How much mortgages Can You Afford? Calculating Your Debt-to-Income Ratio

Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions you will make in your lifetime. It’s important to ensure that you can afford the mortgage payments before you start looking for homes. One way to determine how much mortgage you can afford is by calculating your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio. In this blog, we’ll explain what DTI is, how to calculate it, and what it means for your ability to afford a mortgage.

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

Debt-to-Income ratio is a financial metric that compares the amount of money you owe to your monthly income. It is calculated by dividing your monthly debt payments by your monthly income.

DTI ratio is used by lenders to determine your ability to make your monthly mortgage payments on time. The lower your DTI ratio, the better your chances of getting approved for a mortgage.

How to Calculate Your DTI Ratio

Calculating your DTI ratio is straightforward. First, add up all your monthly debt payments, including credit card bills, car loans, and other debt obligations. Then, divide that number by your gross monthly income (your income before taxes and other deductions).

For example, let’s say you have a monthly debt payment of $500 and a gross monthly income of $5,000. Your DTI ratio would be 10% (500 / 5,000).

What Your DTI Ratio Means for Your Mortgage Affordability

Lenders use the DTI ratio as a way to assess your ability to make your mortgage payments on time. Most lenders prefer a DTI ratio of 36% or lower. However, some lenders may allow a higher DTI ratio if you have a high credit score or other compensating factors.

If your DTI ratio is too high, you may not be able to afford the mortgage payments. In this case, you may need to look for a less expensive home or work on paying down your debt before applying for a mortgage.

Tips for Improving Your DTI Ratio

If your DTI ratio is too high, there are several things you can do to improve it:

  1. Pay off debt: The more debt you have, the higher your DTI ratio will be. Paying off debt can help lower your ratio and make you a more attractive candidate for a mortgage.
  2. Increase your income: If you have a low income, consider finding ways to increase it. You can do this by taking on a side job or asking for a raise at work.
  3. Avoid taking on new debt: Taking on new debt can increase your DTI ratio and make it harder to qualify for a mortgage. Try to avoid taking on any new debt until you have secured your mortgage.


Calculating your DTI ratio is an important step in determining how much mortgage you can afford. By keeping your DTI ratio low, you can improve your chances of getting approved for a mortgage and make sure that you can afford your monthly payments. Remember, a mortgage is a long-term commitment, so it’s important to take the time to calculate your DTI ratio and ensure that you can afford the payments before you make an offer on a home.

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