Debt Ratios for Residential Lending

Lenders use a ratio called "debt to income" to decide the most you can pay monthly after you've paid your other monthly loans.

Understanding your qualifying ratio

Typically, underwriting for conventional mortgage loans needs a qualifying ratio of 28/36. FHA loans are a little less strict, requiring a 29/41 ratio.

The first number is how much (by percent) of your gross monthly income that can go toward housing. This ratio is figured on your total payment, including homeowners' insurance, homeowners' 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 together. Recurring debt includes car payments, child support and monthly credit card payments.

For example:

28/36 (Conventional)

  • Gross monthly income of $6,500 x .28 = $1,820 can be applied to housing
  • Gross monthly income of $6,500 x .36 = $2,340 can be applied to recurring debt plus housing expenses

With a 29/41 (FHA) qualifying ratio

  • Gross monthly income of $6,500 x .29 = $1,885 can be applied to housing
  • Gross monthly income of $6,500 x .41 = $2,665 can be applied to recurring debt plus housing expenses

If you'd like to run your own numbers, feel free to use our Mortgage Qualifying Calculator.

Just Guidelines

Don't forget these ratios are only guidelines. We will be thrilled to help you pre-qualify to help you determine how much you can afford.

Norcal Capital Group, Inc can answer questions about these ratios and many others. Call us: 6507631924.

Got a Question?

Do you have a question? We can help. Simply fill out the form below and we'll contact you with the answer, with no obligation to you. We guarantee your privacy.

Your Information
Your Question

Norcal Capital Group, Inc

1369 El Camino Real
Millbrae, CA 94030