Debt/Income Ratio

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

How to figure the qualifying ratio

Usually, conventional mortgage loans need a qualifying ratio of 28/36. FHA loans are a little less restrictive, requiring a 29/41 ratio.

In 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 hazard insurance, HOA dues, Private Mortgage Insurance - everything.

The second number in the ratio is what percent of your gross income every month that can be applied to housing expenses and recurring debt. Recurring debt includes credit card payments, vehicle payments, child support, and the like.

For example:

A 28/36 ratio

  • 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'd like to calculate pre-qualification numbers with your own financial data, feel free to use our superb Loan Pre-Qualification Calculator.

Don't forget these are only guidelines. We'd be happy to go over pre-qualification to help you figure out how much you can afford. PLN Associates, Inc can walk you through the pitfalls of getting a mortgage. Call us at 425-452-5345.