There are three numbers that matter the most when it comes to a home loan application. They are your credit score, your debt-to-income ratio, and your loan-to-value ratio. These specific numbers matter because they affect your ability to qualify for a home loan as well as your interest rate for the loan.
This article will give you a quick overview of those numbers and how they affect your mortgage.
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Your Credit Score
You’re likely familiar with this number. A credit score, also sometimes called your FICO score, is a three-digit number between 300-850. This number scores your borrowing history. It’s independently calculated by each of the three main credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) using your payment history, your current debt, your credit limit usage, along with other factors.
When you apply for a mortgage, we request your credit score from one or all of the bureaus using a” soft” or “hard” credit check. A “soft” check does not affect your credit score and is done early in the application process, such as during pre-approval. A “hard” check will have a minor impact (lowering by about 5 points) on your score, so it’s done when you’re ready to apply.
Your credit score helps to estimate your ability and the likelihood of you paying back your home loan. The various mortgage programs have a minimum credit score with government loans usually having the lowest score requirements –although rates change frequently so please inquire for current interest rates.
Your score matters because it affects the interest rate you can get. The higher your credit score, the better the interest rates will also be.
Your Loan-to-Value Ratio (LTV)
Your LTV is a way to measure the amount of equity in your home. You can think of it as the percent you still owe towards the principal to fully own your home. The way it works is that the higher your LTV ratio is, the more you’re borrowing.
Here’s how to calculate your LVT yourself: First, subtract the down payment amount from the value of the property. Divide that number by the value of the property. For example, if the home has a value of $200,000 and you put $20,000 down, then your LVT is 90%.
You can also calculate your LTV by subtracting the down payment percent from 100%. For example, if you’re down payment is 20%, then your initial LTV is 80%. Why this number matters There’s often a maximum LTV when you’re buying a home (you can also think of this as the minimum down payment).
The exact LTV max depends on factors such as the property type, loan amount, and whether you’re a first-time homebuyer. If your LTV is higher than the limit, that means that either you’ll have to increase your down payment or look for a lower-priced property. Another thing to keep in mind with regards to your minimum down payment is that if put less than 20% down, you’ll be required to pay mortgage insurance.
Your Debt-to-Income Ratio (DTI)
Your DTI helps determine how much you can afford to pay every month given your current monthly payments. We calculate this number by adding up your existing monthly debt plus what your mortgage payment will be once you have your new home and then dividing that number by your gross monthly income. Why it matters The DTI help to set a limit to make sure that you can comfortably afford your mortgage now and in the future.
This number is critical in qualifying for a home loan. A high DTI is the most common reason mortgage applications are declined. DTI limits vary by lender and our firm is proud to offer more flexible limits than most competitors. Want to talk more numbers? GIve us a call! We can talk you through your numbers and help you determine the best course of action for getting a home loan at a rate you can afford. Schedule a conversation today!