustpilot is notorious for maintaining bias against other review sites, the number of negative reviews on NerdWallet is too much.
Following are some of the recent NerdWallet reviews, discussing this concern:
This is an interesting complaint. According to this person, they saw an ad for NerdWallet which claimed to offer 1.60% CD rates. However, when they went to the website, the highest CD savings rate they found was 1.10%.
It doesn’t surprise me that NerdWallet resorts to fake ads to promote its business. They must be promoting the CD rates of a major affiliate who offers them a great percentage.
NerdWallet is Not a Real Organisation
I believe this review summed up my entire observation in a paragraph. This person says that NerdWallet is not even a real organisation and only has pages full of company names that pay them for their traffic generation.
Just like this person pointed out, no one should trust NerdWallet’s reviews.
They Promote Horrible Business
This reviewer complained that NerdWallet gives good reviews to horrible businesses. They mentioned the example of Caliber Homes, which got a 4-star rating from NerdWallet while the lender has a terrible reputation in the industry.
It’s a sign of NerdWallet’s greedy approach towards writing reviews. Because their sole focus remains on affiliate marketing, they don’t focus on who they are promoting. They only care about the commission checks they receive from their business partners.
Misleading and Unhelpful Reviews
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In this review, the person shared their concerns regarding the NerdWallet reviews on trading brokers. Apparently, this person has a lot of experience in online trading and has worked with several brokers in the past. They pointed out a few things which are clear indications of NerdWallet’s unreliability:
- One of the biggest online brokers in the industry wasn’t present anywhere in NerdWallet’s list. On the other hand, NerdWallet has positive ratings on multiple small brokers that didn’t even have a proper platform.
- The small brokers didn’t have mediocre ratings on NerdWallet as well. In fact, all of them had near-perfect ratings with only slight differences between each one. The reviewer also pointed out that the worst broker out of them all had scored the highest in their ratings.
- The final point this reviewer discussed was that the reviewers were not qualified to give ratings. This is another important thing to note because NerdWallet makes itself seem like an expert review website. So if their reviewers aren’t qualified enough, then their reliability becomes more questionable.
There were many other complaints on NerdWallet. They all show that many people question the ethics and trustworthiness of this review site. And I don’t recommend anyone to form opinions according to the information they see on NerdWallet’s pages. You can find many more complaints by looking up ‘NerdWallet complaints’ or ‘NerdWallet scam’.
NerdWallet Review 2021: Conclusion
NerdWallet is an affiliate marketer for banks and lenders. It writes biased reviews while seeming like a third-party to earn fat commission checks from its partners.
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These people give a bad name to the affiliate marketing industry. Most of the people who read NerdWallet reviews rarely ever check the fine print on NerdWallet’s site. They believe that NerdWallet is giving them a proper and most importantly, unbiased review.
You should avoid these guys.
NerdWallet appears legit but is a meticulous affiliate marketing scam. They are misleading consumers. You should avoid them at all costs.
- Misleading consumers
- Multiple complaints online