What To Know About Your Debt-To-Income Ratio When Buying A HomeWhen you apply for a mortgage, your lender will do some quick math to figure out how much of a loan you can afford. Your lender will consider many factors, and one of the most important ones is your debt-to-income ratio. It is usually shortened to DTI, and understanding this formula can help you better understand how big of a house you can afford. 

An Overview Of A DTI

Your DTI represents the amount of money you spend compared to the amount you make. Your lender is going to have very strict DTI requirements when deciding whether you can be approved for a mortgage. The lender wants to make sure you are not taking on a loan that you cannot afford to pay. If you cannot pay back your mortgage, your lender ultimately loses that money. Generally, your lender will want to see a lower DTI as they go through your application.

Front-End DTI

Your front-end DTI includes all expenses related to housing. This includes your homeowners’ association dues, your real estate taxes, your homeowners’ insurance, and your future monthly mortgage payment. In essence, this will be your DTI after your lender gives you a potential loan. 

Back-End DTI

Then, your lender is also going to take a look at your back-end DTI. This the first two other forms of debt that could go into your DTI. A few examples include car loans, student loans, credit card debt, and personal loans. Generally, this is the most important number because it is debt that you already carry when you apply for a mortgage. Your lender can always make adjustments to your home loan to fix your front-end DTI, but your lender does not have any control over your back-end DTI. 

What Is A Strong DTI?

Every lender will take a slightly different approach, but lenders prefer to see a total DTI somewhere around 32 or 34 percent. If you already have this much debt when you apply for a mortgage, you may have a difficult time qualifying for a home loan. On the other hand, if you don’t have a lot of debt, your lender may qualify you for a larger home loan. 


Refinancing: Check Your Financials FirstAlthough interest rates continue to rise, they are still low and you have probably heard that refinancing could help you save money on your home loan. Even though you are probably focused on current mortgage interest rates, feverishly comparing them to your own interest rate, you need to check your financials first. What are a few important indicators of your financial health that you need to check before you go through the refinancing process?

Check Your Credit Report

During the refinancing process, you will essentially replace your current home loan with another one. Therefore, the lender is going to check your credit report, so you should do so before your lender does. You can request one free copy of your credit report from each of the major credit bureaus every year. Be sure to check your credit report for any mistakes. Correct them before you go through the refinancing process, and maximize your credit score. 

Look At Your Most Recent Mortgage Statement

Next, you should also check your most recent mortgage statement. You need to understand your current interest rate, your unpaid principal, and the maturity date of your loan. This will help you figure out if it is worth it for you to go through the refinancing process. You can figure out what interest rate you need to have on the new loan to make it worth it. 

Pay Down Other Debt

During the refinancing process, you need to avoid applying for other lines of credit. This includes credit cards. You may also want to pay down other sources of debt to improve your debt to income ratio. This can help you get the best possible terms on your new home loan. 

Check Your Home’s Value

Your lender will order an appraisal to check your home’s value. Ideally, it has gone up in value, which will make it easier for you to qualify for a new home loan. There are free tools you can use online to get a quick estimate of your home’s value. 

Consider Refinancing Your Home Loan

If you want to save money on your mortgage, it might be worth it to go through the refinancing process. You should reach out to a professional who can help you evaluate your opportunities and make the best possible decision. 


A Checklist Of Documents You Need To Refinance Your MortgageIf you want to save money on your mortgage, you might think about refinancing. Before you can complete the refinancing process, there are several documents you need to have. Make sure you have all of these documents organized before you go through the refinancing process.

Basic Personal Information

You need to have documents that prove your basic personal information. This includes your name, current address, and phone number. There are plenty of documents you can use to prove this information, and your current lender probably already has this on file if you are using the same lender to go through the refinancing process. 

Income and Debt Documents

You also need to have documents that verify all of your current income or debt. If you are a wage-earner, you should have at least one recent pay stub. You should also have tax returns and W2 forms from the past two years.

Make sure you have recent asset or bank statements as well. This could include retirement accounts, checking accounts, savings accounts, and investment accounts. You will probably need the most recent quarterly statement for monthly statements going back at least two months. 

Any Additional Letters and Documents

There are several other letters or documents you might need as well. If you receive alimony payments or child support, you will need to have divorce decrees verifying this information.

If there are any questions about your credit history or gaps in your employment, you will need to have letters explaining these issues. That way, the lender will be reassured that you can repay the home loan. If you receive pension payments or social security payments, you should have an award letter specifying the size of the payments and how long they are going to be paid.

You also need to have a deed showing that you are the rightful owner of the home and a document showing that you have an active homeowners insurance policy with appropriate coverage.

Get Your Documents Organized for the Refinancing Process

Once you have all of these documents, you should be ready for the refinancing process. You should work with a professional who can walk you through this process from start to finish. 


Understanding Your Debt To Income Ratio: What It MeansIf you are looking for a home, you might need to finance it using a lender, such as a bank or a credit union. There are a number of factors that will influence whether your mortgage application is approved. Then, these same factors will play a role in the terms the lender might offer you. One of the most important factors is called the debt to income ratio, or DTI. It is important to understand how this will impact your mortgage application.

What Is A Debt To Income Ratio?

Your DTI is important to the lender because this allows the lender to figure out the likelihood of you paying your mortgage on time. The less debt you have, the more financial stability you have to pay a potential mortgage. 

To calculate your debt to income ratio, you need to calculate all the bills you have for the upcoming month. For example, if you have rent and a car payment, you add these numbers together. Then, you divide this number by your gross monthly income. If your rent is $900 and your car payment is $200, your total debt is $1100. Then, if you earn $3300, divide $1100 by $3300. This is about 33 percent.

Student Loan Debt Is A Driving Factor

With many members of the younger generation getting ready to purchase a house, it is important to understand the impact of student loan payments. Because a lot of potential home borrowers have student loans to pay back, their debt-to-income ratios will be significantly higher. This could make it harder for younger borrowers to get qualified for a mortgage, particularly one with favorable terms.

How To Improve Your Mortgage Application

Before you apply for a home loan, you should try to improve your debt to income ratio by paying down your existing bills. For example, if you have credit card debt, this will be included in your debt to income ratio. Try to pay this off before you apply for a mortgage. You should try to pay down your student loans as much as possible before applying for a mortgage as well. The less debt you carry, the more likely your mortgage application will be approved.