Ratio of Debt-to-Income

Lenders use a ratio called "debt to income" to determine your maximum monthly payment after you've paid your other recurring debts.


Understanding your qualifying ratio

Typically, underwriting for conventional mortgage loans requires a qualifying ratio of 28/36. FHA loans are a little less restrictive, requiring a 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 mortgage principal and interest, private mortgage insurance, hazard 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 together. Recurring debt includes things like car payments, child support and monthly credit card payments.

Some example data:

With a 28/36 qualifying ratio

  • Gross monthly income of $8,000 x .28 = $2,240 can be applied to housing
  • Gross monthly income of $8,000 x .36 = $2,280 can be applied to recurring debt plus housing expenses

With a 29/41 (FHA) qualifying ratio

  • Gross monthly income of $8,000 x .29 = $2,320 can be applied to housing
  • Gross monthly income of $8,000 x .41 = $3,280 can be applied to recurring debt plus housing expenses


If you want to run your own numbers, we offer a Mortgage Loan Qualification Calculator.

Don't forget these ratios are only guidelines. We'd be thrilled to pre-qualify you to determine how large a mortgage you can afford. Sherrie Liebert can walk you through the pitfalls of getting a mortgage. Give us a call: (520)820-1332.