Are you planning to apply for a mortgage or refinance your existing mortgage?

If yes, then you must be aware of how a debt-to-income ratio might affect your mortgage.

Why?

Because lenders often use the debt-to-income ratio as one of the key factors to determine a borrower’s ability to repay the mortgage loan.

Therefore, someone who is considering applying for a mortgage or refinancing may want to know how their debt-to-income ratio could impact their ability to qualify for a mortgage or affect the terms and interest rates they are being offered.

But firstly, you must be familiar with what exactly is debt-to-income ratio.

So, let’s look into that real quick.

**What is Debt-to-Income Ratio?**

Debt-to-income ratio is a financial metric that lenders use to determine your ability to repay your debts. It is calculated by dividing the total monthly debt by the gross monthly income. The percentage that came in the result is your DTI.

**How is Debt-to-Income Ratio Calculated?**

To calculate the debt-to-income ratio, you have to divide all your monthly debt by gross monthly income. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to calculate DTI:

- Add up all monthly debt: This includes payments for credit cards, student loans, car loans, and any other loans or debts you have.
- Calculate gross monthly income: This is your total income before taxes, and other deductions are taken out.
- Divide the total monthly debt by the gross monthly income.

For example, your total monthly debt payments are $2,000, and your gross monthly income is $6,000. To calculate your DTI, you divide $2,000 by $6,000, which equals 0.33 or 33%.

**Benchmark Range for a Good Debt-to-Income Ratio**

A good debt-to-income ratio is 36% or lower. Your monthly debt payments should be at most 36% of your gross monthly income. Lenders prefer to see a low DTI because it indicates that you have a lower risk of defaulting on your debts.

**Why Debt-to-Income Ratio Matters When Applying for a Mortgage**

When you apply for a mortgage, your lender will consider your debt-to-income ratio as part of the approval process. A high DTI makes it harder to get approval for a mortgage as it is an indication that you have a higher risk of defaulting on your debts.

Additionally, a high DTI can result in less favorable mortgage terms, such as a higher interest rate or a more significant down payment requirement.

Overall, keeping your DTI within a healthy range when applying for a mortgage is essential.

By understanding what DTI is and how it is calculated, you can improve your DTI and increase your chances of getting approved for a mortgage with favorable terms.

**What is the Impact of the Debt-to-Income Ratio on Mortgage Approval?**

When you apply for a mortgage, your lender will review your financial history and current financial situation to determine whether you are a good candidate for a mortgage. Here’s how DTI affects the mortgage approval process:

**How Mortgage Lenders Use Debt-to-Income Ratio?**

Mortgage lenders use a debt-to-income ratio to assess your ability to repay the mortgage loan.

A high DTI indicates a higher risk of defaulting on your debts, making getting approved for a mortgage harder.

Lenders prefer to see a low DTI because it indicates that you have a lower risk of defaulting on your debts.

**How Debt-to-Income Ratio Affects Mortgage Terms?**

If your debt-to-income ratio is high, you may still be able to get approved for a mortgage. However, there’s a chance of you getting less favorable terms.

For example, you may be required to make a larger down payment or be offered a higher interest rate. It is because a high DTI indicates that you may have trouble making your mortgage payments on time, which increases the lender’s risk.

On the other hand, if your debt-to-income ratio is low, you may be offered more favorable terms, such as a lower interest rate or a minor down payment requirement.

It is because a low DTI indicates that you have a lower risk of defaulting on your debts and are more likely to make your mortgage payments on time.

**How to Improve Your Debt-to-Income Ratio?**

If your debt-to-income ratio is high, there are steps you can take to improve it before applying for a mortgage. Here are some tips:

- Pay down your debts: The more debt you pay off, the lower your DTI will be.
- Increase your income: You can increase GOI by getting a higher-paying job or working overtime.
- Avoid taking on new debts: New debts will increase monthly debt and raise your DTI.

By improving your DTI, you can increase your chances of getting approved for a mortgage with favorable terms.

**How to Calculate Debt-to-Income Ratio?**

The calculation of DTI is relatively simple. Here are the steps you need to follow:

**Step 1: Determine Monthly Debt**

The first step is to determine monthly debt. It includes fees for credit cards, student loans, car loans, and any other loans or debts you have.

**Step 2: Calculate Your GOI**

The next step is to calculate your GOI. Your total income is before taxes and other deductions are taken out. Be sure to include all sources of income, such as your salary, bonuses, and any rental income.

**Step 3: Divide Your Monthly Debt by your Gross Monthly Income**

Finally, divide your total monthly debt payments by your gross monthly income. The percentage that came as result is the debt-to-income ratio.

For example, your total monthly debt payments are $2,000, and your GOI is $6,000. To calculate your DTI, you divide $2,000 by $6,000, which equals 0.33 or 33%.

Calculating your debt-to-income ratio is simple and straightforward, and it’s important to remember this number when applying for a mortgage.

**Final Thoughts**

Debt-to-income ratio is essential when applying for a mortgage.

Lenders use this metric to assess your ability to repay your debts and determine whether you are a good candidate for a mortgage.

By improving your DTI, you can increase your chances of getting approved for a mortgage with favorable terms.

Remember, a good DTI is generally considered 36% or lower, so it’s essential to remember this number when managing your debts and applying for a mortgage.

Take Action Now!

If you plan on applying for a mortgage in the future, we encourage you to take action now to improve your debt-to-income ratio.

It may include paying off debts, increasing your income, or avoiding taking on new debts.

Doing this can improve your financial health and increase your chances of getting approved for a mortgage with favorable terms.

**FAQs**

**What is a good debt-to-income ratio for a mortgage?**

A good debt-to-income ratio is 36% or lower.

**What is included in the debt-to-income ratio calculation?**

The debt-to-income ratio calculation includes all monthly debt payments, such as payments for credit cards, student loans, car loans, and any other loans or debts you have. It also includes gross monthly income.

**How does the debt-to-income ratio affect mortgage approval?**

Debt-to-income ratio is a crucial factor that lenders consider when deciding whether to approve your mortgage application. A high DTI can make getting approved for a mortgage harder and may result in less favorable mortgage terms.

**Can you get a mortgage with a high debt-to-income ratio?**

Getting approved for a mortgage with a high debt-to-income ratio is still possible. Still, there might be a chance of you getting low favorable terms, such as a higher interest rate or a more significant down payment requirement.

**How can I improve my debt-to-income ratio for a mortgage?**

You can improve your debt-to-income ratio by paying off debts, increasing your income, or avoiding taking on new debts.

**How often is the debt-to-income ratio calculated?**

Debt-to-income ratio is typically calculated when you apply for a mortgage. However, lenders may also review your DTI periodically throughout the mortgage term.

**Can I still qualify for a mortgage if my debt-to-income ratio is too high?**

It may be more challenging to qualify for a mortgage with a high debt-to-income ratio, but it is still possible. Improving your DTI before applying for a mortgage can increase your chances of getting approved with favorable terms.