The debt to income ratio is a formula lenders use to determine how much of your income is available for your monthly home loan payment after you have met your various other monthly debt payments.
How to figure the qualifying ratio
For the most part, conventional loans require a qualifying ratio of 28/36. An FHA loan will usually allow for a higher debt load, reflected in a higher (29/41) qualifying 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 that makes up the payment.
The second number in the ratio is what percent of your gross income every month that can be spent on housing costs and recurring debt together. Recurring debt includes credit card payments, vehicle payments, child support, and the like.
A 28/36 qualifying 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'd like to run your own numbers, please use this Mortgage Qualification Calculator.
Don't forget these ratios are just guidelines. We'd be thrilled to go over pre-qualification to help you determine how large a mortgage you can afford.