Founded by management consulting expert Toni Mladenova and finance expert Nathan Gooley, the online lender was formed as the pair recognised there weren’t many lenders offering an efficient digital home loan process.
“We believed that there was a really big opportunity within this sector to not only reinvent the customer journey but also deliver a very competitive interest rate and low-fee offering into the market,” Mr Gooley told Savings.com.au.
The emergence of fintechs and neobanks has brought with it many new wild and whacky names, often missing vowels for dramatic effect.
Yard went for a more simple approach.
“Buying a property is such a big aspiration for Australians historically and it continues to be a major life and financial goal, even for the younger generations,” Ms Mladenova told Savings.com.au.
“When we thought about Yard, the whole idea was it's really inspirational that we're going to help you actually buy a yard, your own backyard, and that's where the name came from.
“It’s also pretty tough getting to the point where you’ve got enough cash saved up to buy property, so it also refers to the hard yards people put in when going through the property buying journey.”
Why borrow with Yard?
Yard boasts some of the most competitive home loan interest rates on the market, with variable and fixed options available, as well as bridging loans, construction loans, and SMSF loans.
It offers 100% offset accounts for an annual fee of $120, unlimited redraw facilities, free of charge, and unlimited additional repayments for variable loans.
It doesn’t charge any application fees, and has loan amounts ranging from $150,000 to $5 million.
Ms Mladenova said Yard differentiates itself from other lenders through three main points.
“Our first point of difference is we seek to provide a very competitive rate to homeowners and investors,” she said.
“Secondly, we separate ourselves through the breadth and speed of our proposition. For example, we can help borrowers with renovations or to purchase a property before they’ve sold their current property through bridging finance. And we can typically approve applications in 24 to 48 hours.
“Lastly, we’ve tried to provide a frictionless digital experience, but at the same time recognised obtaining a home loan is the biggest financial decision someone makes in their lives, so we have a model where we provide dedicated service from the point of initial customer inquiry all the way to settlement.”
How does Yard offer competitive rates?
Being an online lender, Yard has no brick and mortar branches, which Ms Mladenova said allowed them to have a fundamentally different cost structure. But she noted Yard’s low rates were more than a gimmick.
“It comes down to the values of the organisation, where we’re very committed to actually passing on savings the business makes to customers.”
“We offer a very simple proposition. What we try to do is really simplify our loans, and we would like to think that brings transparency into the proposition, and makes our products very easy to compare with other products in the market.”
For borrowers with reservations about not being able to physically go somewhere to discuss their home loan with someone, Ms Mladenova urged them to consider the advantages of an online lender.
“Obviously the first thing that comes to mind is the convenience. You don’t have to leave home or walk to come and apply for a home loan or make an enquiry - you can do that 24/7 while sitting on your couch at home,” she said.
“You’re also likely to get a better deal when going with an online lender, as most of the competitive rates on the market currently come from an online lender.”
Online lenders like Athena, UBank, loans.com.au, Tiimely, and now Yard, offer some of the sharpest rates on the market since the Reserve Bank took Australia’s cash rate to its lowest ever level of 0.10% in November 2020.
Many larger lenders like the big four have since increased rates in recent months, due to various wholesale funding factors, despite the central bank maintaining its 2024 guidance on increasing the cash rate.
Expansion on the horizon
“Our aspiration and ambition is to become a full-service credit provider, which is obviously evidenced by the breadth of the current credit policy we have in relation to home loans,” she said.
“So expanding our proposition is absolutely on our short to medium road map.”
If you’re looking for greener pastures and want to buy a home with Yard’s assistance, you can apply via its website.
Photo by Martin Knize on Unsplash
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