The debt-to-income ratio (DTI) is a ratio that compares your monthly debt-related expenses to your monthly gross income. To calculate your debt-to-equity ratio, add up all the payments you make to pay off your debt in an average month. That embraces your monthly credit card payments, car loans, other debt (such as payday loans or investment loans), housing expenses, whether rent or the principal of your mortgage, plus interest, taxes, and property insurance.

Next, divide your monthly debt payments through your gross monthly income (your income before taxes) to get your ratio. (Your ratio is often multiplied through 100 to show it as a percentage.)

Why is My Debt Ratio Important?

Banks and other lenders educate how much debt their customers can take on before they run into financial difficulties and use that knowledge to set loan amounts. Although the preferred maximum DTI varies from financial institution to financial institution, it is often around 36%.

How Can you Reduce your Debt to Income Ratio?

All though, if your leverage is near or above 36%, you should take steps to reduce it. To do this, you could:

  • Increase the amount you pay off your debt each month. Additional payments can help reduce your overall debt faster.
  • Avoid taking on more debt. Consider dipping the amount you charge on your credit cards and also, try postponing additional loan applications.
  • Postpone large purchases to use less credit. If you have more time to save, you can afford a larger down payment. You’ll need to finance a smaller portion of the purchase on credit, which can help keep your debt-to-equity ratio low.
  • Recalculate your debt-to-income ratio each month to see if you’re making progress. Watching your DTI go down can help keep you motivated to keep your debt manageable.

Maintaining a low debt-to-income ratio helps you pay off your debt and also, gives you peace of mind to manage your finances responsibly. It can also help you remain more likely to qualify for loans for things you really want in the future, like buying a home.

How do I Calculate My Debt Income Ratio?

How do I Calculate My Debt Income Ratio_

To calculate your DTI ratio, add up your monthly debts and also, divide by your total gross household income. We’ll use a few numbers to show you exactly how DTI is calculate. Add up your minimum monthly payments

The only monthly payments you need to include in your DTI calculation are regular, required, and also,  recurring fees. Remember to use your minimum payments, not the account balance or the amount you usually pay.

  • Here are some cases of debts that are usually included in DTI:
  • Your rent or monthly mortgage payment
  • Your home insurance premium
  • Any homeowners association fees that are paid each month
  • Auto loan payments
  • Student Loan Payments
  • credit card payments
  • Personal loan payments

Some expenses should not be include in your calculation of minimum monthly payments:

  • utility costs
  • health insurance premiums
  • transportation costs
  • Contributions to savings accounts
  • Contributions to 401(k) plans or the Individual Retirement Account (IRA)
  • Entertainment, food, and also, clothing expenses

It is an example of how to calculate your DTI ratio.

  • Rent: $500
  • student loan payment: $125
  • Minimum credit card payment: $100
  • Minimum auto loan payment: $175

In this case, you would add $500, $125, $100, and $175 for $900 in minimum monthly payments.

Divide your Monthly Payments through your Monthly Gross Income

  • Your gross monthly income remains the total amount of income before taxes per month.
  • Whether someone else’s income needs to be include in this calculation will depend on who will be list on loan. If someone else is applying with you, you must add their income and also, debts to the calculation.
  • When you’ve determined the total monthly gross income for all loan recipients, divide your total minimum monthly payments by the monthly gross income.
  • All though, in this example, let’s say your household’s monthly gross income is $3,000. Divide $900 by $3,000 to get 0.30 (30%). It means your DTI is 30%.


Consider reducing the amount you custody on your credit cards and also, try to postpone applying for additional loans. Postpone big purchases to use less credit. Having more time to save means you can afford a larger down payment.

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