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The debt to income ratio is a formula lenders use to calculate how much money is available for a monthly home loan payment after all your other recurring debt obligations have been fulfilled.
About your qualifying ratio
For the most part, conventional mortgage loans need a qualifying ratio of 28/36. FHA loans are a little less restrictive, requiring a 29/41 ratio.
For 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 homeowners' insurance, HOA dues, Private Mortgage Insurance - everything.
The second number in the ratio is the maximum percentage of your gross monthly income that can be spent on housing costs and recurring debt. Recurring debt includes things like vehicle payments, child support and credit card payments.
Some example data:
With a 28/36 ratio
- Gross monthly income of $8,000 x .28 = $2,240 can be applied to housing
- Gross monthly income of $8,000 x .36 = $2,280 can be applied to recurring debt plus housing expenses
With a 29/41 (FHA) qualifying ratio
- Gross monthly income of $8,000 x .29 = $2,320 can be applied to housing
- Gross monthly income of $8,000 x .41 = $3,280 can be applied to recurring debt plus housing expenses
If you'd like to calculate pre-qualification numbers on your own income and expenses, we offer a Loan Qualifying Calculator.
Don't forget these ratios are just guidelines. We'd be happy to go over pre-qualification to help you figure out how much you can afford.