Lenders use a ratio called "debt to income" to determine your maximum monthly payment after your other monthly debts have been paid.
How to figure your qualifying ratio
For the most part, underwriting for conventional loans needs 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 in a qualifying ratio is the maximum amount (as a percentage) of gross monthly income that can be spent on housing (this includes principal and interest, PMI, homeowner's insurance, property tax, and HOA dues).
The second number in the ratio is the maximum percentage of your gross monthly income that can be spent on housing expenses and recurring debt. For purposes of this ratio, debt includes payments on credit cards, auto loans, child support, etcetera.
With a 28/36 qualifying ratio
- 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 want to calculate pre-qualification numbers on your own income and expenses, we offer a Loan Pre-Qualifying Calculator.
Remember these are just guidelines. We'd be happy to go over pre-qualification to help you determine how large a mortgage you can afford.
Atlantic Financial Services can answer questions about these ratios and many others. Call us at (732) 969-9300.