For Homeowners
For Businesses
Homeowner Login

What you need to know about debt to income ratio

Category: mortgage-fundamentals
What you need to know about debt to income ratio

What is Debt-to-Income Ratio?

Your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio compares the amount of debt you have to your overall income. Some people say that this number is just as important as your credit score, especially when you are applying for a mortgage. This is because lenders look at this ratio when deciding whether or not they are going to allow you to borrow money.

Your ratio will help your lender decide if you are a low risk or a high risk borrower. He or she wants to ensure that you will not be a potential liability to their business. Learn how to calculate your DTI, and what is considered a good ratio below.

What is a Good Debt-to-Income Ratio?

Typically, the maximum debt-to-income ratio you can have while still meeting the requirements for a qualified mortgage is 43%. However, a good ratio is usually thought to be at or below 36%. Having a DTI of 36% gives you a little more flexibility in case of a sudden change in your income and/or expenses. Of course, the lower your ratio is, the better it is when you’re applying for a loan.

How Do I Calculate My Debt-to-Income Ratio?

To calculate your DTI, begin by adding your monthly bills. They may include your monthly rent or house payment, child support payments, student and/or automobile loans, credit card payment, as well as other debts. Expenses such as groceries, utilities, and taxes are usually not included. Then, take that number and divide it by your total gross monthly (your income before taxes).

Your answer is your debt-to-income ratio, which is in the form of a percentage.

How Do I Lower My Debt-to-Income Ratio?

To lower your DTI, you either need to increase your income or decrease your monthly payments. To increase your income, you may want to think of pursuing a second job or asking for a raise. To decrease your payments, try to pay off any loans, think about refinancing your loans, or consolidate your debt.