Your debt to income ratio is a tool lenders use to determine how much money can be used for a monthly mortgage payment after you meet your various other monthly debt payments.
About your qualifying ratio
For the most part, underwriting for conventional mortgages needs a qualifying ratio of 28/36. An FHA loan will usually allow for a higher debt load, reflected in a higher (29/41) ratio.
The first number in a qualifying ratio is the maximum amount (as a percentage) of gross monthly income that can be applied to housing (this includes loan principal and interest, PMI, hazard insurance, property tax, and homeowners' association dues).
The second number is the maximum percentage of your gross monthly income that can be spent on housing expenses and recurring debt. For purposes of this ratio, debt includes payments on credit cards, car loans, child support, and the like.
Some example data:
A 28/36 ratio
- Gross monthly income of $3,500 x .28 = $980 can be applied to housing
- Gross monthly income of $3,500 x .36 = $1,260 can be applied to recurring debt plus housing expenses
With a 29/41 (FHA) qualifying ratio
- Gross monthly income of $3,500 x .29 = $1,015 can be applied to housing
- Gross monthly income of $3,500 x .41 = $1,435 can be applied to recurring debt plus housing expenses
If you want to calculate pre-qualification numbers with your own financial data, we offer a Mortgage Qualification Calculator.
Don't forget these are just guidelines. We will be happy to pre-qualify you to help you figure out how much you can afford.