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Lenders use a ratio called "debt to income" to decide the most you can pay monthly after you have paid your other monthly loans.
About your qualifying ratio
Most underwriting for conventional 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 your gross monthly income that can be spent on housing (including mortgage principal and interest, PMI, hazard insurance, property tax, and HOA dues).
The second number is the maximum percentage of your gross monthly income that can be applied to housing costs and recurring debt together. Recurring debt includes things like vehicle loans, child support and credit card payments.
- 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, feel free to use our Loan Pre-Qualifying Calculator.
Don't forget these ratios are just guidelines. We'd be happy to go over pre-qualification to help you determine how much you can afford.