Frequently asked questions

1. About Yard

Why choose Yard?

We understand that for most of us, home ownership can be a major accomplishment in life, given it takes both effort and sacrifice. You may be on the path to owning your first home, looking to refinance to get a better experience or buying an investment property. Yard wants to help you in fulfilling your dream.

We provide a drastically simplified, transparent and personalised online mortgage experience supported by our exceptional customer support.

As a Yard customer, you can expect:

  • Competitive loan rates
  • A simple online application process
  • A team that provides you support throughout the whole process

2. Eligibility

Am I eligible for a loan from Yard?

You may be eligible to get a home loan from Yard if you:

  • Are at least 18 years old
  • Are an Australian permanent resident
  • Receive a salary from employer or you are self-employed (2 years ABN registration). Professionals (e.g. Doctors, Lawyers, IT Professionals) who have recently become self-employed and have traded under an ABN for at least 6 months can be considered
  • Have no previous defaults greater than $1,500.
Does Yard support applications from single and joint borrowers?

Yes, we know that people may buy property on their own or with somebody else. We welcome an application from you, if you are applying on your own, or if you have somebody else that you will be applying with.

I’m self-employed what documentation do I need to submit with my loan application?

We require:

  • Minimum 2 years ABN trading, and
  • Last two years tax returns and tax assessment notices, or
  • Minimum 1-year tax returns, supported with BAS statements from the last 12 months.
Do you offer non-resident loans?

Yes, Yard can provide home loans to non-resident borrowers. This includes:

  • Customers who are not an Australian citizen or permanent resident living in Australia, or
  • Customers who are an Australian citizen and are earning income outside of Australia.
How do you veryify my identity?

We will very your identity through Equifax’s ZipID service. Equifax (formerly known as the Veda Group) is Australia’s leading provider of fraud and identity solutions. Before settlement, your loan consultant will give you instructions on how to arrange an appointment with a ZipID Agent at a location and time convenient for you.

3. Home Loan Features

What size home loans does Yard provide?

The minimum loan size you can apply for is $150,000, whilst the maximum loan size is $5 million.

What is the Loan to Value Ratio (LVR) and how can I calculate it?

The Loan to Value Ratio (LVR) is the loan amount as a percentage of the value of your property. To calculate it, you simply divide the loan amount by your property’s value.

Yard can provide loans for up to 80% of a property’s value without Lenders Mortgage Insurance. For example, if a property has a value of $1 million, Yard may lend you up to $800,000. Yard can lend up to 95% of the property’s value with Lenders Mortgage Insurance.

Do you provide home loans with a Family Guarantee?

Yard offers Family Pledge and Family Guarantee home loans. First home buyers can make up for the fact that they do not have sufficient savings for a deposit by using the equity in a family member’s home as a security. The family member guarantee is typically limited to 20% of the purchase price of the new property to avoid the need for the borrower to pay Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI). You can use a Family Guarantee to purchase your own home or an investment property.

How long can I borrow money from Yard to finance my home?

We can lend you funds for a period between 2 and 30 years.

What is an offset account and how does it work?

Having an offset account provides you with a sub-account that works like a transactional account. You can access funds held in the account electronically via internet banking.

The other big benefit that you get through an offset account is that you can reduce your interest amount - your loan principal gets reduced by the amount of money you hold in your offset account. For example, if your variable rate loan is $250,000 and you have $5,000 in your offset account, then interest for that month is calculated on $245,000.

What is the cost of maintaining an offset account?

There is an annual fee of $120 for an offset account.

Can I have an offset on my fixed rate loan?

Unfortunately, you cannot have an offset account loaded against your fixed rate, but we can split your loan and have your offset loaded against your variable rate allowing you to reduce interest costs on the variable part of your home loan.

Does my offset account come with a Debit Card?

Currently, we do not offer a Debit Card with your offset account. However, we are currently working on adding Debit Card capabilities so you can make ATM withdrawals and Debit Card purchases.

4. Interest Rates & Repayments

What type of interest rates and repayments do you offer?

We offer variable and fixed interest rates on our home loans. We provide 1, 2, 3 and 5-year fixed rate loans. You also are able to split your home loan into multiple loan accounts that attract different interest rates.

When personalising your product, you may select to repay principal and interest from the start or apply to have a limited period making just interest repayments. Our maximum interest only period is 5 years.

What are ‘interest only’ repayments?

When you’re making ‘interest only’ payments on your loan, you’re only paying an interest amount (you’re not repaying the loan principal). Interest only periods are usually available for a limited time, because at some point you need to start repaying your loan. When you do end up moving to principal and interest repayments, your repayment amount will become higher.

Selecting interest only repayments may increase the total amount of interest you pay over the life of your loan. The reason is that when you’re in an interest only period, you’re not repaying any principal, but you keep accruing interest.

Yard allows you to select to make interest only repayments for a up to 5 years. At the end of this period, you have to commence making both principal and interest repayments.

Why select ‘interest only’ repayments?

Potential reasons for selecting ‘interest only’ repayments include:

  • Some customers may prefer interest only if they are buying an investment property or a home that may become an investment property down the track
  • It might be possible to claim interest that’s paid as a tax deduction, if you are buying a residential investment property that’s earning rent (income).

You shouldn’t select interest only repayments solely to have a smaller repayment amount. Interest only periods are usually available for only a limited time and they may increase the total amount of interest you pay over the life of your loan.

Before selecting between interest only or principal and interest repayments, we recommend you seek personalised tax and financial advice from a specialist for your individual situation.

Why select ‘principal and interest’ repayments?

Potential reasons for selecting ‘principal and interest’ repayments include:

  • You will be repaying your loan principal with each repayment
  • You could pay less interest over the life of your loan, as your principal balance goes down.

Yard usually offers lower interest rates for principal and interest repayments, compared to when you make interest only repayments, for the same loan.

Why does the advertised interest rate say, “interest ratesfrom”?

There are many factors that go into determining your interest rate. Your credit history, loan purpose, loan size, geographical location and employment type can all impact your interest rate. We have made it easy to get an initial indication of what your interest rate could be – just answer five simple questions on Our Rates page to get an indicative estimate.

What is a comparison rate?

A comparison rate is a rate that helps you outline the total cost of a loan. It is a single percentage figure that combines the loan interest rate plus selected fees and charges. The comparison rate allows you to compare loans from different home loan lenders to understand how much it will truly cost you.

Can I setup automatic loan repayments?

Yes, you can setup automatic loan repayments. We will require you to nominate an account so we can periodically debit on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis. The periodic debit can be linked to either your Yard offset account or another bank account.

Does Yard charge me penalties for paying off my loan faster than scheduled?

No, if you select a variable interest rate loan, you get the flexibility to pay off your loan as fast as you want! You may make repayments above and beyond your obligated amount or alternatively, request an offset account, and build up monies that will be offset against your loan within your offset account (see Offset account).

On a fixed interest rate loan, we allow you to pay an additional $20,000 a year.

Paying off your loan faster than you need to means you pay less interest over the life of your loan contract.

5. Fees

What fees and costs can I expect with Yard?

Fees associated with establishing and servicing your loan include:

  • Valuation Fee – applied at cost
  • Settlement Fee - $150
  • Legal Fee – applied at cost
  • Offset account fee (if you select to have one) - $120 per annum.
Are there any fees if I want to move away from Yard?

Yes, there is a $500 discharge fee plus lender legal fees as we need to do some work to discharge your loan.

Are there any costs if I want to pay down my fixed rate loan early?

If you want to pay down your fixed rate loan and move it to variable rate or discharge the loan before the end of the fixed rate period, there might be an early repayment fee for fixed rate loans.

There are a number of factors that influence the early repayment fee. These include interest rate in the wholesale market (including the rate at the date of the establishment of the fixed rate loan and the early repayment date), the loan size and time remaining on the loan.

6. Buying a new property

What types of property can Yard finance?

We can help you with buying:

  • Houses, apartments and townhouses
  • Vacant land
  • House and land packages
  • Rural residential and hobby farms.
What is Stamp Duty and who does it get paid to?

Stamp duty is a state tax on all property purchases, based on the property price and location. Each state and territory government charges different amounts of stamp duty tax, however, it is a one-off payment that you need to factor into your budget for your property purchase.

Some governments might also call stamp duty ‘transfer duty’ or ‘general duty’.

Do I need legal and conveyancing assistance?

Buying a home is a big deal and using a conveyancer or solicitor helps you understand and meet all legal requirements. They take care of a lot of the documentation and can provide you with advice about the process, and explain the terms and conditions of the contract.

Do your research before hiring a solicitor or a conveyancer. Potentially, ask your family and friends if they can recommend someone they've used before and make sure you understand the fees they charge for the services you require.

Should I get the home I am buying inspected by a professional?

If you have found the property that you’re looking to buy, it can be a good idea to get a qualified building inspector to assess it for structural integrity, safe electrical fittings and future maintenance costs. You may also wish to get a pest inspection done to ensure the property doesn't have any pest issues, such as termites.

Professional inspectors conduct checks that can offer you peace of mind and might even save you money in the future.

Do I need to have home insurance after I buy my home?

Home insurance covers the cost of rebuilding or repairing your home. You must have an active home insurance policy at all times when you have a Yard loan with our lender interest noted on the policy. If your property is part of a strata then your strata would have a building insurance for all property part of the strata.

If you’re going to be living in your home, you may decide to also combine contents insurance into a single policy with your home insurance to protect your possessions if they are stolen, damaged or lost.

If you’re going to find somebody to rent your home, you may wish to consider landlord insurance. Having a landlord insurance policy provides you with protection if your tenant damages your home or moves out without paying the rent that they owe you. The cost of landlord insurance may be tax deductible.

7. Security

What is Credit Sense and why are you making me use it?

Credit Sense are an Australian company that offer a secure, fast, digital way for you to share your bank statements with us. They download the bank statement for us and attach it to your application.

Many lenders will require you to go into your internet banking, print off your bank statements and attach them to a paper form. We use Credit Sense as our service provider because we want to be paperless and it makes the application process more convenient.

Credit Sense is an efficiency solution designed to provide easy, fast and secure access to reliable and accurate bank account transaction analysis.

Is Credit Sense an Australian company?

Yes, Credit Sense are an Australian company based out of Brisbane. Credit Sense is an easy, fast and secure way to share reliable and accurate bank account statements with Yard.

8. Industry Terms

What is Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI)?

Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) is a one-off premium that is added to your home loan. LMI protects the lender against loss that we may incur if you are unable to repay your home loan. LMI is calculated based on the size of your deposit and how much you would like to borrow. Yard requires that loans above 80% loan-to-value ratio (LVR) are insured. With LMI, Yard can lend up to 95% LVR.

What is the difference between a first and second mortgage?

A first mortgage is the first loan taken out on a property. The property owner may get an additional (second) loan, typically from a different lender, whilst the first loan is still active.

The loans get ranked in the order in which they are lent and the mortgage registered. In circumstances where a borrower defaults on their loan, the first loan provider will be repaid first and any remaining monies will be repaid to the second and subsequent loan providers.

Yard does not currently offer second mortgages.

What is a Line of Credit (LOC)?

A Line of Credit is like an overdraft facility, secured against your home. You apply for a limit and you can access funds at any time, as long as you do not go over that agreed amount.

Interest is only charged on the amount that you use. Timely repayments are required to cover interest and/or principal amounts.

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