Ratio of Debt-to-Income

The ratio of debt to income is a formula lenders use to determine how much of your income is available for a monthly mortgage payment after all your other recurring debt obligations have been met.


About the qualifying ratio

In general, underwriting for conventional mortgage loans requires 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.

For these ratios, the first number is how much (by percent) of your gross monthly income that can go toward housing. This ratio is figured on your total payment, including hazard insurance, homeowners' dues, PMI - everything that constitutes the full payment.

The second number is the maximum percentage of your gross monthly income that should be applied to housing costs and recurring debt together. For purposes of this ratio, debt includes credit card payments, vehicle payments, child support, et cetera.

Some example data:

28/36 (Conventional)

  • 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 calculate pre-qualification numbers on your own income and expenses, use this Loan Qualifying Calculator.

Remember these ratios are only guidelines. We'd be happy to pre-qualify you to help you determine how much you can afford. Pacificwide Lending can answer questions about these ratios and many others. Call us at 925-461-0500. Ready to begin? Apply Here.

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