< Back to JVM's Blog

Debt Ratios Explained; Very Important! Not Boring – I Promise

Debt Ratios Explained; Very Important! Not Boring - I PromiseOK – this probably is boring, but it is super important because almost every competitive mortgage loan available requires some sort of income verification and debt ratio calculations. This is a good thing because it ensures borrowers can actually make their payments (unlike the pre-2008 mortgage world).

Many borrowers and Realtors are confused about debt ratio specifics, so we thought a short blog was in order.

There are two categories of debt ratios: Front End, and Back End.

The Back End Debt Ratio consists of a borrower’s entire housing payment (Principle, Interest, Taxes, Insurance, HOA dues) and all consumer debt payments (car, student loan, credit cards) divided by his or her gross (pre-tax) income.

The Front End Ratio consists of ONLY the housing payment divided by gross income.

Allowable debt ratios range from 38% to 56.99%, depending on the lender and the type of loan.

Conforming Loans (Fannie and Freddie) have the same limit for Front End and Back End Ratios: 49.99%

FHA allows for Front End Ratios as high as 46.99% and Back End Ratios as high as 56.99%

Many jumbo lenders will not allow any debt ratio over 42.99%, and some cap ratios as low as 38%.

Higher debt ratios are tolerated when there are “compensating factors” such as large down payment, significant liquid reserves (savings), and excellent credit.

Jay Voorhees
Founder/Broker | JVM Lending
(855) 855-4491 | DRE# 01524255, NMLS# 335646