What is a good debt-to-income ratio to buy a house?

By: Sr vini

When you want to buy a house on a mortgage, the lender checks the debt-to-income ratio as a tool or measure, even if you have a good credit score. Because how much of your monthly income goes to debt will determine your ability to take out a mortgage. So it is important to have a good debt-to-income ratio to take out a mortgage or buy a house. But, what is a good debt-to-income ratio to buy a house? 

A good debt-to-income ratio is considered as not more than 28% for the front-end and not more than 36% for the back-end to buy a house. So, the lower your debt-to-income ratio, the higher the chances of getting a mortgage loan for buying a house. 

Let’s get to know more about the DTI ratio and the ideal DTI ratio for a mortgage. 

What is the ideal debt to income ratio for a mortgage?

Actually, there are two income-to-debt ratios; the first is front-end DTI and the second one is back-end DTI. The ideal percentage of both ratios is different from taking out a mortgage loan, and both ratios are taken into account by the lender while deciding on the mortgage. So firstly, let’s get to understand what are these ratios:

Front-End DTI: This ratio illustrates the amount of money you’d need to set aside each month for housing costs. This payment includes your monthly mortgage payment, homeowners insurance, property taxes, and, if applicable, homeowners association dues.

Back-End DTI: This indicates how much of your monthly income would be required to meet all debt obligations. This includes the mortgage and other housing costs and debts such as credit cards, auto loans, child support, student loans, and other types of debt. This ratio does not include living expenses such as utilities and groceries.

So, loan providers typically seek front-end ratios no higher than 28 percent and back-end ratios no higher than 36 percent for a mortgage. 

The maximum, however, may exceed 45 percent for borrowers who meet certain credit score and money reserve requirements and may reach 50 percent in other circumstances.

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What is a good debt to.income ratio?

Lenders generally prefer a front-end ratio of no more than 28 percent and a back-end ratio of no more than 36 percent, which includes all monthly debts. The average debt to income ratio in America in 2020 was 8.69%, meaning Americans spend $8.69 on debts from their per $100 income. 

However, lenders may accept higher ratios depending on your credit score, your savings, and the size of your down payment. Limits can vary according to lender and loan type.

How to Calculate Your Debt-to-Income Ratio?

To find your front-end ratio, add your monthly housing expenses, divide by your monthly gross income, and multiply by 100. 

On the other hand, for back-end DTI, add up all of your monthly debt obligations, such as minimum credit card payments, student loans, car payments and housing payments (rent or mortgage), child support, alimony, and personal loans. Then, using your monthly pre-tax income, divide this number by twelve.

When determining your debt-to-income ratio, a lender will take into account both your current and future debt obligations, including any future mortgage obligations.

Generally, no single monthly debt should exceed 28% of monthly income. Additionally, you should not be paying more than 36% of your gross monthly income on debt.

What is included in the debt to income ratio?

The monthly mortgage payment, homeowners insurance, property taxes, and, if applicable, homeowners association dues are all included in the calculation of front-end DTI.

Back-end DTI, on the other hand, includes costs such as the mortgage and other housing costs, in addition to debts like credit cards, auto loans, child support, student loans, and other types of debts.

How to lower debt-to-income ratio for mortgage?

You will find it harder to qualify for a mortgage and to make your monthly mortgage payments if your debt-to-income ratio is high. So it becomes essential to lower the DTI ratio for applying for a mortgage in the future. So here are ways to lower the DTI for a mortgage:

1) Pay your Debts

A debt-to-income ratio can be improved by paying off loans and reducing debt balances. Reevaluate your spending plan to see if you can free up some extra funds to help you pay off your debts faster. If you have only a few months left to pay off an installment debt like a car loan or a student loan, lenders won’t include it in your DTI.

2) Avoid any more debts.

Avoid taking any more debt or using your credit card for big purchases because, in the end, it will show in your DTI ratio. So until buying a new house, avoid any kind of big debt. 

3) Try to boost your income.

To achieve an ideal debt-to-income ratio, you should increase your income. Increasing your income will help you achieve the proper debt-to-income ratio for a personal loan, mortgage, or other types of financing, but it will also help you achieve greater financial stability.

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4) Wait for some time

If your debt-to-income ratio is high, such as 50% or more, you may want to delay buying a home until your ratio has been reduced. Conversely, if you have a low debt-to-earnings ratio, you will be more attractive to lenders, and your finances will be better.

Bottom Line

So, while planning to take out a mortgage to buy a new house, calculate your Debt-to-income ratio to find out if you will be eligible or not. And, if your DTI is higher than the ideal percentage of 28% and 36%, then try to lower it down until you apply. 

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