Monday, August 31, 2009

What is a debt ratio and why should I care about it?

Your debt ratio is the amount of credit you’ve accumulated on a monthly basis compared to your income.

It’s a critical number if you plan to make any major purchases, such as a home or car, since lenders check your debt ratio to ensure you’re capable of repaying the loan.

Mortgage lenders generally won’t approve your loan if your mortgage payment would exceed 28% of your gross income (before taxes are withheld).

Your total payments -- including all other debts -- should not exceed 36% to qualify for a mortgage.

These debts don’t include food, utilities or taxes.

For these calculations, mortgage lenders look at items like credit card bills, student loans and car loans and how your mortgage would affect your overall ability to pay.


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