Debt Ratios for Home Lending

The debt to income ratio is a formula lenders use to determine how much money can be used for a monthly mortgage payment after you have met your various other monthly debt payments.


How to figure the qualifying ratio

Usually, underwriting for conventional 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.

The first number is how much (by percent) of your gross monthly income that can be spent on housing costs. This ratio is figured on your total payment, including hazard insurance, HOA dues, PMI - everything that makes up the payment.

The second number is what percent of your gross income every month that can be spent on housing costs and recurring debt. For purposes of this ratio, debt includes payments on credit cards, car loans, child support, and the like.

Some example data:

28/36 (Conventional)

  • Gross monthly income of $2,700 x .28 = $756 can be applied to housing
  • Gross monthly income of $2,700 x .36 = $972 can be applied to recurring debt plus housing expenses

With a 29/41 (FHA) qualifying ratio

  • Gross monthly income of $2,700 x .29 = $783 can be applied to housing
  • Gross monthly income of $2,700 x .41 = $1,107 can be applied to recurring debt plus housing expenses

If you want to calculate pre-qualification numbers with your own financial data, feel free to use our very useful Loan Pre-Qualification Calculator.

Don't forget these ratios are just guidelines. We will be happy to go over pre-qualification to determine how much you can afford. Ocean Mortgage can answer questions about these ratios and many others. Give us a call at 408-823-2321. Ready to get started? Apply Now.

Got a Question?

Do you have a question? We can help. Simply fill out the form below and we'll contact you with the answer, with no obligation to you. We guarantee your privacy.

Your Information
Your Question