In addition to your income, a lender will look at your debts. Generally, debts
include your house payment as well as minimum monthly payments on all loans, charge cards,
child support, etc. that you make each month. The percentage of debts to income is called
the debt-to-income (a.k.a.: back-end) ratio. A good goal is to spend no more than 38% of
your income on all debts. 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
application shows you can handle it.
This ratios can also
adjusted or exceeded if there are item(s) you can payoff, have less then 6 months of
payments left, or change loan programs. FHA is the most flexible on this back-end ratio.
Never rule yourself out of buying a home until you have spoken to a mortgage professional.