What is your Debt-to- Income Ratio (DTI)?

Picturing your dream home is exciting, but getting pre-approved for the necessary loan amount to make that vision a reality can be a challenging task. While your aspirations might be high, several factors come into play when determining your pre-approval amount.

When aiming for a significant loan amount, your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) is a vital factor. DTI measures the percentage of your monthly income that goes towards paying debts. This includes your mortgage, credit card payments, student loans, and other debts. Lenders typically prefer a DTI of 50% or less. They want to ensure that you have enough financial capacity to comfortably cover your mortgage payments while managing other financial obligations.

To calculate your DTI, divide your total monthly debt payments by your gross monthly income and multiply by 100. This will give you a percentage that represents your DTI. Loan officers perform this calculation to assess your financial situation and pre-approval eligibility.

Another challenge in securing the pre-approval amount you desire is the current interest rate climate. When interest rates are low, borrowing money is cheaper, and you can afford a more expensive home. In contrast, when interest rates are higher, the cost of borrowing increases, which can lead to a reduction in the loan amount you’re pre-approved for. As of now, interest rates are relatively higher compared to 2020. This means that while you might have qualified for a higher loan amount last year, the current rates might result in a lower pre-approval amount. However, don’t let this discourage you. The key is to strategize to qualify for the amount you can afford.

To increase your pre-approval amount, consider two primary strategies: boosting your income and decreasing your debt. Increasing your earnings through a raise, promotion, or additional income streams can positively impact your DTI ratio. Simultaneously, paying off debts or consolidating them can help lower your monthly debt payments, further improving your DTI ratio.

While getting pre-approved for your dream home might pose challenges, understanding the factors that influence your pre-approval amount is crucial. Your debt-to-income ratio plays a significant role in determining your affordability, and current interest rates can impact the loan amount you qualify for. By strategically increasing your income and decreasing your debt, you can enhance your pre-approval eligibility and secure the amount you need to bring your dream home to life.

If you have questions about navigating the pre-approval process or starting your homebuying journey, I’m here to help. Reach out to me for expert advice and guidance. Together, we can work towards turning your homeownership dreams into a reality.

Mariah Earl


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DRE# 02090006