Debt to Income Ratio
Lenders use a ratio called "debt to income" to determine your maximum monthly payment after you have paid your other recurring loans.
About the qualifying ratio
Most underwriting for conventional mortgage loans needs a qualifying ratio of 28/36. FHA loans are less strict, requiring a 29/41 ratio.
In these ratios, the first number is how much (by percent) of your gross monthly income that can go toward housing costs. This ratio is figured on your total payment, including hazard insurance, homeowners' dues, Private Mortgage Insurance - everything.
The second number is what percent of your gross income every month that should be applied to housing expenses and recurring debt. Recurring debt includes payments on credit cards, vehicle loans, child support, etcetera.
Some example data:
With a 28/36 ratio
- Gross monthly income of $4,500 x .28 = $1,260 can be applied to housing
- Gross monthly income of $4,500 x .36 = $1,620 can be applied to recurring debt plus housing expenses
With a 29/41 (FHA) qualifying ratio
- Gross monthly income of $4,500 x .29 = $1,305 can be applied to housing
- Gross monthly income of $4,500 x .41 = $1,845 can be applied to recurring debt plus housing expenses
If you want to run your own numbers, we offer a Mortgage Loan Qualification Calculator.
Don't forget these are only guidelines. We will be thrilled to help you pre-qualify to determine how much you can afford.