Debt Ratios for Residential Financing

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Lenders use a ratio called "debt to income" to determine your maximum monthly payment after your other monthly debts have been paid.

Understanding the qualifying ratio

Usually, conventional mortgage loans need 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 spent on housing costs (this includes principal and interest, private mortgage insurance, homeowner's insurance, taxes, and homeowners' association dues).

The second number is what percent of your gross income every month that can be spent on housing costs and recurring debt. Recurring debt includes things like car loans, child support and monthly credit card payments.

Some example data:

28/36 (Conventional)

  • Gross monthly income of $4,500 x .28 = $1,260 can be applied to housing
  • Gross monthly income of $4,500 x .36 = $1,620 can be applied to recurring debt plus housing expenses

With a 29/41 (FHA) qualifying ratio

  • Gross monthly income of $4,500 x .29 = $1,305 can be applied to housing
  • Gross monthly income of $4,500 x .41 = $1,845 can be applied to recurring debt plus housing expenses

If you'd like to run your own numbers, please use this Loan Qualification Calculator.

Don't forget these are just guidelines. We'd be happy to pre-qualify you to help you figure out how large a mortgage loan you can afford. Arizona Wholesale Mortgage Inc. can answer questions about these ratios and many others. Give us a call at 623-340-0934.

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