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FHA Loans - FHA Debt Ratio's Guidelines
In addition to your income, an FHA lender will look at your minimum monthly debts to calculate your income to debt ratios. The debt ratio's is what will determine "how much" of a FHA loan you can afford to qualify for.

Following are the two types of debt ratio's that will be use:

  • Front-End Ratio - this is your gross income divided by the new PITI mortgage payment. This standard guideline is 29%.
  • Back-End Ratio - this is your gross income divided by the new PITI mortgage payment and also you minimum monthly payments from you liabilities. The standard guideline is 41%

Following is the typical debts used to determine your qualifying ratio's:

Front-End Ratios

  • your current and or future house payment

Back-End Ratios- the minimum required monthly payments on all of the following:

  • Auto Loans - (except if there is less than 9 months left to pay off)
  • Student Loans - (except if there is less than 9 months left to pay off)
  • Personal Loans (except if there is less than 9 months left to pay off)
  • Charge Cards - minimum required payments only.
  • Child Support -  (except if there is less than 9 months left to pay off)
  • Alimony -  (except if there is less than 9 months left to pay off)
  • Federal Tax Lien Repayment Schedules - (if less than 9 months not calculated)

Following are monthly liabilities that are not used to calculate debt ratio's:

  • Utility Bills
  • Car & Health Insurance
  • Cell Phone Bills
  • any bills not reflected on your credit report.

The percentage of debts to income is called the debt-to-income (a.k.a.: back-end) ratios. A good goal is to spend no more than 38% of your income on all debts, including house payment. However, under FHA home loan guidelines you're allowed to spend up to 41% of your monthly income on housing and other debts -- if the rest of your loan application shows you can handle it.

An example of the income to debt calculation is as follows:

Income = $3,000

New Mortgage Payment = $900.

Minimum Monthly Payments = $300

"Mortgage" divided by "Income" = 30%

"Mortgage + Monthly Payments" divided by "Income" = 40%

In this scenario, your front-end is 30% and back-end is 40% which is acceptable for a FHA loan.

These ratios can also adjusted or exceeded if there are item(s) you can payoff, lower interest the interest rate, lower the loan amount, etc. 

FHA is the most flexible lender regarding debt ratio's. Never rule yourself out of buying a home until you have spoken to a mortgage professional.

Learn exactly how much of a FHA loan you can qualify for by clicking ra.gif (855 bytes) Here.

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